Kingdom Rush (iPhone) review
I want to start off by saying that this game is addicting as hell. Kingdom Rush is a game that you can lose yourself in. I can atest to that, as hours have passed and I find myself playing it at three in the morning. It's a great example of what a tower denense game should be.
Like most tower defense games, Kingdom Rush has you building four towers — soldier, archer, mage, artillery — at various points around a multi-path map. These towers are there to prevent enemies from getting to your base, which will take away from your health pool. With gold you earn from killing enemies, you can upgrade each tower into two different advanced towers. Also at your disposal are two abilites which are on cooldown. One is a meteor shower that deals damage to multiple enemies, and the other is the ability to have legionnaires fight for you for a short period of time.
What makes Kingdom Rush different from other tower defense games is the use of heroes. Depending on how well you do on a map, you get assigned a star rating of one to three stars. With these stars, you can unlock the use of heroes. You control them by tapping the screen and moving them around the map, where they will then fight enemies. They can be really handy in a pinch when you need help in a certain area.
The stars you get can also provide permanent upgrades to your towers and abilities in the upgrade section. Want your soldiers to have more health? That'll cost one star. Want archers to have a chance to deal double damage? Three stars please. Legionnaires can attack flying units? Fork over a few stars. The great thing is that there's no cost to reset how you distribute your stars if your not happy with what you did.
By no means is Kingdom Rush an easy game. Yes, the first few levels are quite easy, but it'll ramp up considerably in difficulty around the eighth mission. With so many different types of enemies, each with a different resistance to a tower, it'll take some time to come up with a strategy to defend the paths you have. You might even suffer a few defeats before you come up with a tower layout and upgrade tree that works for you on that map.
Kingdom Rush on the iPhone looks and sounds just as good as its iPad counterpart. My only gripe is that since it's on a smaller screen, precise tapping is more difficult. There's only a minor pinch-to-zoom feature, so moving your hero around or clicking a tower to upgrade can be finnicky. But it never gets to the point where it's a problem. The controls are, overall, pretty damn great.
Simply put, Kingdom Rush is a great, fun tower defense game. And it's only 99 cents. You'd be a fool to not buy this game.
You can follow Movies and Culture Editor Lance Liebl on Twitter @Lance_GZ