The fourth title in the Kingdom Rush series carries on the torch admirably. If you’re looking for a solid tower defense, Vengeance is one of the best out there.
Genre: Strategy, Action
Developer: Ironhide Game Studio
Publisher: Ironhide Game Studio
Release date: 15 October, 2020
Tower defense is a genre that I thought I would never be able to get into. It wasn’t until I played Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten that I realized that there was plenty of potential when developers did their best to build on and innovate from the simpler models of the past. That’s not to say that it isn’t a struggle to find these hidden gems though, as only Defender’s Quest and Kingdom Rush have ever really hit the nail on the head for me. I’m always open to suggestions for new ones to give a shot though so don’t be shy with the recommendations!
Chaos, Wave by Wave
As with most tower defense titles, Kingdom Rush Vengeance is made up of a series of levels. Each level consists of paths that the enemies travel on, predetermined spots that you can build upon, and a variety of enemy types. You’re only allowed a certain number of enemies that make it from the entrance of their path to the exit and your goal is to kill them off before they can make their journey. It’s easier said than done, especially when every once in a while you’ll deal with a boss that must be killed or you’ll lose and have to start the entire level over. Fortunately, each dead enemy is a batch of coins in your pocket that can be used to further bolster your defenses.
Every level is a surprisingly different experience in this title. Although those core components are always there, it’s amazing how much of a difference rearranging them or throwing in an additional element here or there can make. One map may be a desolate wasteland while another is a snow and ice covered tundra with ice that must be dealt with to build on the spots that it’s covering. The variety of enemies is impressive as well, with multiple factions to be encountered, each with at least half a dozen different units to complicate matters, including those that can fly, attack from a range, or freeze your defenders, to name a few.
An Assortment of Tools
Though the enemy is many and your forces are few, you’ve got several significant advantages that can swing things in your favor if you use them wisely. Towers are your primary tool for wrecking and/or inconveniencing the assaulting force. There’s a crazy number of these, each working in a different enough way that they’re exciting. Attack speed, damage, status effects, and whether they do magical or physical damage are all factors in how effective they are against your foes. One tower may fire rapidly at single targets while another hits the entire area surrounding it and in each scenario you’ll have to decide which are best suited for the job.
Heroes are also a powerful asset that you have at your disposal. Though you are only able to bring one into the fray, they’re incredibly powerful and can easily outmatch a handful of towers at higher levels. Their mobility allows you to maneuver them where they’re needed and a plethora of special abilities lets them really bring the hurt to the enemy. Excitingly enough, there are over a dozen of these, all of which have wildly varying strengths and weaknesses. Whether it’s a burly orc or a terrifying necromancer, your bases are covered.
Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the latest of the series and it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re a fan of tower defense games with progression, this one is likely to keep your interest for a while. As is normal for these titles, I only played a level or two at a time before I was satisfied with it for a bit, but I kept coming back for more. The combination of level and enemy variety, heroes who get progressively stronger, a long list of towers, and upgrades to tie it all together works well and few in the genre stick out as much in my mind as this one. If you’re looking for more tower defense, Kingdom Rush Vengeance has you covered.