Knights Onrush in Review – Rush On Out and Grab It

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Knights Onrush is a deceptive game. Its deceptively simple – defend your castle from waves of enemies trying to storm your gate. So in some ways, it’s your typical tower defense game. But at the same time, you are far more involved in the immediate defense of your castle in Knights Onrush than in similar games. It’s not just relegated to your placing defenses and letting them do their work – you have to actively deploy those defenses yourself. And that’s only one of the differences this game presents.

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Let’s start at the beginning. The main menu allows you to change some of the options of the game, including level of difficulty. I’ll state right up front, I was playing on easy, and I didn’t find it particularly ‘easy’ – more like appropriately difficult. That’s no complaint, I figure any game where I’m sufficiently challenged on Easy is bound to provide lots of entertainment for folks who want to master higher levels. Going back to the menu, there are also instructions on how to play, though it’s easy enough to figure out through trial and error. Once you choose to play, there are three different game modes you can choose from; Campaign, Endless Siege, and Madness. Since Endless Siege and Madness are just alternate takes on the Campaign, that’s where we’ll focus.

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Campaign makes up the bulk of the game, allowing you to move to different areas on a map (upon completing the previous level) and defend each castle from a specific amount of enemy waves. Your castle is positioned on one side of the screen, and enemies will appear from the other side making their way across the field to attack the door of your castle. The door has a certain amount of ‘health’ that decreases with each hit, so it’s your job to try and keep those bad guys away. You do this yourself by using your finger to interact with the screen during the battle. For starters you can pick up each enemy, either swiping them upwards so that they hopefully fall to their deaths, or then swiping them back down again to smash them on the ground.

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Then there are also weapons you can employ against those nefarious guys trying to raid your castle, each of which you also have to touch to use. Each weapon has a timer, shown on screen, that keeps you from using them continuously during the attack. Then there are also sacrificial totems, which at times can be difficult to pull off (due to some precision required) but are well worth it for a few reasons. First, there’s the sheer joy of sending this little guy screaming into a pit where he is burnt to a cinder, or watching a dragon gobble him off a hook. Then there’s the added bonus of sacrifice points, which you’ll need in between waves.

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At the end of each wave you can enter the shop. Using the gold and sacrifice points you have earned from killing enemies, you can purchase upgrades to stronger doors for your castle or new weapons to use against those enemies. Many of these upgrades require certain amounts of sacrifice points, so it’s important to try and earn these during the attack phase.

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But it’s important to go back to why this can be difficult to do – ultimately, this is an incredibly frantic game. The enemies come quickly, and you have to keep swiping all over the screen to make these little guys die. And there are lots of enemies; ones who turn invisible, hop around, launch projectiles, giants, cavalry – each with their own set of requirements for defeat. While there’s a lot of fun to be had from killing them with all this swiping, this is not a game that’s well suiting to not disturbing your neighbor on the train seat next to you.

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Still, there’s very little to dislike about this game. I could point out that there doesn’t seem to be a way to manually save in the middle of a particular level (let’s say you’re on wave 9 of 14 and you have to stop playing) – though the way around this seems to be just exiting the game by pressing the home button, and the next time it boots up it asks if you want to resume. It’s maybe a tad too difficult in the higher campaign levels, though again, the sheer enjoyment of killing these little guys makes it well worth it. The graphics, as you can see, are beautiful, the touchscreen control is perfect, and in all it’s a game well worth grabbing.

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App Summary
Title:Knights OnrushDeveloper:MoreGames Entertainment (Published by Chillingo)
Price:$4.99App Size:20.4 MB
  • More interactive take on tower defense
  • Many levels to the campaign
  • Beautiful to look at
  • Easy to play
  • Difficulty ramps up significantly in higher levels

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