Idly Tower: Kingdom Rush

By Jim Rossignol on January 14th, 2012 at 2:11 pm.


Yeah, so, at about 1pm a couple of people sent me a link to Kingdom Rush, a polished and artfully constructed browser-based tower defence game, and I’ve only just managed to tear away my mesmerised eyes from the screen to scribble something about it. I don’t know what it is about the TD formula, but I find it unspeakably compelling. That’s got to be wrong. Right? Anyway.

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33 Comments »

  1. skyturnedred says:

    Loving the graphics already! (staring at the screenshot only for now)

  2. Metonymy says:

    This has to be at least a year old, we even mentioned it in the comments a few times.

    Nice production values, nothing special otherwise. The limitation of tower placements is a great idea, but most maps require highly specific placement for 100%. Max your spammable mercs first, they’re much better than towers against anything but soldier killers.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      If they immediately checked out every batshit thing mentioned in the comments thread it’d take them four years to get through the puns alone…

    • rayne117 says:

      Are you saying that every RPS editor does not read all of my comments? Then why am I even posting?

  3. Klydefrog says:

    I saw this through a tweet and my initial thoughts went something like this:
    What’s this, another tower defence game? Pah! I’ve played enough of those thank you, this one doesn’t seem to have a unique gimmick to interest me. I’ll give it a go anyway.
    *over an hour later*
    Hm. Why can’t I stop playing this?

  4. LXM says:

    I absolutely love Kingdom Rush despite it being yet another iteration of basic tower defense. I think the look has a lot to do with it but it’s also just very well thought-out. I enjoyed it enough to 3-star everything in the flash version and then buy it again on iPad.

  5. Tuco says:

    Uhm, I played this months ago, anyway.
    When I saw this news I was hoping for a sequel or client-based version.

  6. pakoito says:

    Played it for a while, left it. Feels the same as all the others.

  7. Hendar23 says:

    I hate TD games general, but I heard so many good things about this I gave it a go. It’s certainly the best TD game I’ve seen. Nothing original, it’s just executed really well. I played for about half and hour, which is my personal record for TD games.

    I have an ipod touch, and I seriously think there must be an average of one TD game released per day on ios.

  8. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    I played it a year back – I agree I think it’s one of the best TD games. It’s really nicely put together.

    Even nicer that it’s a free flash game, would have happily paid some dosh for it.

  9. mrwout says:

    Productivity = gone

  10. mcwizardry says:

    Great production values, currently checking out all the available perks.

  11. rockman29 says:

    This game is amazing. I just lost my whole frigging morning… damn…. awesome game.

  12. Flimgoblin says:

    It’s really really well polished. Not really breaking out of the formula just doing one thing really well.

  13. Arathain says:

    It’s an awfully lovely example of the type. Upgrade your militia types to the maximum first, because their javelins are really useful.

    I really liked the final boss fight.

  14. Necroqubus says:

    Indeed, really polished game, neat graphic art, great music, solid gameplay and achievments (really important) !! Im not a tower defense game type player neither fan, but I enjoyed it anyway. One of the best browser – flash games Ive seen ^^.

    Oh, sorry, there is one problem. This game lacks top hats.

  15. Just Endless says:

    Just looking at the one screenshot, getting a major Pixeljunk Monsters vibe off it.

  16. field_studies says:

    I played this through on the ipad a couple weeks back. It’s deceptively (with all its cuteness) difficult. And that mechanic it has that lets you set the gathering point for tower-spawned troops is a nice difference (and a bit of micro-managing) from most other TD games.

    But I’ll go back to the discussion of the TD genre that Quinns had on Three Moves Ahead last year. I agree with them that it’s hard to get too excited about yet another TD game when you’re forced to play from the periphery. I’m not sure I’m quite as into Sanctum as they were, but the path-shaping mechanics of tower placement, as also seen well in Defence Grid, is where I’d like to see TD go. Either way TD is essentially a puzzle game, but at least the path-shaping adds another dimension to players’ choices.

    Though as long as we’re talking iOS TD, I do hope Jelly Defense makes its way into some PC-playable flash format. Equally cute and equally difficult as Kingdom Rush, it edges it out for its ridiculous music… sort of feels like Shugo Tokamura meets Bobby McFerrin, and then gets even stranger.

    • LXM says:

      I’ve just started playing Jelly Defense which was another one that grabbed me just with the visuals…and yes…very bizarre music..

