App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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The original Kingdom Rush pretty much took the tower defense world by storm. Our own Greg Dawson thought very highly of it, in fact. Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is meant to deliver more of the same, with an emphasis on “more.” More towers, more heroes, more levels, and so on. But is more necessarily better? Actually it doesn’t really matter when the core experience is so awesome.
Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is more or less the same kind of slightly quirky tower defense that fans of the original have come to expect. For the unfamiliar that means lots of funky upgradeable towers with branching development paths, high powered hero units that can turn the tide of a desperate battle, hordes of enemies designed to make a number of tactics seem ineffective, and a ton of humorous references to other video games. Players can construct towers on specific points, use coins earned by slaying enemies to improve them or even evolve them, then hope like heck they’ve planned ahead well enough because the game has a tendency to throw a few curve balls such as massive enemies creating new paths to guard partway through a level. They can also use points earned while playing to upgrade their towers’ effectiveness and teach their hero new skills.
I never got around to playing the original, but after spending only a few minutes with Kingdom Rush: Frontiers I can see what all the fuss is about. The emphasis on barracks to both delay and sometimes damage enemies is a great way to mix up the typical genre formula, and the plethora of tower upgrades and development paths really make the strategic possibilities feel a lot more open. I’m a particularly big fan of upgrading to the Assassin’s Guild and training a bunch of bonus skills so my meatshields can do tons of damage and steal additional coins from enemies.
About the only problem I have with Kingdom Rush: Frontiers is the same issue Greg had with the original: it can get pretty tough. Especially when giant worms start randomly popping up from the sand and eating soldiers or cannons start to bombard my troops. Of course that’s just a reason to immediately jump back in and try a different strategy.
Kingdom Rush: Frontiers doesn’t revolutionize the series, but that’s okay because it doesn’t really need to be. All the new stuff should be enough to interest long time fans, and even if it isn’t there’s still plenty of that crazy Ironhide tower defense madness to enjoy for veterans and newcomers alike.