I have first world problems.
My iPhone screen has a crack in it. My motorcycle doesn’t doesn’t get the same MPG that it once did. I have more good games to play than time to play them.
The latter issue is why I don’t really see eye-to-eye with flash games any longer, they just don’t do it for me. How could they in this world of Triple-A titles designed to keep you occupied for hours on end with engaging stories and endless multiplayer? Gone are the days when my gaming experience consisted of Asking Jeeves about “free online games” I could enjoy for fifteen minutes at a time. When did we, as gamers, turn our back on our flash game history in favor of more in-depth and intensive gaming experiences? Well, while those days may be gone forever, anyone with a fetish for the flash can still find a happy home out there on the world wide web. For me, that itch got scratched in the form of my new favorite way to waste time, Kingdom Rush.
Kingdom Rush is the third offering from Ironhide Game Studio, a Uruguayan (as in from Uruguay) based software developer. It’s a fantasy action defense game, rooted in the tower-defense genre, but not limited to it. The beauty of Kingdom Rush can’t really be attributed to any one thing, it’s a complete, bite-sized package. The fun and quirky aesthetics, the attention to detail and the horribly addictive gameplay all come together to create one hell of a good time and a value to anyone with an internet connection.
The art style falls somewhere between Castle Crashers and Saturday morning cartoons – fun and comedic with just a touch of absurdity. Each of the structures, characters and stages have enough detail to really appreciate the subtle nuances that went into their creation; you can tell this was a labor love. The gameplay itself straddles the line between strategic and user-friendly, requiring multiple attempts to get the hang of a particular level without feeling that tedious grind. As for the units themselves, the sheer magnitude of customization in Kingdom Rush makes for a deeper experience than you could expect from a flash title. Beginning with four base towers and allowing unlockable upgrades for each one as you progress through the game. Eventually you’ll be able to specialize a tower through a further branching upgrade system, allowing for progressively more lethal and effective structures as well as accompanying skills.
I know what you’re thinking, “It’s still just a flash game and in fifteen minutes I’ll beat it, then what?” Well, my skeptical friend, how about multiple challenge modes for each of the twelve levels, adding unit restrictions and upping the difficulty for a second and third playthrough – that do anything for you? More you say? What if I said there’s over 30 unlockable skills across six different skill trees. Boom.
What…still not enough? Wrap your brain around this: over fifty achievements, easter eggs, premium content, an in-game encyclopedia, witty dialogue, clever pop-culture remarks and a one-hundred dollar bill! Fine, so the game doesn’t come with a C-note, but it is free so it’s practically the same thing, right?. You can see what I’m saying though – add up all of this content and you’re getting an experience closer to it’s console cousins than a flash title.
Do yourself a favor, check out Kingdom Rush and join the online sensation. After you’re done, be sure and share your thoughts in the comments below.