Game Saturday: Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Kingdom Rush Frontiers is the sequel of the award winning tower defense game Kingdom Rush which I reviewed in 2011.
If you follow my Game Saturday series you probably know by now that I like tower defense games a lot. I reviewed lots of them in the past including smash hits such as Protector IV, Cursed Treasure 2, or Incursion 2.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Kingdom Rush Frontiers play similarly to Kingdom Rush. The game uses a fixed tower position and path system which is the most popular option right now when it comes to tower defense games.
The game starts on the world map and you return to the map after each battle. Battles play out similarly to other tower defense games for the most part.
You start with a bit of gold and may use the gold to build one of four available basic towers in any slot that is provided on the map. Placement options are limited and tower placement is one of the mostÂ important strategic decisions that you make in the game.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers supports four different tower types: barracks deploy soldiers on the ground that you can move around in the vicinity of the tower. Then there are archer towers that shoot arrows, magic towers that shoot magic, and dwarven bombard towers that throw bombs at enemies.
How effective attacks are depends on the enemies. Some have magic resistance that reduce the effectiveness of magic attacks while others may be armored which reduces the impact that arrows have.
Towers have different ranges and shooting frequencies, and you have to take all of that into consideration when placing them.
Basic towers can be upgrade multiple times and you may pick a specialization after two basic upgrades. These upgrade options become available slowly while you play the game; you cannot upgrade a basic archer tower to a crossbow fort, one of the advanced towers, in the first level for instance. The first advanced towers become available in level four and even more powerful versions of those towers in later levels.
The Crossbow Tower comes with two special abilities that you need to buy to unlock.Â The first improves the attack range of nearby towers, the second fires a barrage of bolts at the enemy whenever the ability is ready.
Barracks are special as they unlock three different abilities for special unit types. Assassins may improve their doge chance, unlock sneak attacks which ignore armor, or get the pickpocket ability to steal from enemy units while they attack them.
Advanced towers have special abilities, better range, and they do more damage or recruit better units.
Good placement of towers and the right upgrades at the right time are just one of the strategic decisions that you make in the game.
Heroes play a big part as well. You control a hero which may move freely around on the battlefield. Heroes are powerful but not invincible soldiers that come with a whole array of abilities.
You start the game with the melee hero Alric who is quite the resilient melee fighter. Each hero gains experience when in battle and you may spend skill points awarded during level up to unlock new abilities or strengthen existing ones.
For Alric that could mean improving his basic attack damage or maximum health, or unlocking special abilities such as furry which attacks enemies twice in rapid succession or sand warriors which summons sand warriors to fight alongside Alric.
Only three of the available characters unlock while you play the game. If you enable online save on Armorgames, you get access to another six characters. Online save slots are provided for all signed in users on the site.
But there is more. You earn skill points when you complete levels; up top three depending on how many lives you lost. Skill points can be invested in tower and skill upgrades. You can increase the range of magic towers, improve the armor of soldiers, or unlock the stun ability of the dwarven tower.
Skills can be reset at any time so that you can experiment and see what works best for you or a particular level.
Some levels have special events attached to them. When you play level 5, the pirate ship level, there is an event where part of the level is altered which unlocks a new way for enemies to attack you.
There are other types of events. The pirate ship fires its cannons at your units and a big sandworm roams another level eating your units and enemy units alike whenever it emerges.
The enemies are versatile and range from cannon fodder units to casters that may summon undead and giants that are hard to take down because they stomp your weaker units with a single swing.
Your hero requires some micro managing. While heroes are resurrected when they die, you may not want to reach that point as it takes a bit of time before they are revived. Dead heroes don't earn experience either which is another reason why you want to avoid that at all costs.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers features boss units that you need to defeat to proceed from time to time. While you won't face a boss in each level, you will face them regularly throughout the game.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers is a well designed tower defense game that does not reinvent the genre but introduces more variety to the genre which is always good. You have to make quite a few choices when playing the game especially when it comes to hero selection, leveling up, and placing towers effectively on the map.
The game is available as a Flash version but also as mobile versions for iOS and Android, and on Steam.Advertisement