Oct 17, 2012
Price: $.99 (iPhone/iPod Touch) | $2.99 (iPad)
Genre: Tower Defense
Publisher: Armor Games
Since modern tower defense games began to appear on Flash websites in the 2000s, the genre has been incredibly popular among casual gamers. Plants vs. Zombies is arguably the most popular tower defense game on the iOS platform, but new variations on this theme appear on the App Store seemingly every day. Of these, Kingdom Rush is one of the hottest.
iOS Tower Defense Game
Kingdom Rush places you in different environments within a kingdom, such as a waterfront, a forest and a mountainous region. In each level, monsters zig-zag down a curved path, attempting to force their way past one of four types of defense towers. Infantry towers deploy soldiers that slow monsters down temporarily, archer towers fire quickly but do little damage, artillery towers do more damage over a greater distance — but fire more slowly — and mage towers receive bonuses against certain types of enemies. If too many monsters manage to make it to the end of the level, you lose.
Between levels, you’ll have opportunities to purchase power-ups and increase the capabilities of your towers. In addition, money earned while fighting monsters allows you to level your towers up, increasing their power and attack range. These upgrades do not carry over into future levels.
The Verdict: Ambivalent
When we downloaded Kingdom Rush, the iPhone version was temporarily free. The iPhone version scales up nicely on the iPad, and its cartoonish graphics have an endearing hand-drawn quality that we enjoyed. Kingdom Rush provided an afternoon of entertainment before it was uninstalled.
Ultimately, the problem with Kingdom Rush has nothing to do with its quality or execution. The graphics are very nice and the control is crisp and responsive. However, Kingdom Rush is ultimately a well-executed game that adds nothing new to the tower defense genre. If you’ve played tower defense games on your computer or iOS device in the past, you’ll quickly get a feeling of “been there, done that” because Kingdom Rush doesn’t bring anything new to the table.
Unless you’re a dedicated tower defense fan or have no prior experience with the genre, there’s little reason to pay for Kingdom Rush when it’s likely to be extremely similar to most of the tower defense games you’ve played in the past. Wait for it to go on sale again or look for something on the App Store that adds a little more creativity to the genre.