There's plenty of tower defence games out on iOS. To stand out amongst the crowd, Kingdom Rush gives you limited space to make tough decisions about tower placement. Instead of planting as many towers as your money would allow, you must rely on strategy to hold back the swarms of enemies. The original Kingdom Rush was a fun tower defence game and while Frontiers is more of that, for those who want more KRF you won't be disappointed. Initially the game feels like it's just the original game with an extra word slapped on the title, but this changes quickly and while it isn't super different, there are a few additions that make this the better version.
Kingdom Rush Frontiers starts with the same four towers as last time; archers, mage tower, barracks and artillery towers. Initially it seems that these are unchanged until you begin to upgrade them, but one of the new changes in KRF is that your towers can be upgraded into different towers. After two upgrades you can upgrade the tower into one of two ways. For example the archers can either use crossbows with better range or axe throwers that can also use totems that stop spellcasting and weaken enemies. Given there is such limited space in every level and as it gets tougher, every type of tower makes a difference so it can be a hard choice. The choices never get easier! Early in the game I found myself trying to settle on a strategy that I would be able to use, only once I thought I had it all figured out something new would come along and force me to rethink my plans.
The levels also contain some interactivity. You can help out characters that in turn help you out (look out for a familiar-looking fedora), or paying pirates to gain control of their cannons for some extra help. So keep an eye out and you never know when there might be something that can make earning 3 stars a bit easier. Another reason to keep a close eye of the wider battlefield is that it is possible for big bad enemies to carve a new path in the level. I didn't notice this the first time until it was too late and enemies had snuck through ruining my perfect run.
There are heroes that you can direct around the field to use their special skills against the enemies. There are three that are unlocked in the game and six are locked away as in-app purchases. There's nothing wrong with using and upgrading the three free heroes, but if you want something more powerful like Ashbite the dragon, it is the most expensive at $7.50. If you love the Kingdom Rush games and have the money to spare then you might not mind forking out some extra cash, those who don't needn't worry as the game is still as fun without it. As with the previous game there is a store where you can buy one-use items to help make the levels easier. Gems are earned in the game and if there's not enough then you can always buy some more gems with real money. Once again you can get through the game without buying more gems then you get through completing levels, but they're there if you want them.
The first Kingdom Rush was already a well made tower defence game. Frontiers found a way to add even more, and updates will likely keep adding even more. Ultimately if you were a fan of Kingdom Rush you'll be a fan of Frontiers; if tower defence isn't your thing then this game isn't likely to win you over and this review isn't really for you. But for those who like the genre definitely check this game out. It won't blow your mind with big changes but between the two Kingdom Rush games Frontiers is the better game.