Link: Kingdom Rush
Developer: Ironhide Game Studio
Genre: Tower Defense
ArmorGames Rating: 9.5/10
FlashMush Rating: 10/10
Feeling deja vu? Well, you are! Sort of... I have previously reviewed, or "pre-viewed" Kingdom Rush before when it was in Beta mainly to help out IronHide Game Studio as well as ArmorGames, and actually by doing this IronHide was nice enough to tweet about my review and link me on their Facebook page of which I greatly appreciated. So I decided to do a review on the final released version of the game out of good faith and to help them out again in terms of publicity and such.
Now if you remember my previous review you know that I did have a few issues with the game. Most specifically it was the extreme difficulty which after reading other comments online I discovered I wasn't the only one. Luckily for us all IronHide is a great developing company and listed to the woes of the public and changed this. First off now you have difficulty settings; normal and easy. Secondly, I've read specific entries in the change logs from the Beta version where they actually went in to the levels people were specifically having trouble with and either changed around some enemy spawn rates or stats in general. I really think this was a great move on their part as lowering the difficulty really makes the game more fun, is going to have a greater chance of people playing it more and really shows how they listen to the people. Something a lot of other companies in general don't always have.
With that fixed Kingdom Rush really is an awesome game and one of those rare games that I really have no other problems with at all. I'll highlight a few things again though. My favorite part about Kingdom Rush is easily the graphics. While the graphics are what I'd consider "cartoonish" it's just really playing around with the tried and true graphical style that really all the really popular online flash games out there have. The detail they put into the graphics is also amazing. All the different levels and how the map has dynamic movement such as fish jumping in the rivers or camp fires going, really gives it a very clean and polished look. Also with the vast variety of enemies and units you can have, the graphical detail in those is also astounding.
Speaking of detail the level of detail in the gameplay surpasses any other tower defense game I've seen. The main competition in the tower defense game genre I'd say would be the Cursed Treasure Don't Touch My Gems and the GemCraft series. Neither comes anywhere close to the level of gameplay detail Kingdom Rush has. First off, the variety of enemies is amazing and even more amazing when they relate to different biomes essentially and also each do unique things and have unique stats. It's due to these vast differences between units that really makes the game what it is and is a true test of the tower defense genre. Detail also comes in with the towers, you have a great branching tree style of tower selection in which after three upgrades you can pick between two paths and then from each path you can upgrade between two or three seperate upgrades for those towers. Going even further with the detail Kingdom Rush really blew me away with little "extras" in some levels that I've never, ever seen before in a tower defense flash game. In some levels you have extra help in the form of environmental factors almost. Old cabins where elves live which you can train, an ancient tower in which you can call upon long lost powers, or even bad environment things such as how spiders come out of creepy woods just like you'd think they would.
Also, Kingdom Rush really just gets all the other tower defense online flash game staples out of the way such as a great upgrade system. You can upgrade each of the four main types of towers (archers, cannons, mages, and barracks) as well as your two main powers (meteor shower and reinforcements). On top of this you have different modes for each level to give you extra challenges (and extra star points) as well as a very nice achievement system. Very well polished all of it.
So as you can see, Kingdom Rush was granted one of my rare perfect scores because it really is in my eyes the cream of the crop of the tower defense flash game genre. You can tell IronHide did their research and wanted to make a perfect game and they really succeeded. From the great graphics to the extreme level of detail, Kingdom Rush is a game you can't miss out on!