Battle of Kings is a tower defense game by Battle of Kings Team and Wenkly Studio. Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to say on the game than that. If you’re familiar with the basic tower defense genre game-play (i.e. placing towers to stop enemies from getting from a pre-determined location to another pre-determined location, picking up a resource (in this game gold) in order to build more and upgrade your existing towers), then you know what to expect. There is one twist to this which I’ll cover a little later.
When you boot the game up for the first time, you’re greeted by a friendly old-man (mostly fully-voiced, sometimes he doesn’t read out the instructions fully) who explains that the four islands that make up the kingdom of this game were split into two long ago. Half of each island was given to you, the other half to your cousin Marcus to rule over. Naturally, Marcus’ greed takes over, and he teams up with an evil wizard to assume singular rule of all the lands. It’s your job to repel his armies with seven different types of towers, although you only start with two.
As mentioned above, anyone familiar with the genre will know exactly how the next stages play out. You select a map, click on one of the pre-set locations and buy a tower there. A counter will count down until the next wave of enemies spawn. Further gold will be awarded for both surviving a wave and any kills your towers get. Every enemy that your towers fail to take down will reduce your gate by 5%, and once you hit 0% you lose and need to try again. Pretty much part and parcel for the genre.
However, while Battle of Kings is a solid representation of the genre basics, it also operates as if a decade of innovations just didn’t happen. Progressing through the campaign unlocks new towers and allows you to further upgrade towers (max at level 3). But they are only available as you progress, and you can’t take stronger towers into an earlier level if you were having trouble.
The player has nothing to do outside of building, destroying, and upgrading towers. There are no king skills or magic to speak of. There are no branching upgrades, either. Each tower can be level one (when you place it), and upgrade to two and then three which seems to just increase the power of them. There is no skill tree system for you as the king, and you can’t even call a wave early for a gold bonus.
Essentially what this means is that you’ll likely get pretty bored of the game before long. While it does dole out the upgrades slowly over the campaign, there’s really nothing that hasn’t been in a ton of other TD games before. And for the most part you’ll probably stick with the default crossbow at the start until you can replace everything with cannons as their sheer damage and range outclass all other early towers by a lot.
Outside of the campaign, there are both multiplayer PvP and one-on-one vs AI battle modes that allow you access to all towers from the outset, assuming you have the gold for them. This makes the campaign feel even more redundant. Each campaign level also has a star rating (3 for perfect, 2 if a few enemies make it through and 1 if you scrape by), but I didn’t see anything beyond bragging rights to make seeking 3 stars worthwhile.
The one new idea that Battle of Kings does bring to the table is somewhat interesting, and probably why it is the focus of a lot of the other game modes as well. The ‘Battle Mode’, which can be found at the end of each island in the campaign and as the additional game modes, is an interesting take on the genre.
Essentially, the Battle Mode is a battle where two kings try to destroy the other’s castle. This mode takes place in a few phases; the first player will hire soldiers to assault the other castle, upgrade the soldier types (up to a max of 4) and build towers to defend their own castle. All of these aspects use the same gold resource, so you’ll need to balance offense and defense.
Once the preparation phase is complete, the action phase will begin where each team will send their soldiers into the opponent’s castle, they will do 5% if they make it through the onslaught, and the game continues until one side hits 0% (and survives the next wave).
Overall, the Battle Mode is an interesting addition to the genre, but it’s really just too little. After a few rounds with the AI, most players will probably move on to another game unless they have some other human players to match wits against. But really, even with the Battle Mode, there are plenty of other tower defense games out there with a lot more to offer, some of them are even free-to-play, like some of the Bloons games.
There is still a chance that the development team will add more future content, but they’d need to almost do a complete overhaul just to hit the new baseline for the genre.
-Solid Tower Defence Basics
-Battle Mode is an interesting addition
-Music is fitting and enjoyable
-Lacks recent genre staples
-Old man repeats stock phrases far too often