I don’t spend a lot of time playing games on my iPad or iPhone. I’ll buy a handful each year and maybe get really interested in a couple of them. It’s rare that a game captures my imagination for more than a couple days.
But for the last three weeks, I’ve been loving Armor Games’ Kingdom Rush. I bought it despite several Internet warnings that it was hopelessly addictive. I can report, after three weeks or nearly constant play, that is absolutely true. If you buy this game, you will get hooked.
What’s so great about it? At first glance, it’s just another Tower Defense game; i.e. you face waves of attackers that you must arrange defensive forces against. Kingdom Rush comes with the twist of being set in a medieval/fantasy environment. It’s basically a D&D spin on classic TD games. You fight off orcs, goblins, trolls, gargoyles, spiders, and other assorted magical creatures.
Your defenses are a combination of infantry, artillery, magicians, and archers. Using your initial budget, you set up your defenses, summon the attackers, and start earning more gold to buy additional structures and upgrade your original ones. As long as you keep killing the attacking forces, you keep earning exciting new ways to destroy them.
It’s a pretty basic concept and, honestly, I never understood why this type of game is so addictive. And then I played Kingdom Rush. There’s something about those rolling waves of attackers, those brief moments of rest, and the ability to see your weak points and correct them during the game that sucks you in. Also, you get a bit of a rush from dropping a Rain of Fire spell on a swarm of attacking monsters. Just when you think you have it set up the way you want, a zombie slips through, you die, and you think, “OK, one more game.” Two hours later you’re still doing that.
That’s been me for the past three weeks.
There is also the clever combination of strategy and tactics, neither particularly heavy, that makes the game difficult to ‘solve’. The game gets tougher as your skills improve. It never gets boring because there is always something new popping up. There are 12 basic levels that can be played at two different difficulty settings. Solve those and two bonus levels pop up. In addition, there are a pair of one-off scenarios at each level.
Put it all together and there are weeks of fun packed into this game. Oh, and the 99 cent price tag makes it a terrific bargain.
Thus, I highly recommend Kingdom Rush. But be warned: once you start playing, you may find it difficult to stop.