Alan Pope: Kingdom Rush

Last week I posted about my guilty collection of unplayed games in Digital Hoarding: Gaming Edition. In short, I have a ton of games I’ve bought over the years and never played, even once. I set myself an internal goal to play more of the games I already have, and reign in my game purchasing.

I used the dynamic collection feature of Steam to show me the unplayed games, sorted by their steam review score. The idea being I want to play games that are actually likely to be fun. I don’t doubt I have very many good games, but I bet I have the odd stinker in there too. Might as well start at the top.

Steam

I picked Kingdom Rush, because I’m a sucker for tower defence games, it’s near the top, and looks pretty. It appears I picked up this game in a Humble Bundle some years ago. All good things come to those who wait.

Kingdom Rush

You start out with the map of villages, castles, forests and streams and mountains to navigate. This acts as the level selection / progress and ‘Hero’ management screen. The first level is pretty easy, but they get successively harder as you make progress. It’s much like any tower defence genre game. Enemies make their way along fixed paths from the entrance(s) to the exit.

Map

Your goal is to place weaponry at strategic points beside the path to prevent the perpetual pavement passage. A limited initial allocation of coins means only a few turrents can be deployed at the start. With each enemy destroyed you’re rewarded with more money to spend on additional turrets or upgrades to existing ones.

Starting

You can also call upon a pair of eager volunteers conscripts to drop into the field and help battle the hoards. With limited protection and poor weapons, they don’t last long, especially against some of the larger enemies. They slow them down enough for you to get some projectile shots in from a turret though. Good sacrifice, lads!

There’s a ten second cool-down after conscript deployment though. So you have to time their deployment just right. There’s also a rain of fire you can drop on monsters in an emergency, which has an even longer cool-down period, so I use that sparingly!

Each turret has multiple levels of upgrade after which there’s specialist improvements available. In between rounds on the map screen it’s possible to unlock further upgrades for each turret type, and select a ‘Hero’ for the next level.

Upgrades

The heroes have special abilities and strengths. Choose wisely! You only get one for each level, although they can recover during a round if they get knocked off by the enemies.

Heroes

The levels get progressively harder, with multiple entrances to cover, larger groups of enemies, and bigger monsters to vanquish. Some levels need to be played a few times to get the hang of the rounds of beasties and lay out the turrets in the most optimal way. It’s very fun.

Nearly there

Completing a level gives a great sense of satisfaction. The stars can be used to unlock the upgrades seen earlier. Come out of a level with fewer enemies passing the gates to get more stars.

Victory

The perfectionist in me wants to complete every level and get all the stars. The terrible player in me makes sure that doesn’t happen though. I’ve clocked up five and a half hours of Kingdom Rush, which has nudged it from “unplayed” to the top 40 of all games I’ve played on the platform.

I am glad I chose this as my first “unplayed” game to have a go at. It’s super fun to pass an hour of time relaxing after work. I’ll likely keep playing this for a while, trying fruitlessly to get those elusive stars.

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