Mobile gamers have access to more tower defence games than they know what to do with. With this in mind, it’s understandably difficult to feel any enthusiasm for new games in the genre, especially for those with a medieval theme. Not to mention, while free games are great, they do raise some scepticism of the game’s quality.
But Royal Revolt! is different. It differentiates itself and towers (pun very much intended) above its competitors and offers something you may not expect.
Perhaps this is because Royal Revolt! doesn’t play like a traditional tower defence game. In fact it’s quite the opposite – a “tower attack” game, if you will. The game is similar in concept to Swords and Soldiers, but the presentation and gameplay elements in Royal Revolt! helps keep it unique. Oh, and dangerously addictive.
As a Prince returning home from boarding school, you discover your father, the King, has been killed. During your absence, his sour siblings have seized the kingdom and possessed the many castles. Set on reclaiming your heritage, you and your army battle through the enemy and take back each castle one at a time.
The first thing that becomes immediately apparent is that the game is just beautiful. The cartoon-style character models and gorgeous landscapes are displayed in spectacularly colourful HD visuals. It manages to run smoothy throughout too on a tablet, with very minimal lag.
Instead of your usual strategy game, wherein you are provided with an overview in order to specifically place your troops, players take more of a hands-on approach. You control the Prince directly, using your finger to guide him and move around. You summon soldiers by tapping on icons on the left, causing them to respawn at your camp on one end of the level.
A meter that automatically fills over time determines how many soldiers you can have, with different classes consuming various amounts. Your infantry consists of warriors, archers, mages and catapults, and constantly summoning these is crucial to hold back the waves of enemies throughout your advance to the castle on the other end.
Your army classes can be upgraded, too. Upgrades play a large and, as it goes, addictive part of Royal Revolt!. These can be obtained from the gold that you earn after conquering each castle. Your Prince’s health, attack and magic power can all be boosted, as can your various spells.
Spells, you say? That’s right, you also have quite a variety of magic trickery up your royal sleeve. As with your troops, spells can be used with a simple tap and are only limited by a brief regeneration time. You can use healing and shield spells to defend yourself and your surrounding allies, or use offensive magic such as fire and poison in order to help dispose of obstructing enemies and objects.
Of course, as with most free mobile games, Royal Revolt! includes IAPs to help support it. Thankfully, this is very unobtrusive. The game never spikes the difficulty high enough to make you feel that you’re forced to spend real money for gold in order to stand a chance, nor does it constantly shove ads in your face frequently.
That said, there are times when you have to grind in order to level up and gain the gold necessary in order to purchase upgrades. While a little too frequent, it’s never too much of a hindrance to replay levels when the game is so fun. Each level also has a three star system (like Angry Birds or Cut the Rope), so it never feels like your time is being completely wasted when you have the opportunity to go back and increase your stars (which unlock secret levels as they are collected).
With three worlds to traverse, there are an incredible amount of levels to keep you occupied for a long time. While the formula never really changes throughout the game and it would have been nice to see an occasional boss or challenge to mix things up, the variety of environments manages to keep you engaged. Forresty plains, snowy terrains and even skeleton-ridden dungeon stages all serve as delicious eye candy, and the catchy soundtrack alone is enough to keep morale high.
Royal Revolt! is literally a steal at the price of nothing, and sets new standards for what can be offered on mobile devices. For anyone who scoffs at mobile being a viable and worthy gaming platform, this is a game that I’d happily shove in those people’s faces. The quality of graphics and music shows the developer really does care and isn’t churning out a game that could easily just lazily cash in on the popular medieval tower defence trend. The addictive nature of playing and upgrading really seals the deal, however, and ensures that the game is everything an on-the-go gamer could want.