The Kingdom Rush series is a very popular name among fans of the tower defense genre. As we have reported before, the fourth and latest addition to the series, titled Kingdom Rush Vengeance, just came out yesterday. Here is a review of this new game:

While the first three titles in the franchise all have you control the forces of good fighting against evil, Vengeance reverses the script. True to its name, the game will have players control the minions of the dark wizard Vez’nan and exact vengeance upon the light.

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Perspective isn’t the only change in Kingdom Rush Vengeance, as there are several major tweaks to the gameplay as well. The four types of towers — troops, ranged, artillery, and magic— are still there. However, unlike the previous games, which let players choose to evolve their towers into different forms, the towers in Vengeance don’t change too much over the course of each match. Instead, before a match even begins, players have to choose up to five towers, and will only be able to use these chosen towers for that match.

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At the beginning of the game, players only have access to four towers but will be able to unlock seven more throughout the game to have more options to use in the matches.  Furthermore, there are five unique towers that can only be unlocked through real-money purchases.

The previous Kingdom Rush games require a tower to reach level 3 to open an option to choose its specialty. Kingdom Rush Vengeance, on the other hand, offers this choice right at the beginning. This adds more variety and open rooms for more strategy right from the start of a match.

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But this system does have some significant drawbacks. The upgrades are no longer attached to each individual tower. Instead, they are divided into four groups: general tower upgrades, heroes, reinforcement abilities (which let you summon demons anywhere on the battlefield), and magical AOE abilities. This means there are fewer options for individual tower customization.

What makes this upgrade system even less exciting is that upgrade points are earned simply by completing a level; it does not matter how well you perform. This is truly a shame, since one of the best parts of the other Kingdom Rush entries was that they motivated players to get the best performance rating on each level to earn more points. The unique challenges in each level are affected by this too. Since they no longer contribute to deciding how many points you earn, it doesn’t really matter if you complete them or not.

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Despite these shortcomings, Kingdom Rush Vengeance is still a worthy addition to the franchise. The maps are well designed, and there is a huge variety of enemies. The boss levels are unique and fun, and each new opponent does a good job of presenting you with new challenges to overcome.

Although the gameplay tweaks might be a bit jarring for some long-time fans, Kingdom Rush Vengeance still maintains the soul of a Kingdom Rush game. With a little bit of time to adjust, it will be just as fun as the other games in the series, if not more. The charm and strategy of the franchise are still there, and it is certainly one of the best mobile games of this year.

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