Game: Kingdom Rush Origins
Genre: Action | Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, iOS & Android)
Developers | Publishers: Ironhide Game Studio
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US E
Price: EU €12,99 | US $14.99 | UK £11.00
Release Date: September 17th 2020
Review code used, with many thanks to Ironhide Studios
The Kingdom Rush series has been one of the most popular tower defense franchises released on mobile, pc and consoles. That’s due to its introduction of action and real-time strategy elements with the summonable reinforcements, and the hero units that can be sent across the battlefield to help take care of any threats.
I’ve reviewed the other two games in the series on the Nintendo Switch, Kingdom Rush which you can find here. And Kingdom Rush Frontiers which can be found here.
Third Kingdom Rush
Kingdom Rush Origins is the third installment of the award-winning Kingdom Rush saga, where the storyline takes a trip back to the beginning before Vez’nan ever thought to threaten the kingdom with the gem of power.
Instead of playing the aggressor, in Kingdom Rush Origins you’re tasked with defending the falling elvish empire from Gnolls and Dark Elves. The Gnolls play like standard baddies in the Kingdom Rush series, while the Dark Elves behave like the lizard people in Frontiers. And you’ll have to deal with their teleporting and arrow-slinging behaviour.
There is a ton of content to delve into. Beyond the sizeable campaign which has four separate difficulty levels, ranging from casual to impossible. There’s a host of achievements to unlock as well. Plenty to keep die-hard TD fans busy and happy.
Towers To Upgrade
The game’s elements will feel pretty familiar to Kingdom Rush veterans, as many of the unit types follow a similar structure as they did before. Elf Archers, Mystic Mages, Stone Druids, and the Elven Infantry make up the backbone of your army. As before all Towers can be upgraded fully, adding in lots more variety for the player.
There are a number of new enemies along with different upgrades to play with. And sixteen new heroes with their own attacks and all sorts of the little tweaks and changes that series veterans will likely point out. Even down to the battlefield were a number of path designs changes during play, as new paths open unexpectedly during a stage. Making it even more important to pay attention to where the banners are to see where the enemies are marching toward!
The big change this time around, other than the brand new assortment of towers, enemies, and so forth is a new hero-specific major spell. Along with the normal reinforcements and thunderbolt powers, the hero has his own spell and it recharges the same way the other two powers do. The hero-specific spell varies in effect depending on the hero, such as a Catha’s Fairy Soul healing dust spell or the hero Arivan’s Seal of Fire.
This improvement adds a new level of complexity to choosing a hero, as their unique spell can completely change your approach. I also found the heroes to be better balanced in this game than in previous installments. In Kingdom Rush Origins switching heroes is now more about adapting to each of their strengths and weaknesses than it is about upgrading to better heroes as those become available.
Once you have beaten a stage and got three gold stars you have the option to replay the stage on a different mode. There’s Heroic Challenge and Iron Challenge, these new modes will give you different types of challenges, by modifying the waves of enemies, availability of heroes, and limiting tower selections.
Visuals and Controls
Kingdom Rush Origins has brilliant detail, colour, and animation in its graphics. It’s probably the best looking Kingdom Rush game out of the three that are available in the eShop. The levels are full of references to pop culture in the background art. The game is teeming with animated elements all over the place, including little random things that can be tapped on in the stages. All is backed up with a grand piece of music to accompany the player in the battles, along with enthusiastic battle cries from the defence towers.
Controls are a combination of touch screen and using the joy-cons and they both work equally well.
Kingdom Rush Origins keeps the familiar and fun game mechanics from the first two installments in the series. And with so many heroes to choose from with different skill sets to try out and challenge of the different modes, there is plenty to keep you busy.
I think that Origins feels more balanced than the others in the series and it’s also the best one. Kingdom Rush is quite possibly the most iconic Tower Defense game out there in the market. If you’re a fan of the series like I am there isn’t any reason why you wouldn’t love this edition to Kingdom Rush, just like I do.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up