As a fan of the Kingdom Rush series, I was pleased to see the latest addition, Kingdom Rush Vengence up for grabs as a playable demo on Steam this week. Without hesitation, I loaded it up and smashed through the six levels.
If you’re familiar with the series from Ironhide Game Studio, you’ll understand the mechanics of this no-nonsense tower defence title, but like Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Origins, completely new units, buildings and abilities have been added.
Sure, they’re usually the same on paper in that you have the standard arrow, cannon, magic and infantry towers at your disposal, but the upgrades differ to previous iterations, and the series continually invigorates with these little perks.
Kingdom Rush Vengence Preview
Unlike it’s older siblings, Kingdom Rush Vengence tells the tale from evil’s perspective. You play Vez’nan, the almighty wizard, and upon return to their lair, find that it has been turned into a theme park. Without fail, you reclaim the land and set out to wipe these plebs off your land.
This time you’re battling dwarves. Each unit has its strengths and weaknesses as before; some are just fodder, while others tank their way through, in authentic mythical dwarf-like charm. Playing to the dwarf races engineering skills, you’ll be up against mechanical wonders, thus a good variety of units other than those carrying axes made of Mythril.
Your army consists of orcs, goblins and cloaked figures such as the ultimate arrow tower where once upgraded to the, count em, four stages available, unlocks the ability to teleport behind a random enemy and get an instant kill. Or send in your crows to peck their eyes out.
Kingdom Rush Vengence has the same appeal as the titles before it in that after a brief comic panel depicting the narrative thread, you instantly start the battle, placing a handful of towers to hold back the enemies until you can build more or upgrade them.
My Kingdom For A Hero
As before, you have a hero at your disposal, and in the demo, you get to try two: Veruk the orc warrior and Asra a shadow assassin. Again, they have skills that can be upgraded to make them a pretty hardy adversary. The same goes for towers and abilities as get a rating of three stars and you can invest that in faster builds, better damage or stronger reinforcements.
The skill tree takes a different route this time; separated into tower skills, heroes, reinforcements and your external powers of reigning down a secondary spell on your enemies like a meteor shower. You can’t focus on an individual tower’s skill tree this time, but have one of two paths when upgrading. At least you have a choice.
I expected to get hooked and wasn’t let down as I binged all of the stages in one go, and was disappointed to see the title screen with ‘Thanks for playing!’. By the time the full game is out, we should see the following: 15 powerful heroes, 25 challenging stages and 18 new towers.
Also, there’s the familiar in-game achievement list that you can aspire too that has the same wit as the previous games. Highlights include ‘Far Over The Misty Mountains – Help Baldo sneak into the mountain’. Having recently watched The Hobbit, I have an inkling what film it refers to: She’s All That.
Kingdom Rush Vengence does not disappoint and depending on when you’re reading this, you’ll be able to play the demo during the Steam Games Festival. If it’s a little late, just bookmark/wishlist it – you won’t regret it if already a fan.
Kingdom Rush Vengence is available on Steam from the 16th of October 2020.