Shane Rogers | Jan 26 2013 09:05 PM
Tower defense games are pretty much a dime a dozen these days, so developers have to do what they can to bring fresh new ideas and tweak the experience in order to stand out amongst the crowd. Lately, we’ve seen a few games take the standard tower defense formula and turn it upside down - with you going on the offensive and taking the fight to the enemy. The newest game to follow this path comes from a relatively new and small developer - flaregames
- and is called Royal Revolt
In Royal Revolt you get to take on the role of a young prince who has newly returned from getting his degree in lesser magic. Upon his return things have had quite the upheaval; he finds that his father has passed on and his evil relatives have taken control of castles that should be rightfully his. It is with that premise that you take control of the young prince and, along with a pair of soldier types to pick from, will proceed to take back your castle.
Once you’ve installed Royal Revolt (and have quite possibly needed to make room for it, as it comes in at a chunky 246MB) and fired it up you will be greeted with a nifty rendered opening story that gives you a bit of what’s happened. When you reach the title screen, you will get something of an idea of what the in game graphics will look like, along with what troops you have available. It’s kind of a nifty little feature that the developers have thrown in, as you gain more troops, or upgrade your armor, the title screen reflects those changes. It doesn’t add anything, but it’s a nice touch. Getting past the title screen, you’ll be presented with an overworld map that shows where you’ll be going, although at the start you don’t have many other options beyond the first guidepost. You enter each stage by pressing the Start button that’s below your princely character.
As Royal Revolt is a “reverse” tower defense game with a strategy angle, you will be calling forth many troops to assist you in your battles to conquer each stage. To begin with, you only have two different options at your disposal, a sword-and-shield wielding warrior and a soldier with bow and arrow. As the ranged attacker has the weaker defense, you will naturally want to ensure that you have plenty of melee attackers on hand first. You call forth fresh troops easily enough, by selecting the appropriate button representation from the bottom left of the screen. While it would be nice - and easy - if you could just call forth as many troops as you wished, it just doesn't work that way. You have an energy bar along the bottom of the screen that will get depleted as you generate more troops and will fill up again as time passes along. As you progress through the game and level up your prince, you will gain more and more energy reserves, as well as more troop types to send out.
You only have immediate control of the prince character, apart from the ability to call back all of your troops for a huddle by tapping on your hero’s icon, and for the most part the control is excellent. There are some stages, though, where the view gets kind of “out there” and it can be tough to direct your character precisely. As you make your way through the levels, you will collect gold which can be used to upgrade your troops. You will also gain access to spells that can make things easier on you, the first of which are healing and fire spells. Many of the spells have an area of effect to them, for example the healing spell - while active - will continuously heal any of your troops that is in its range. The fire spell will - you guessed it - set fire to enemies and enemy items that fall within its range. Other spells include stun, hammer strike, toxic cloud, avalanche, and a few others. New spells, like new troops, get unlocked as you progress through the stages. Everything is also available to be upgraded using gold earned within the levels As you upgrade your troops they will also change types (for example into knights and rangers). You can also upgrade your own armor, sword and helm, all of which will be reflected in new models for your character.
I imagine that you probably guessed by now that Royal Revolt does have in app purchases, as do the vast majority of games available for download do these days. You can purchase gold to use in upgrades, so for those who want to do that kind of thing it is available. As in app purchases are pretty much the norm these days, I would highly recommend that you put safety measures in place to keep your children from accidentally making purchases without your knowledge. They can get mighty expensive.
Graphically speaking, Royal Revolt is eye-catching and well put together. The 3D models look excellent and I can’t say that I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen playing it. Granted, graphics don’t make a good game, but they can make a good game better. There aren't a whole lot of textures going on, but what is there is enough to make you want to keep playing. I even tried to get as many troops on the screen as I could to see if I could force the game to slowdown, but even with a large number of them on screen I experienced no lag on my SGS2. I’m sure it’s possible to drag things to a halt, but I haven’t figured it out yet.
Some tower defense games are good to play for a little bit of distraction, some are just downright boring, and still yet some pull you in and make you come back for more. I’ve found that Royal Revolt sits solidly in the latter category, so as long as you have room on your device for a 250MB game then feast your eyes on one of the better “tower offense” games in the Play store.
Royal Revolt is available for free from the Google Play store