Review | Kingdom Rush Frontiers

Originally published at: Review | Kingdom Rush Frontiers - XboxEra

Another Kingdom Rush port is coming to Xbox platforms. Frontiers, the 2013 sequel to the original, is coming to Xbox. It’s bigger, better, and has all the issues the first port did. So let’s break it down in a quick-hitting port review.

Touch Vs. Pad

The Kingdom Rush games are tower defense titles originally built for iOS and Android. In them, you’ll have multiple lanes leading to one or more exit points. Your job is to vanquish any enemies as they slowly work their way toward your base(s). To do so you’ll have 4 main types of towers; Archers, Mages, Foot Soldiers, and Cannons.

Each tower type has multiple upgrade paths you’ll unlock as you clear out levels. To earn these upgrades you’ll need gold. You are handed a set amount at the start of each round and gain more with every enemy vanquish. Gold and tower upgrades last per level, and everything resets at the start of a fight. There is a meta-game outside where the stars you earn in each level can be spent on permanent upgrades for your towers and abilities. These are magic attacks that can summon in more foot soldiers or rain fire down for massive damage on a set cooldown.

Adding to all of this are your hero units.  You get to choose one per match and there are a large number of them in the title.  All are unlocked through playing and I saw no microtransactions in the title. Hero units all have different strengths and weaknesses and maximizing their potential is key to getting the best scores and beating higher difficulties. There is a lot to do here, and once again it feels like a straight 1:1 port of the PC version of the title.

My only issue is that I still run into issues where I move to the wrong area because you cannot use the d-pad for movement. All swapping between towers must be done with the analog stick as your d-pad is used for your abilities. With practice it is functional but I still wish I could swap the two or just put abilities onto one of the many unused other buttons.

Everything Else

Graphically the game looks cleaner than the original title, and the music is still great. This is a decades-old mobile title so it’s not much of a looker on the whole, and the animated cutscenes in particular look low-resolution. I didn’t have any issues with quick resume as this is an offline title, which is great because it is built around short play sessions that you quickly hop in and out of.

Priced at $10 US at launch it’s a bit steep. There is enough content here to warrant it, in my opinion. This is a better game than the original with a more even learning curve. You can set it to easy, normal, or hard depending on the amount of challenge you are looking for.

Wrapping Things Up

In short, this is a solid port.  It’s well worth the dime if you’re looking to kill some time.  Kingdom Rush is a solid franchise, and those who play it are forever wise.