REVIEW | Kingdom Rush

REVIEW | Kingdom Rush

Kingdom Rush review | I’m not entirely sure where my love for tower defense games started, it might be Plants versus. Zombies or Defense Grid. What I do know for sure is that the genre isn’t so populated on the Xbox console. You have the excellent Orcs Must Die! 3, Bloons, and Defense Grid 2 but that’s about it. Honestly, I’m likely waiting till the end of my life for a proper Brütal Legend tower defense game, gosh… I so loved those parts from Double Fine’s game. Anyway, Kingdom Rush is a mobile port from December 2011. Don’t let the mobile port and release date scare you away though, Kingdom rush finally releasing for Xbox in 2023 is great news for fans of the genre and newcomers! Developer Ironhide Game Studio took its sweet time to get this on Xbox, so be sure to defend your kingdom from monsters after reading our review.

Developer Ironhide Game Studio
Publisher Ironhide Game Studio

ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!

What we Liked!

  • Easy-to-learn but challenging gameplay | Never played a tower defense game before? No worries, the mechanics behind it are very easy. Enemies follow a specific path and you need to stop them from reaching your kingdom, you do this by placing towers that attack or slow enemies. Kingdom Rush is a perfect game in the genre to learn those mechanics, there are only four different towers, and each has a big tactical effect. You have the ground forces that slow down enemies and deal low damage, artillery that deals damage to large groups of enemies (perfect for fast enemies), a tower that deals magical damage, and the fourth is a ranged attack tower. It is one of the best basic tower defense mechanics I ever played, simple but highly effective. All four towers have two different specializations that are extremely important for harder stages, knowing where to place a tower on the field is the difference between winning or losing a battle. Using your limited resources in a clever way is part of the fun.
  • Up for a challenge? Go for collecting all stars | Everyone will be able to finish the story stages without much error. The final stage will swarm most players in the beginning but you’ll learn how to overcome that. The real fun starts after you finish the campaign, new harder stages unlock, and beating all the stars from all stages will be quite a challenge. The hardest mode can only be finished by specific tower types, so it is almost a puzzle-like experience to find where to place what. I had the most fun with these challenges as defeat and victory can be reached in seconds. Stars act as permanent upgrades for tower costs or abilities, you can reset your talent tree without penalty so I was constantly changing my upgrades depending on the stage designs.
  • A playable hero! | You also have playable heroes. Your heroes can be more powerful than towers if you know how to use them properly. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, my favorite was Ignus. A pure melee fighter that can devastate large packs of enemies. But you have many types of characters that do require a bit of micro-managing. You have ranged fighters like Magnus, perfect for flying enemies. The most powerful character in the game is King Denas, he can power up towers and call in airstrikes every 12 seconds that deal huge amounts of damage. I’m sure you’ll find a favorite though as each hero has interesting benefits. Slowing down enemies with ice, for example. Some can teleport instantly too, great when an enemy slipped through your defenses.

  • Little easter eggs and secrets | On a few maps you’ll be able to find some secrets. Some are in plain view, others take some more effort to find. This really helps with keeping things interesting. Finding a sasquatch, the option to buy elves, or finding new bosses to defeat. By looking at the Achievements from Kingdom Rush I noticed that I was still missing some secrets, so I’m looking forward to finding them.

Mixed Feelings

  • Music will become repetitive | With longer stages come some annoyances with the music selection, at first I thought that the music was pretty good but it gets repetitive fast. Spotify to the rescue! They also have some voiced sentences from soldiers, while they are always the same it didn’t bother me much. Kinda like the Age of Empires wololo sound from priests.

What we Disliked

  • Nothing worth mentioning | Kingdom rush is a pretty perfect game in the tower defense genre. Can’t think of anything that is worth mentioning that could be listed as disliked. Tower defense games might not be for everyone, just that’s the only thing you should keep an eye on.

How long to beat the story | 8 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 25 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Dungeon Defenders, Defense Grid, Orcs Must Die! and They Are Billions.


Kingdom Rush is a lovely tower defense game with lots of replay value and fun gameplay. It is an old game but it still shines and outmatches many other similar games.

Gameplay 🎮

Kingdom rush is a very polished and balanced tower defense game. Great for newcomers and fans of the genre, difficulty scales perfectly without feeling impossible.

Visuals 🖼️

Considering the game was created for mobile devices in 2011 I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful details and sharpness of the visuals.

Sound 🎧

Funny one-liners and good accompanied music get you in the mood to slay flying bats and ugly orcs. It all becomes a bit repetitive though, so I turned on my Spotify gaming playlist rather fast.

Story 📖

It has some story elements but it isn’t the focus of Kingdom Rush. You fight against monsters and defend your kingdom, that’s it.

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