Kingdom Rush Origins Review

Kingdom Rush Origins Review

The magic continues.

Kingdom Rush Origins
Release Date
October 17, 2018
Developer
Ironhide Game Studio
Platforms
Steam, Android, iOS
Reviewed on:
Steam

Kingdom Rush Origins is special. Not only does it bring fans to the narrative beginnings of the Kingdom Rush franchise, but it does so in a way that is absolutely remarkable. At first glance, one might think that Origins is an iterative improvement over the games in the series that came before it. That simply wouldn’t be doing the game justice. Ironhide Game Studio has taken their original tower defense formula and perfected it in their latest Steam release, Kingdom Rush Origins.

From the game’s onset, you are greeted by a wonderfully artistic world map that serves as the player’s guide through the game and its missions. I sat stunned for a few moments just taking in the view of the world of Origins, and that appreciation for the art of the game has not faltered in my time with the game. This game looks and feels incredible. Watching the chaotic action unfold at a steady 60 frames per second is a treat, and the sheer amount of attention to detail in each and every character, enemy, and animation is a wonder to behold. It’s the kind of game where screenshots simply do not do it justice, and seeing it in full motion reveals the level of craft involved in every pixel’s design.
Kingdom Rush Origins Review Battle
Nothing can prepare you for a massive spider disabling your towers mid-battle! Well, more towers I guess.
The impressive visual style is more than just the art though. Within each and every stage are interactive elements for you to discover. Whether they be magical plants that sprout enemy-seeking missiles or floating crystals that freeze enemies in place, the on-board interactive flora and fauna serve to aid you in your quest to defeat each stages’ waves of invaders. A well-timed click of a magical plant could be the difference between finishing with 3-stars, or perhaps even beating the stage at all. On the Origins’ normal difficulty setting, which is ultimately quite challenging, not using the plants/crystals effectively will put you at a serious disadvantage.

 

Kingdom Rush Origins Review Simon Says
Simon Says? Love this little guy!
Perhaps my favorite interactive on-board elements are those that aren’t even particularly gameplay relevant at all. I did my best to save as many dwarfs as I could, as they continuously hopped in barrels and headed over a waterfall. There’s even a little gnome who sits patiently waiting for you to play simon-says with him during one of the endgame stages, where he rewards you with a small sum of gold whenever you complete the pattern correctly. These things to some people may seem like minor additions to the game, but I cannot stress enough how well the entire package comes together in Kingdom Rush Origins. Everything I have mentioned above has its role in pulling you deeper into the Kingdom Rush world, and the amount of care that went into designing each and every interactive element in the game is evident.

 

One of the best elements of Kingdom Rush Origins is the strategic depth found in earning stars, and placing them into the tower and skills talent-tree. This provides the player with a sense of progression, and incentivizes¬†the player to do their best to earn each stages’ maximum of three stars. More importantly, it allows each player to customize their strategy to their liking. I tend to appreciate the power of the lightning active ability, and so I usually upgrade that first, followed by the barracks, and then the archers. This has been my winning strategy since the original Kingdom Rush, and I can’t help but continue that here in Origins. If I had to suggest an area of improvement, however, I would have appreciated that after a level is complete (or even before, really), you’d be able to see upfront what types of enemies you will be encountering. This would allow for the player to upgrade the towers they feel would be most effective in advance, instead of putting all of your stars into the mage towers and discovering mid-mission that most the enemies are magic resistant. Of course, that just means that you should be diverse in your upgrades, but still, that could be a potentially positive quality-of-life change in the game.
Kingdom Rush Origins Review Heroes
Heroes are a great addition to Kingdom Rush’s tower defense formula.

Ongoing Support

The Steam release of Kingdom Rush Origins includes all of the original release’s content, including heroes. The heroes are unlocked as you progress through the game, and genuinely impact the strategic considerations you make when planning for a 3-star run of a difficult stage. The right hero supported by the right towers will make all the difference later in the game. Heroes gain experience and level up as they engage in combat, and the player is able to choose where they wish to invest skill points into their hero. Its a great touch to an already fantastic formula.

 

Ironhide Studios has also continued in their tradition of great post-release support, offering two free expansions since the release of the game. The latest expansion was just released last week on Steam, and includes a new series of missions set in the land of the Twilight Elves and two new heroes.

 

Put simply, Kingdom Rush Origins is a game that should be in everyone’s Steam library. It takes the foundation of tower defense and completely revitalizes it, improving on the formula already made wonderful in the original game. Moreover, the inclusion of all post-release content for the Steam version makes it a value proposition that is difficult to pass up. There is a lot to enjoy in this game, and it’s time that you dive into it’s world to see for yourself.
Kingdom Rush Origins Review
Review Summary
Kingdom Rush Origins improves on what is already one of the best tower defense games of all time. It is the kind of game that simply astonishes at every step of the way, and it raises the bar in a genre in which it is already the trendsetter. It should be in every Steam library.
The Good
Wonderfully crafted.
Excellent progression and strategic options.
Steam release includes all expansions and heroes.
The Bad
None really, though adding a list of enemies to be encountered might be a good addition.
5
Marvelous
Founder

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