App Army Assembles - Is Kingdom Rush Vengeance another classic tower-defence?

App Army Assembles - Is Kingdom Rush Vengeance another classic tower-defence?

Our community struggle with IAPs and morality

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Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the latest in the long line of tower defence titles from Ironhide, and we thought it wasn't half bad (though we prefer Iron Marines these days).

But what do we know? We're just some fools running a website about mobile games. So we decided to give our community of mobile gaming fanatics, the App Army, their hands on the game as well.

You can read their reviews below, but we know what you really want - your own chance of getting the best and latest games for absolutely naught beyond giving us a review.

Well you can! Just join our App Army over on Facebook (make sure to answer the short questions given to you!) and each week you'll have a shot at playing a big game of that week.

And better yet, you can chat about mobile games with other fans of the platform, make some friends, and get some wonderful, stimulating conversation in your life.

Sound good? Then go join the App Army! And come right back to read the reviews of Kingdom Rush Vengeance!

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Roman Valerio - iPad Air

I can honestly say that I wanted to like this new chapter in the Kingdom Rush franchise, but eventually failed to do so.

First of all, apart from some graphical improvement, I did not notice any evolution in the series or something that I haven't seen in their previous games. Once again we see here the same top-down perspective, comic-style cutscenes, all-too-familiar gameplay and... yes, you guessed it right - a myriad of in-app purchases.

I am fine with IAPs in a freemium game or a premium one that gets a major DLC, but when they try to forcibly shove them down your throat in a newly released paid title, it becomes a slap-in-the-face move.

Just imagine going to a posh restaurant in anticipation of a good time and a delicious meal, but once everything is served they tell you that silverware, condiments, and even napkins are sold separately, which immediately makes you feel dumbfounded, frustrated and duped.

If you want to play an excellent tower defense game, go get Jelly Defense instead. The kingdom is dead, just leave it be!

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Aramis Keedle - Razer Phone

Kingdom Rush: Vengeance is a stunning entry into an already fantastic series.

Amongst the various graphical and performance improvements, we also see a deeper dive into the strategy aspect. This is presented in the form of now being able to choose different types of towers to be able to bring into each level.

There are multiple in-app purchases, but I have found that they are not need to enjoy the game to its fullest at all.

All in all, this entry into the franchise is an extremely solid one with previous fans of the series thoroughly enjoying the same classic formula with some twists.

Dries Pretorius - iPad Air

There is something to the disappointment I felt when playing Kingdom Rush: Vengeance, and I think Ironhide really walked into this one.

The first factor is the release of their brilliant Iron Marines, after a steady stream of Kingdom Rush games, they switched from tweaking a tried formula to something new and exciting: a working tactical RTS that lived on the meadows between Starcraft and Dawn of War. A groundbreaking and bold new direction.

The second factor is the apparent flipping of the good-evil dynamic of the Kingdom Rush franchise. There is the unspoken understanding that Law fortifies, and Chaos corrodes. The question I had gotten ahead of myself to ask was whether Ironhide Studios had the inventiveness to revitalize the often mundane grind that is a Reverse Tower Defense game, because Anomaly didn't hold my attention as much as I hoped the standard bearer of the genre would.

After playing Iron Marines, I was sure it would claim the genre and own the whole field. What I found was a title that refined the old formula to make it even more exceptional in its refusal to fulfill any of my expectations. It feels like an expansion pack rather than a sequel, and a step back from all the innovations of Iron Marines.

Adding to the sense of having been duped, a good selection of the towers in game are only available through IAP. I may not have been paying enough attention in previous titles, but it has always been a roster of heroes with bonus characters as IAP, to segregate a good portion of content behind a paywall feels a bit aggressive.

C'mon, the hero is a nice twist, but towers are the backbone of the game Whole branches of skill trees sit behind paywalls - if this is innovation, it is the wrong kind.

Other than my bruised expectations, and an aggressive paywall, the game is solid Kingdom Rush. Check your expectations at the door, and enjoy this familiar but slightly dry Thanksgiving turkey.

Funem - Samsung Galaxy S9+

When you start playing these games, knowing you are going to be writing a review, you look at them slightly differently.

You think about how others will see the game, and you get the feeling whether it will be a hit or miss with others people. You then look at if it grabs me or is it starting to grow on me, but some games sit in the middle and you know that some will look at it and hate it, and some will love it. This is that kind of game.

On the face of it, it’s the same as what has gone before. There are some tweaks to the gameplay like enemies that can enter through parts of the landscape, or load-outs you can select to work with, but apart from that, to me, it feels like what has gone before with a little extra to make it feel like a progression. If it was like the iPhone it would be Kingdom Rush SE.

The IAPs are also a concern. Being there from the beginning for a premium game makes me feel like you are only getting part of the experience for your premium entry fee, they should have held these back and released them like DLC further down the line.

It definitely feels grindy if you don’t use these more powerful characters and towers, and less grindy if you do, which may annoy some people. I can understand the characters being behind a paywall or being released as DLC, but the towers in a tower defence game to be behind a separate paywall is a strange and worrying move.

I’m not saying that overall it’s a bad game - the graphics, sound and playability are all there, and if you liked the previous iterations you will like this. But it won't blow your socks off.

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Oksana Ryan - iPad Pro

I didn’t really enjoy this game. It was very repetitive, the music was frankly dreary and I switched it off, and straight from the offset I could see that money would be needed to progress.

Heroes are used to help fight the oncoming hordes and apart from the ones unlocked at the beginning, these have to be bought. Spells can be 'purchased' from the shop in the game for gems and if you run out of gems, they can be bought in bundles. I really don’t object to paying for IAP if the game is good enough but I wouldn’t in this case.

That said, the game's concept isn't bad, with its towers and strange army, but I just felt that it was going to cost too much if I really wanted to take it to its full potential.

Mark Abukoff - iPhone 7

I haven't played any other Kingdom Rush game, so I can’t compare it to others, but as a kind of tower defense game (stopping waves of bad guys from advancing along a road using various tools and power-ups and so on), I like it. Though to be honest after a few levels, it got to be a little predictable.

But still it’s fun and challenging without being frustrating. The cartoon graphics and comic cutscenes are cute and fun, and add to the entertainment. Controls are simple and work well.

My main objection is the number and expense of IAPs for a paid game. I don’t mind the occasional IAP on a free game, or paying a little for a good game without IAPs. But put them together and I object. As long as I can play it without spending anything, I’ll be happy with it.

Quincy Jones - iPad 6th

I’m going to come right out and say I was pretty disappointed with this one, between not adding anything really new to the game besides a reverse bad vs good storyline.

Tons of IAP also made me not want to invest much time knowing I'd eventually hit a paywall. It came down to more of the same game just costing more this time around.

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Ric Cowley
Ric Cowley
Ric was somehow the Editor of Pocket Gamer, having started out as an intern in 2015. He hopes to take over the world the same way.