Game: Kingdom Rush Frontiers
Genre: Action| Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam and Mobile)
Developers|Publishers: Ironhide Game Studios
Age Rating: EU 7| USA E10+| AUS PG
Price: USA $14.99|CA $15.95|AUS $19.50|£11.99|€12.99
Release Date: 27th February 2020
Review code used many thanks Ironhide Game Studios
Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers where originally mobile games, I’ve played both of the games before on mobile. So when Kingdom Rush Frontiers Nintendo Switch review code was up for grabs, I jumped at the chance to play one of my favorite Tower Defence games on my favorite system.
If you have played either of the Kingdom Rush games before you will know that they are some of the best Tower Defense games around. And that hasn’t changed with the porting of the game to the Nintendo Switch.
As a Tower Defence game it’s your assignment as defender of Linirea to protect your home base of HammerHold from the evil forces that are approaching in waves. You place defensive towers in predetermined spots along the route that the invading army will follow. Every one of the bad guys that you kill will net you some cash which in turn allows you to purchase more Towers or upgrade your existing Towers.
Which to Chose
There are four different types of Towers to chose from: Archer, Militia Barracks, Mage and Dwarven Bombard. You can upgrade each of the Towers even farther, allowing you to increase their firing power or turn your Guards into Assassins.
So which will you chose? Archer Towers are fast firing but they inflict little damage, although they are good for clearing out those waves of weak and flying monsters. Wizard Towers and their attendant Mages are slow firing, armour piercing snipers. Militia are your soldiers who spawn from the barracks which gives you a trio of soldiers to place between the enemy and your base.
Towers can be upgraded and each upgrade also improves it’s fire power. For example, an Archer tower can be upgraded to a Marksman fort which has a rapid-fire attack and larger firing range. Or it can be upgraded to a Sharpshooter Tower with high damage and fast fire. Barracks turn into Footman Towers with Knights or mighty Templar’s as your soldier options. The Mage Tower starts of with fairly weak attacks but with enough gold it becomes an Adept Tower or a Necromancer Crypt which can raise the slain enemies as loyal Skeleton Warriors.
Heroes To Unlock
There are Sixteen Heroes to chose from, once they have all been unlocked of course, as you only start with one. You can place the Hero anywhere in the path of the on coming waves of monsters. Heroes can also be upgraded by increasing their Skills in the Hero Room and each Hero has a special ability, such as Shadow Dance, which sends out Shadows to strike down nearby monsters. Or try out Kahz and use his ability to increase the attack power of all the towers for a few seconds. There are plenty of Tower upgrades and Heroes to play around with to suit any strategy play style.
Once your Towers are in place and firing at the hordes of evil monsters, your task is to place your Hero where ever they are most needed to defend your base. You also have a few powers at your disposal. A quick tap of the Fire icon on the bottom of the screen will bring a rain of fire balls crashing down on top of the enemy. A press of the crossed sword icon will give you three extra soldiers for a limited amount of time to help in fighting the never ending waves of monsters.
There is a good variation in the enemies you face, from Giant Flying Wasps which can only be shot down by archers to Lizard Men and Desert Sand Worms. They are just a few of the over sixty monsters that make an appearance. Some monsters are immune to magic and some monsters can even teleport to a different place on the path which throws a different strategy into the mix for the player to adapt to.
Mini bosses play their part in Kingdom Rush Frontiers too, they can be unpredictable and carve a new undefended path for themselves to approach your base from, leaving you scrambling to place towers down to stop them.
Visuals, Controls and No Zoom
Kingdom Rush Frontiers has a lovely bright cartoon style animation. Environments change as you move through the levels, from lush green forests to dry sandy Deserts and you even visit some underground caves.
All of this is accompanied by an atmospheric musical tracks, with the added effects of lots of calls of “To Battle” and ” For Honor and Glory” from the Tower defenders and your ground troops.
The game controls by using the Joy-Cons and there are Touchscreen controls included. Both control systems preform well, placing Towers using the Touchscreen works smoothly and seamlessly. All the action on-screen is from a fixed camera point of view. I would have preferred the option to be able to zoom in closer as it can be hard to distinguish some of the enemies. They are quite tiny as they march along the paths. Other than that one niggle the game runs perfectly fine on the Nintendo Switch.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers is a classic Tower Defence game, that has been ported to the Nintendo Switch with all its charm, fun, enjoyable and frantic gameplay intact. If you were to buy Kingdom Rush Frontiers on mobile, all of the premium content such as the additional Heroes would be locked behind a paywall. That would be far more expensive in the long run than buying the full game on the Nintendo Switch.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot