Kingdom Rush is a mythical themed Tower Defense game that puts you to work saving a kingdom from trolls, giant spiders, and other beastly creatures. The game plays out like every other TD game we’ve played as you’ll have to set up towers to keep the evil sorcerer’s troops from advancing – style and substance is what makes Kingdom Rush stand out from the crowd.You’re given 3 types of towers to take on the enemy with archer towers, mage towers, and bombing towers. The fourth “tower” at your disposal is actually a barracks that deploys foot soldiers on the map. It’s a great addition to the game as you can use those little guys to setup choke points and slow down your enemy. All of the towers are upgradable several times over and you’ll unlock new upgrades as you progress through the game.The upgrades are especially cool in Kingdom Rush; the towers and your troops change appearance with each upgrade and there are 8 specialized upgrades including paladins, musketeers, knights, wizards, and howitzers. You can’t have musketeers and rangers in the same tower so you’ll have to pick a path in the heat of battle or plan ahead. Once you decide what your final tower be (it’s not an easy decision) tower abilities become unlocked, and there are 18 of those to choose from across the 4 different tower types. Kingdom Rush is a tough little game so you’re going to need more than towers and upgrades to take down the evil minions and mini-bosses. The game uses the 3-star setup for its levels, but you actually get to use the stars to boost your towers abilities along with your reserves and meteor strikes. You can reset your stars at any time and reuse them as you see fit which is extremely handy when you start getting into the tougher levels. Needless to say, Kingdom Rush has a lot of depth in the upgrade/unlockables department, and we’re only scratching the surface of it.As cool as the upgrades are, a game can be a bust without great characters and cool settings. The battle are a blast to watch, and you even get some comic book styled “action words” thrown in there like “KBOOM” and “POW”. It’s a little thing, but it really makes the battles enjoyable and I didn’t want to speed through things as I usually do in TD games. The enemies are just as cool as the heroes in Kingdom Rush – there are around 50 different enemies including spiders, Yetis, Orcs, skeletons, and sorcerers. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll even get to take on some tough mini-bosses before you get to the big finale.Kingdom Rush has 12 campaigns, then throws an additional 5 expert levels at you once you’ve gotten past the big boss. There may be more after that, but I’m stuck on “Ruins of Acaroth” so I’m not quite sure. The 17 levels may not sound like much until you take into account that each level also has heroic and iron challenges that are unlocked once you clear it in campaign mode. The challenges are tough as nails, and add a bit more depth to things. Not that it needs it as we didn’t even talk about the encyclopedia, purchasable heroes or the achievements.
There are hundreds of Tower Defense games on Google Play, but not all TD games are created equal. Such is the case with Kingdom Rush as it sets itself apart from the pack with style, depth, and great gameplay. There are several ways to go about beating a level, and the game’s tough so you’re not going to be able to walk through it or finish it in one sitting no matter how good you are. There are a few IAP’s in Kingdom Rush, but they’re tastefully done and are only there to help you out with the exception of “The Heroes”. You get three for free, but have to buy the rest and they’re not cheap. The dev’s should have given you the option to unlock them with crystals earned from playing instead of buying them outright. That being said, the game is so good it’s forgivable. Kingdom Rush quickly became my favorite Tower Defense game on Android (sorry Jelly Defense), and it will quickly become your favorite as well. You can pick up Ironhide Game Studios Kingdom Rush for $1.99.