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On the surface, Kingdom Rush appears to be a run-of-the-mill tower defense game. It’s set in medieval times, features knights, ogres, bandits, and magical creatures, and requires you to place towers along an enemy’s path to prevent them from infiltrating your kingdom.
But its mastery takes place in the simple nature of its gameplay.
When starting a level, you have infinite time to set up your defense before starting the first wave of enemies. Players select a designated spot on the map and choose from one of four towers to place there; a barracks with foot soliders, an archer’s tower that rains down arrows, a mage’s tower that fires magic attacks, and an artillery tower that acts like a giant cannon. Each tower has a strategic advantage and will cost you a certain amount of gold. Gold is dropped by enemies and can be spent to build additional towers or level up your tower by making army units stronger. Later on, special towers with unique units will be made available and will provide a unique bit of help when battling enemies.
Upgrades are purchased through accumulating stars at the successful completion of each level and do everything from beef up your artillery units to giving you more gold. You’ll need them if you want to survive past the first few stages, as difficulty spikes unexpectedly early on.
Tap controls are easy and intuitive, and strategic planning is necessary if you want to thwart the waves of enemies who have weaknesses and resiliency to all the different units you might build.
Overall, Kingdom Rush is a fantastic tower defense game with a lot of content and well-crafted game design. Its easy to learn, but more than challenging enough, finding the perfect balance between making you feel all-powerful and humbling you when you make a mistake. Gameplay is addictive and refreshing, and it’s all wrapped up neatly in a lighthearted art style that will keep you coming back for more.