Kingdom Rush Origins is one of those games that you lose yourself in. Not because of en engrossing story, and not because it presents a particular challenge, but because the rhythm of its play is so satisfying.
That's a trait it has inherited from its predecessors, and it's not the only one. This is every bit as robust, every bit as polished, and every bit as entertaining as the other games in Ironhide's tower defence franchise.
It doesn't add anything particularly new to proceedings, but what it does add blends in perfectly with the bouncy strategy that Kingdom Rush is famed for.
This is a game that knows exactly what it is, and knows exactly what you want from it, and it delivers exciting tower defence action in spades.
Tower of strength
Like the previous games, Origins follows the standard tower defence template. Each level is essentially a series of paths, with positions where you can build your towers. The enemies attack in waves, and you need to stop them from reaching your base.
The usual Kingdom Rush twists are here as well. You've got a hero who fights alongside your towers, and a series of different powers that you can call upon when you're in most need.
The towers are pretty standard fare as well, albeit in upgradeable form. As well as levelling up your towers as you play, you can spend points to toughen them up permanently.
Different levels have different fourth tier defences as well, which change the final evolution of your tower to suit the location you're fighting in.
You can upgrade your hero, strengthening their attacks and giving them new options. There's always something to spend, or something to tweak, and it makes for a more engaging experience.
Completing a level unlocks two new playable versions of it. These offer a much sterner challenge, and are designed to cater to the blood lust of the most stringent tower defence advocate.
New enemies toy around with the core mechanics of the genre. Some tunnel under the scenery avoiding the set paths altogether, others create new paths with explosives.
There are some particularly annoying artillery pieces that you often need to use your heroes to deal with as well.
But even when it's breaking its own rules, the game still feels fair. It never pulls things too far or too quickly, allowing you to feel your way through the changes without being overwhelmed.
Bring it down
That's the great strength of Kingdom Rush Origins, and it comes from a developer that's clearly confident enough in its own abilities to give itself some room to play.
And play it does, with great aplomb and precision. There's a real flair to the game, and each level is a real feast. You'll find yourself discovering little Easter eggs and in-jokes as you play, and each one will raise a smile.
Kingdom Rush Origins is the sort of game anyone with a penchant for tower defence is going to love.
It gets the bread and butter of the genre spot on, and that lets it mess around from time to time to keep things interesting.
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