One of the great things that has occurred during this generation of consoles is the rise of smaller games. Not every game needs to be a 100-hour photo-realistic epic. Sometimes you just want to play a quick game, something that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is just fun to play. King’s Guard TD is definitely shooting for this and partially manages it.
The ‘TD’ in King’s Guard TD stands for Tower Defence. You are charged by the king with defending your castle by erecting various towers which will then attack the attackers. Towers come in a variety of flavours and target different things. A cannon tower might be great for wiping out enemies, but they are slow and can’t target enemies that fly. A ballista tower is perfect for flying enemies but won’t attack enemies on the ground. Each kill earns you more money which you either use to buy more towers or to upgrade the ones you already have.
Upon completing a level, you not only gain access to the next one but you are also given an upgrade and some money (to buy more upgrades). You can activate four upgrades at a time. These can allow you access to magic spells or provide enhancements for your towers. They can improve the damage, speed, and area of your towers. You can also sell upgrades to give you more money to spend on an upgrade that you really want. The upgrades in the shop are quite expensive and do require quite a bit of grinding to get one worth having. A top upgrade costs 30,000 and will see you playing levels over and over again to afford them.
You will need these upgrades as after the first few levels the difficulty really ramps up. I thought at first that this was going to be a game where it forced you into spending real-world money to get in-game currency to buy the upgrades. There are no micro-transactions though, this is just a tough game. I found myself replaying levels over and over again to be able to buy upgrades that allowed me to complete the latter levels of each area. You can afford for 30 enemies to reach your castle before you lose but this can happen quicker than you imagine if you have the wrong tower setup. Certain levels have (for want of a better phrase) a boss that is really hard to take to down and will take 20 points off your counter (of 30). On most occasions, this boss got to my castle, and I just had to make sure that I hadn’t already let more than ten enemies through.
Visually the game is basic, yet serviceable. The designs are passable and allow for easy recognition of what type of enemies they are. I didn’t notice any slowdown or screen-tearing on either my Xbox One X or One S. The music is also passable but sounds like it has been compressed way too far and is bordering on distortion. In-game sounds are OK with each turret having a different sound that is appropriate to their type.
All in all, there isn’t anything new about King’s Guard TD. It walks a very similar path to games that have gone before it. If you like the tower defence genre, then it’s probably worth your time. If you don’t like these types of games, then there isn’t anything here that will change your mind. The difficulty of the game could do with some tweaking, but if you don’t mind grinding to get the better upgrades, you’ll still be able to finish the game. There might not be anything new here, but for less than $5 (or £4.19) it’s hard to complain too much.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?