Battle of Kings from Wenkly Studios is a tower defence game originally released for Gear VR last year.
Now in Early Access on Steam its VR origins are instantly apparent. It has a simple user interface and basic but pleasing visual style.
It’s clear this game is designed to run well on just about any system.
Battle of Kings Preview
Battle of Kings initially throws the player into a very straightforward campaign. You are a king with a bit of land and so is your brother.
He wants your bit of land and is sending troops down the road to your castle. To stop him you’ll need to build to defences along the side of the road.
It’s a basic premise but tower defence game have never really been about telling a story. They’re all about the strategy and Wenkly Studios have made an interesting decision in that regard.
Players are restricted in the position they can build your defence towers to predetermined spots. On the one hand this kind of makes for a puzzle as to which towers to place in which position to most effectively eliminate the enemy waves.
One and Done
However, once you’ve figured that out it’s done and there is next to no motivation for a replay of the campaign missions. A third of the way into the campaign, Battle of Kings introduces us to a new mission type.
The new mode is a kind of Versus tower defence where the map has your castle at one end and the enemy at the other. Each has their own route to the enemy and must both take turns sending troops through the enemy defences.
This mission type is the introduction to Battle of Kings multi-player and it really is what sets this title apart from other games in the genre.
In multiplayer mode, each player manages a small castle containing a barracks, forge and mine. Turns consist of a 45-second preparation phase in which units and upgrades can be purchased from these buildings.
Next is the attack phase that happens if you’re ready or not if the timer runs out.
The barracks is used to recruit different types of soldiers to send in your next attack wave. The forge allows you to upgrade those soldiers and then upgrading the mine increases how much gold you receive.
The cost of your soldiers and upgrades, combined with the expense of building towers to defend the approach to your own castle means that managing your economy becomes extremely important. Do you sink all your money this turn into defence?
Send a massive wave of soldiers at the enemy and hope to overwhelm them or meet somewhere in the middle? At the same time, you need to try and discern the strategy of your opponent?
The only tools you have to do this is to observe how much they increase their defences by and then guess at where else they have spent their money.
It’s a fun little strategic battle system.
If you are a fan of tower defence game and looking for a unique multiplayer experience in that genre its worth it. Likewise, if you have never played this style of game before I’m sure the campaign mode would make a great intro to the world of tower defence.
Sadly, Battle of Kings would be incredibly well suited to tablet play, however, at this stage, there is no way to scroll the map without a keyboard.
The title is till in Early Access, so hopefully this changes soon.