Kingdom Rush Origins HD (iOS) Review

Ned Jordan
In Short
More of the same, but that's a good thing.

Award of Excellence Kingdom Rush Origins is the third game in the Kingdom Rush series of tower defense games, and for the most part it's more of the same. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the Kingdom Rush games have been some of the most enjoyable games that I've played in the very crowded tower defense genre. However, it does mean that if you've played these games before then you can expect Origins to be more of an extension of the franchise than a complete sequel.

I enjoy tower defense games, but one of the things that I don't like about many of them is that you often reach a point in their levels when you've built all of the towers that you're going to build and are just relegated to sitting back and watching the level play out on its own. That never happens in Kingdom Rush Origins ' you have to be an active participant to the very end or you'll have no chance of surviving the level. The number of enemies you'll face will be too much for your towers to handle on their own, you'll need to direct your hero character to where he or she is needed the most, make use of reinforcement troops, cast powerful spells, and utilize the special defenses inherent to each level. And while you're doing all of that you'll need to account for the types of enemies that you're facing and their special abilities, because different ones will require different tactics. The battles are also dynamic ' you may find the enemy opening up a new pathway halfway through a battle or encounter a new enemy who can take a shortcut through your defenses. Every level feels like a close battle all the way to the finish, and I love both the challenge and the fact that I need to be completely engaged all the way until the last enemy is cut down.

If you survive a level, then you'll earn from one to three stars based on how well you did. You can also replay each of the levels at two higher difficultly levels, each of which places increasing levels of restrictions on you such as limiting the tower upgrade levels or preventing you from using a type of tower entirely. Since the stars that you earn in the levels are used to purchase upgrades for your towers and powers, it's a good idea to replay any levels that you didn't receive a three star rating after playing it the first time through. You're free to spend the upgrade points as you like, so you can concentrate on increasing the power, range, and special bonuses for a single tower class, or go for a more balanced approach.

Heroes also have their own upgrade paths, but these are tied to their experience level. Experience is gained in the traditional RPG way, killing monsters, and when you level up you'll be able to purchase new abilities or upgrade existing ones. While you can direct heroes to a spot on the map they fight autonomously, so you'll need to select the skills that will influence your heroes' behaviors to your liking. Heroes will fight to the death, but since they will return after a little wait you needn't worry about constantly tracking their current health level. The game comes with several heroes, so you can see which one you like best or choose which one you think will be best for a given level. There are also more powerful heroes available for a price, but you'll be able to make your way through the game by playing smart and won't need the extra muscle if you don't want to make any IAPs.

Like its predecessors, Origins features a great animated art style that gives each hero, unit, and enemy in the game great personality and makes the maps very appealing. Pay attention to the maps and you'll see that they are packed with little details that make references to nerd culture favorites, from the obvious (the teddy bear-like Awok warriors) to the more subtle (can you name that Gallic menhir deliveryman at work in the corner of one of the levels?).

In summary, Kingdom Rush Origins is more of the same, but that same is really good. If you've never played a Kingdom Rush game and enjoy tower defense, then you'll love Origins. If you've loved Kingdom Rush in the past, you'll keep on loving it, but if you feel like you've 'been there, done that' you may want to skip this iteration in the series.

Final Rating: 90%

Transmitted: 10/26/2020 4:14:05 AM