    • cptgone says:

      fun game, but i agree it’s a shame there’s no path-shaping.
      apart from that, i love it (i don’t take any FPS in my TD, tyvm)

  17. Flobulon says:

    I hate you I hate you I hate you.
    I lost half a day to this bloody game.
    Gah.

    Thanks. I wasn’t planning to do anything productive anyway.

  18. mattjb says:

    Just a heads-up that there’s an iPad version too, which is even better for on-the-go TD:

    $2.99: http://appshopper.com/games/kingdom-rush

    It is a pretty exceptional TD. Just a few new mechanics, but mostly it’s just well-balanced and challenging. Most TD games aren’t very well-balanced, so it’s always nice to have one that feels polished throughout.

  19. vecordae says:

    Oh, yes. This one’s a gem. I’m not a huge fan of TD games, but this one had a real polish to it that I appreciated.

    I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because there really is plenty for you to do besides manage your towers. You can call in militia units ever few seconds (they do take off after a bit so you can’t swamp the board with ‘em), rain down fire, reposition barracks troops, and look for easter eggs and secret units by clicking on things on the map. Managing towers is kind of neat as well, with the their being two different high-level upgrade options for each tower type and multiple useful super-upgrades you can give them once they reach that point. Eventually you can upgrade your cannons to shoot homing missiles and cluster bombs or have your barracks spawn axe-hurling berzerkers instead of little peasant recruits. It seems kind of overpowered, but in practice, you’ll find that the enemy waves are sufficiently numerous to necessitate it in the late game.

    It really was a good time. I’d recommend that anyone who is remotely curious give it a shot. It’s free, afterall.

  20. Kefren says:

    This is taking up my morning, a lovely game, ta Jim. It’s the kind I would pay £1.99 for, no problems.

  21. apachebreak says:

    Two days on and off. I’m buggered if I can work out how to stop those Troll Champions on the Icewind Pass level. I’m almost at the point of pen and paper to carefully plan unit placements and upgrade schedule.

    *sob*

    • jjujubird says:

      “Two days on and off. I’m buggered if I can work out how to stop those Troll Champions on the Icewind Pass level. I’m almost at the point of pen and paper to carefully plan unit placements and upgrade schedule.

      *sob*”

      if you read the little tips they are actually pretty helpful. If you know the level has trolls it’s best to clump up your towers at first so that the trolls die before they can regenerate. If your towers are spaced then the first tower will hit the trolls but they will have regen’d before they get to the others.

      I find the necromancers (and sometimes the demon lords who shield their demon allies) can be the trickiest enemies. You have no way to tell the towers “DPS the necros first!”, so really all you can do is place reinforcements/rally soldiers right on top of them and hope they target them and not their skellies. In the last level where they become a real issue, any kind of aoe (knight holy dmg aoe upg or cannonneer lightning upg) is your friend.

    • the_p says:

      The level 4 wizard teleporty thing is very, very useful (although not on the J.T. stage) as it gives the towers just before Senor Teleport another chance to zap, kick and arrow stab whatever you’ve just beamed up.

      Aside from that, high level reinforcements, what with the spear throwing, are pretty good. The barracks is always a bit shit, it seems. Maybe not. Someone tell me it’s not. It seems to be.

  22. jjujubird says:

    This is SUCH a well-made game. Every game I play there are a good number of things that make me think “I would have done x and y differently” (even really good games) but this game has -almost- none of those.

    I got to the last level last night (after probably 5-6? hours, only had to replay a couple of the later levels) and killed everything and then was about to relax in my victory over the big bad. Except when he died he transformed into a dragon and his hp went back up to 6666 :( Couldn’t kill him before he made it through. Pondering whether I want to try the level again with my current build or just start over.

    The one thing in this game I would change is the 2 boss fights. The problem is that they punish you for playing a certain way: if you have a lot of talent points invested in strengthening your soldiers you’re kind of boned because these bosses just 1 shot any group of soldiers instantly, regardless of their hp or armor.

    • tremulant says:

      I too found myself hindered by poorly planned upgrades, so it’s nice that you can scrub them and re-allocate all of your stars at any point, i’d considered restarting until i noticed the reset button on the upgrades screen.

  23. Tyyr says:

    Does anyone know who made the soundtrack for this game? The music gives me some serious “The Witcher” vibes