Legends of Kingdom Rush Overview
Legends of Kingdom Rush is a pretty simple tactical rogue-lite. You piece together a team of heroes and move through randomly generated adventure maps. Events may require some dice rolls, while battles have you directing your party in turn-based combat.
You can find a video version of this review on my YouTube Channel
One of the biggest advantages Legends of Kingdom Rush has is its simplicity. It’s very easy to learn and play with little overhead. The user interface is mobile-oriented, even on PC, and features helpful tooltips that keep you informed.
However, its simplicity also translates to shallowness. A lack of meaningful decision points in a tactical rogue-lite makes for an experience that constantly feels like it’s missing something and unfortunately, that’s where Legends of Kingdom Rush lands.
|Gideon’s Bias||Legends of Kingdom Rush Information|
|Review Copy Used: Yes||Publisher: Ironhide Game Studios|
|Hours Played: 8+||Type: Full Release|
|Reviewed On: PC||Platforms: PC, IOS|
|Fan of Genre: Yes||Genre: Rogue-lite, Turn-Based Tactics|
|Mode Played: Normal||Price: $15.99|
In true rogue-lite fashion, each run is self-contained. Legends of Kingdom Rush features several different adventures that differ in both theme and tactics, which is nice. One Adventure might have you fighting heavily armored Orcs while another pits you against crazed cultists.
Each adventure is relatively short and ends with clever boss fights that are a lot of fun the first time but get repetitive on multiple playthroughs. You put together a team of three heroes from a roster of 18 unlockable characters, and each one has its own powers and role in the party.
The thing is, Legends of Kingdom Rush is neatly laid out with all of its pieces in the right places to be a solid tactics game, but it’s constantly hamstrung by its own simplicity. The straightforward combat works well with each character receiving two actions. You have to chip away at armored enemies before you can get to that squishy HP underneath, but magic and effects like poison bypass it altogether, and the same applies to you.
However, despite the variety of party setups, the combat ends up feeling pretty dry and mindless once you get the basics down. In fact, even though the encounters are technically random, the way they are set up is pretty static. For example, there might be an encounter that has a troll, two orcs, and two goblins. You won’t encounter it every run, but when you do it will always have those exact enemies, in the same arena, in the same positions, and with the same environmental hazards.
While every character is unique, your options with each of them are pretty limited. They only have a handful of abilities, and their progression is linear. You don’t equip them with gear, or choose their stats, just their abilities, and they only go to level three.
The lack of tactical choices and simplistic static enemies make each combat feel like a puzzle rather than a battle. This is especially true when you factor in the Epic system. Some abilities have extra epic effects when used against enemies that are stunned or immobilized. This lends some characters natural synergy with each other, which would normally be a good thing. But it further cements the fact that there are clearly superior choices for solving the combat puzzle.
Some characters not only synergize well together but are also suited to different adventures. These combinations become obvious fairly quickly, and while you could always play with a less optimal party, it doesn’t change how the gameplay loop is designed.
The lack of meaningful decisions really brings the game down to a level it may have been able to otherwise surpass. Another example is how random events work. Different characters can add dice to different events depending on the situation, but there’s no way of telling ahead of time which events you could encounter. There’s no meaningful decision-making in who to bring for that purpose.
It’s all up to chance. Maybe you brought three brute characters and then ran into an event that uses brutish characters, so you get three dice to roll. Perhaps you just ran into events that require smart or agile characters instead, so you get no benefit at all. You have no way to plan for it either way. You either have the right characters, or you don’t.
Legends of Kingdom Rush is a fairly short game but does feature daily challenges, and an arena mode where you fight battles with a random party composition. I found these modes to be the most entertaining since they were less predictable than the standard battles, and often had random modifiers, such as the audience throwing explosive barrels into the arena. But it’s not enough to salvage the experience for me.
There are so many great tactics games out there, that any new one that enters the fold has to give me a good reason to spend my time with it over the others. While Legends of Kingdom Rush isn’t truly a bad game, it really doesn’t bring anything notable to the table. It simply exists.
More Reviews of Turn-Based Tactical Games
- 18 Unique Characters
- Easy To Learn and Short Session Time
- Daily Challenges and Arena Mode are fun
- Difficulty Settings Present
- Very shallow
- Short Length
- Feels routine and repetitive quickly
- The gameplay feels bland
- Combat feels more like a puzzle than a battle