This post is rather past due, as the games I am about to mention were released many years ago.
I’m a big fan of tower defense games. They’re my favorite game genre, especially when it comes to mobile or iPad gaming. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should definitely check out these games, if you haven’t already.
A friend introduced me to Kingdom Rush many years ago. It was made way back in 2011. I didn’t know about it at the time. I originally played the game on my phone, and then later on my iPad. (The iPad versions of the Kingdom Rush game series are named with “HD”.) The game is also available on other platforms, including Steam. I haven’t played it on other platforms, so I can’t speak to the game experiences there.
Kingdom Rush is fantastic! It’s probably my favorite mobile game, ever. The graphics, special effects, and witty audio are all beautifully crafted. The game progression and path to equipment upgrades are very well calculated. In Normal playing mode, the difficulty is not too easy, but also not too hard. It’s balanced to be just right, with steady advancement while continuing to be very challenging.
A couple of years after the original game, Kingdom Rush game developer, Ironhide, developed a sequel called “Kingdom Rush Frontiers.” Frontiers is equally as great as the original, and also incorporates some fun new elements. I definitely recommend it, along with the original Kingdom Rush.
This brings me to the third game in the series, “Kingdom Rush Origins.” I recently discovered it in the App Store a couple of months ago, but to my surprise, it was released back in 2014. Origins is a prequel in the series. The game has the same layout and concept as the first two, but with different weapons, graphics, and sound effects. Since it is a prequel to the other games, the weaponry is more primitive and simplistic. Their approach is quite creative, but I find the Origins game to be rather frustrating. It is simply too hard.
After the first few introductory levels, the difficulty increases too much, too fast. The number of plots available to construct towers seems unreasonably limited. After a few minor successes, unpredicted enemies simply steamroll through the village, that seemingly no amount of weapon deployments and upgrades can put a dent in. At other times, enemies appear that disable your defense towers for a period of time, allowing even more armies of enemies to march right past unscathed. Such difficult scenarios should only occur in the latest stages of the game — not near the beginning, or the middle. This brings a level of frustration that makes Origins a nuisance to play.
While I wholeheartedly recommend Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers, I really cannot recommend Origins. It feels as if the game is nearly unwinnable with the tools they have provided. Your mileage may vary, but this was my experience. The difficulty was increased beyond the limit of enjoyment.
It is worth mentioning that none of these games are free. Each (mobile version) costs several dollars each. I personally have no problem with that. I’m perfectly willing to pay for a good quality game that provides hours of entertainment. My only gripe about that is when you purchase a game upfront but still they later encourage you to make additional in-app purchases to maintain a competitive edge in the game. Such, I believe is the case with Origins. That is why I can’t recommend that branch of the series.
Looking forward, I have read news online that the game developer Ironhide had announced in 2017 that they were working on a fourth installment to the series. However, as of this writing in July 2018, I haven’t been able to find any further information about what that will be, or whether the game will actually come to fruition.