For those that don’t know, I’m not very much into tower defense games. I find the gameplay often stale, with too much setup and not enough involvement during the action. Of late, the only tower defense game I’ve really tried is Happy Wars, free for the Xbox 360 and more on the action side of things, but not very good. Unless Microsoft has fixed all the server connecting issues, which I’ve not gone back to check on.
Also for those that don’t know, I’m on a 10-day juicing fast. It’s for health and mentality reasons and mostly so I can fit into all my now-too-tight XL shirts for the spring and summer, and I’m going to be drawing some wee journal comics along the way, like so:
You can check out more comics by following my Tumblr or Facebook page.
Anyways, what does building towers and drinking vegetable juice have to do with one another? Not much, really. I just needed a game to play on my lunch hour to distract me from the hungry grumbling coming from my stomach. Enter Kingdom Rush. Which is, for all intents and purposes, a tower defense game, but one with enough style and cartoonish behaviors that I found myself enraptured in it, getting up to level 6 or 7 after an hour of clicking around. I’m playing the free browser-based version, by the way, which is available here.
In this one, you construct towers in specific locations to try to stop waves of enemies that move on a linear path from reaching the other end of the map. There are four types of towers–archery, magic, barracks, and boulder-tossing–and each tower itself can be upgraded multiple times in several different ways. This allows for quick customization and flexibility in how you want to slay the line of bandits and spiders heading your way. Coupled with that, you have two special abilities that come with cool-down timers: sending in reinforcements and summoning a meteor shower attack. These are vital for stalling enemy units or even wiping the map clean at the very last second.
Each map I’ve played so far in Kingdom Rush has had more waves of enemies and introduces newer enemy types and mechanics in a satisfyingly gradual way. I’ve never felt overwhelmed or even out of control, and of the seven levels, I only ended up letting a few guys past on two or three of them. If you gets three stars on a level, you can replay it to earn more stars, but only under specific restrictions, like no archery towers and so on. These kind of modifiers are great for replaying old levels in new ways.
I dunno. I’m digging it. Especially its look and sound, and any game that gives me a beastiary is on track to being amazing in my book. There are other aspects I’ve not yet gotten to experience, like proper boss battles and hiring heros and exploring the skill trees more, but there’s no rush. Well, there’s Kingdom Rush. But I’ll see it all in due time, especially if it keeps me from not eating bad food during this juice fast. Especially then.