What is Tower Defence?
Tower Defence is a style of game play where you have a home base or exit point that you are trying to defend from oncoming hordes of invaders. In some cases the map has an entry point and some obstacles and you place your towers or defenders in the path of the invaders to destroy them before they can destroy you.
The Kingdom Rush Difference
In the case of Kingdom Rush, there are several different maps with paths that the invaders take and set places that you can put your towers. You have several different towers to choose from – Archers, Barracks, Mage and Bombard. You also have a Call for Reinforcements which drops two troops where ever you choose, Rain of Fire that you can use as an aerial bombardment to happen where you choose and a Hero that starts at the exit point but you can move to wherever (on the path) that you choose. All of which, except for the Hero, is upgradeable as you earn stars for your competency on each map. You earn the Heroes as you progress and can pick which one you want to use. I have unlocked three and there are more that you can purchase if you wish (with real money). You also earn crystals when you complete a map and these can be used in the shop to purchase other weapons or lives.
When you start the game you are taken to the menu (image on the left). It appears as the overall campaign map with icons across the bottom. From left, Settings, Trophies, Shop, Heroes, Upgrades and Encyclopaedia. These are pretty self explanatory for most gamers. Settings allows you to change settings, Trophies are accomplishments that you gain as you play, the Shop is where you buy other weapons (my favourite is the freeze rod which freezes all enemies in place on the map), Hero Room is where you can choose your Hero or purchase others (with real money as mentioned earlier), Upgrades is where you can get upgrades for your Towers, the Reinforcements and the Rain of Fire and the Encyclopaedia is a place to get information on just about everything in the game, especially the enemies. Everything else is related to the maps that you play as you progress through the game, I think they are shields.
When you select the shields you get the image on the right which gives you three game mode choices (bottom left), Campaign, Heroic Challenge and Iron Challenge. The Campaign mode leads you through the story and completion of each map unlocks the next map. The Heroic and Iron Challenge puts a new set of limits on the game, harder than the campaign mode.
Once you select your mode, select To Battle and your off to fight the orcs, trolls, wolves etc. The map loads up and you can see where the enemy enters, where they leave and all the places you can put your towers. Each tower has it’s own style of attack. Each upgrade to the towers makes them faster and cause more damage, and in the case of the barracks, able to withstand more damage too. The final upgrade to each tower allows for two options and each of these options has more upgrades specific to that tower.
The Archer Tower houses two archers who, as you upgrade the tower, become faster and deal more damage. The final upgrade gives you a choice of a Rangers Hideout and Musketeer Garrison. The Rangers Hideout has two abilities for you to upgrade also, these are the Wrath of the Forest and Poison Arrows. Wrath of the Forest is vine traps that stop the enemies in their place and Poison Arrows deal damage over time. The Musketeer Garrison swaps the bows for guns, which increases the range and damage per shot, but slows the fire rate down. The abilities here are Sniper Shot, the chance to kill the enemy instantly, and Shrapnel Shot, an explosive bullet that spreads shrapnel around, dealing ‘splash’ damage to all nearby enemies.
The Barracks or Militia, is a group of three soldiers. Each upgrade increases their damage and health. The final upgrade is either the Holy Order or the Barbarian Hall. The Holy Order is Paladins, tough knights with strong armour and regenerative abilities. There are three abilities here, Healing Light which allows the knights to heal, Shield of Valour which increases the strength of the Armour and Holy Strike which increases their damage when attacking. The Barbarian Hall is inhabited by mighty barbarians. Their abilities are Throwing Axes, a Whirlwind Attack that allows them to hurt more than one enemy and More Axes which gives them a second axe which increases damage and can also be thrown.
The Mage Tower has a magician whose magic shots become stronger as you upgrade. In the final upgrade you have the choice of an Arcane Wizard or Sorcerer Mage. The Arcane Wizard has two abilities, Death Ray and Teleport. The Death Ray has a chance of instantly killing the enemy and the Teleport moves enemies back along the path. The Sorcerer Mage has two abilities also, Polymorph which transforms the enemies in to sheep and Summon Elemental, a creature made of Rock to fight for you. If the Elemental is killed in a level in a Poison Pool, he will respawn as a Swamp Thing (I haven’t seen this happen yet).
Manned by a couple of Dwarves, the Bombard is a bomb launcher. It starts out shooting grenades, then dynamite and then a type of missile. The final upgrade gives you a choice of Big Bertha, a missile guided system or a Tesla x104 tower which shoots electricity. Big Bertha has two abilities, Dragonbreath which is a seeking missile that never misses and Cluster Launcher Xtreme which launches a missile that detonates in the air and drops multiple bomblets over the area. The Tesla x104, as mentioned, shoots electricity or chain lightning which hits up to 3 targets. The Overcharge ability creates a static field around the tower, damaging all enemies in close proximity, while the Supercharged Bolt ability will add additional distance to the chain allowing up to 5 enemies to be struck.
This game is purely strategy, what you place where and what upgrade level you are using. As you would expect, the maps get more difficult as you go with either more enemies or tougher enemies or both. I found it easer to start with Archers near the entrance, followed by Barracks with Bombards fairly close to middle sections and the Mage towers near the end, especailly the Arcane Wizard so that they can teleport enemies back into the middle. Around that I add more Archers and Barracks. The enemies get stopped at the Barracks so it’s always good to intersperse these with Archers, Mages or Bombards near to help attack the stopped enemies. When an enemies gets past, I usually drop the Reinforcements in front of them to slow them down again. Initially, the Reinforcements use sticks, as you upgrade them, they get swords and spears. If it all gets too close to the exit, I drop the Rain of Fire on them and kill many enemies at once. If I don’t have a Rain of Fire available, then I go the the weapons bag (bottom right) and pull out the Freeze Rod to stop everyone in their tracks so that all my towers and reinforcements can kill them where they stand. This has helped me gain three stars through the majority of maps without having to start them again, but not always.
I really like tower defence games and this is one of the better ones I’ve played.
Everything, it’s all good!
Only one thing wrong with the game… it has to end. but thankfully, there is another! Kingdom Rush Frontiers.
5 out of 5
There’s nothing else for me to say.
Except… let me know what you think!