19
Jun
13

iPad Game Review: Kingdom Rush Frontiers

I was pretty fired up when I found out that Ironhide Studios was making a sequel to Kingdom Rush, because as a general rule game sequels (unlike movie sequels) are almost always better than their predecessors.

Making a game better than one of the best iPad games I’ve ever played is no easy feat. If you haven’t played Kingdom Rush, do yourself a favour. It is honestly one of the tightest games I’ve ever played.

Could Kingdom Rush: Frontiers top its predecessor? Could lightning strike the same flippin game twice? The answer is a resounding YES from your Tiger Pal, and here’s why…

First off to the uninitiated, KR:F is a classic tower defence game where you build defences on designated building sites along a pathway with the aim of destroying any bad guys walking along that pathway before they get to the end point.

 

 

It’s a simple premise, but trust me, shit ramps up pretty fast and before you know it, you’re elbows-deep in strategy, trying to figure out the most effective way to take the bad guys down and prevent them from bulldozing a path through your defences.

As with the first KR, you can choose one of four basic towers to build: Archers, Barracks, Mages and Dwarven Artillery.

Each has its own merits and weaknesses, adhering to classic gaming archetypes (ie. archers are quick but deal out low damage, barracks produce soldiers that can take punishment but also deal low damage, mages deal high damage but are slow and dwarves deal the highest damage but are the slowest).

What makes the game highly addictive though are the vicious enemies the developers think up to throw one spanner after the next into your carefully thought-out defence strategy and the awesome way the towers upgrade.

 

 

After you’ve upgraded a tower three times, you get the option of changing it into one of two specialist towers. The new specialist towers in KR:F are:

  • The Assassin’s Guild and the Knights Templar for the Barracks
  • The Crossbow Fort and the Windwalkers Totem for the Archer Tower
  • The Necromancer Tower and the Archmage Tower for the Mage Tower
  • The Battle-Mecha T-200 and the DWAARP for the Dwarven Artillery

Once you’ve created a specialist tower, it can be further enhanced with a number of special abilities to kick some serious bad guy ass.

The Crossbow Fort for example can be given the special ability to fire multiple flaming arrows at enemies, it’s like a burst of baddie-annihilating machinegun fire.

The Windwalkers Totem can be given special abilities that amplify damage and remove any magical spells the bad guys cast on their henchmen to make them more powerful.

It’s a water-tight system made even more awesome because of the incredible attention to detail Ironhide has put into this game. Finish a level having let 2 or less bad guys through and you get three stars which you can use to boost your various  towers’ abilities even further.

This gives you more than enough incentive to keep at the levels until you ace them and to play the levels at the two higher difficulty levels (Heroic and Iron Challenge) for an additional two stars.

What’s great about KR:F is that they’ve overhauled the entire Hero system and made it MUCH better than in the original KR game (you can choose one hero to fight alongside your army who typically deals a shiteload of damage and is a huge asset).

 

 

This time around, your Hero levels up steadily throughout the game instead of only levelling up during a level and then starting from level 1 again on the next level. Also, as they level up they get skill points you can assign to different abilities to make them even more badass.

What I also liked about KR:F is that there are six new non-upgradeable towers that are available on different levels where you can buy everything from genies to legionnaires to corsairs and Spear Maidens.

They’ve also introduced a lot of fun, random things into the game like a monkey on one of the levels that throws bananas at the bad guys, a giant desert worm that surfaces periodically on one of the levels and devours anything (good guys and bad guys alike) in its path and giant man-eating carnivorous plants on another level.

They levels play out first in desert setting, moving to uncharted jungle and ending in underground caves full of crocodile-men out to fuck your shit up.

 

 

It’s a great game by anyone’s standards. My only complaint are the goddamn in-game purchases which, in some instances, cost more than the game itself.

There are currently 9 Heroes in the release version of the game of which three are unlockable and the other six you have to buy. There is also a shop available for idiots who need to buy things like dynamite and nukes to help them finish the levels (granted, they do get VERY tricky, but c’mon! There is no excuse for buying stuff so you can finish the game quicker, it doesn’t make logical sense – you’re paying to finish a game faster and ultimately, enjoy it for a shorter period of time).

I think they should unlock more heroes or bring down the cost to buy them. The best hero available, the dragon Ashbite, costs $6.99! What a joke!

That aside, you’ll still get plenty enjoyment out of the three unlockable Heroes in the game, so buying additional ones is not essential to completing the game in any way.

The game costs $2.99 for the normal version and $4.99 for the HD version from the iStore.

Final verdict: 9/10

-ST


0 Responses to “iPad Game Review: Kingdom Rush Frontiers”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge