Knights Onrush (Version 1.1 Update) Please Register or Log in to view images Introduction Price: $2.99 (Until June 22) Version: 1.1 iTunes Store link: Knights Onrush Developer: MoreGames Entertainment Publisher: Chillingo Ltd Gameplay Video: YouTube The developers of Knights Onrush have created great games such as iDracula and Orions: Legend of Wizards, so naturally there's some expectation that their latest game would live up to the standard they carved out for themselves. The following is a presentation of what the game offers, for you to decide. Gameplay Long Version (Scroll down for an in-game diagram) Knights Onrush shares game mechanics with Defend Your Castle and StickWars. However, the resemblance is slight and doesn't extend much beyond the very basic kill maneuver: Flicking enemies into the air and letting gravity do its thing. Knights, among other medieval enemies (Wizards/Mages, Assassins, Catapults) rush towards your castle which you must protect. You have several offensive and defensive upgrades, available to help you. First and foremost, let's talk about flicking and dropping enemies. This will be your primary offensive move as there is no limit to how many times you may do this. The game also allows you to throw an enemy towards the ground to do more damage. This is especially useful when encountering certain heavier enemies (Mounted Knights for instance) that can't be flicked high into the air. Drag into the air and flick downwards for a more efficient kill of these beefier enemies. Each kill gives a little bit of gold. Gold is used to buy upgrades in the Castle Shop between days (The game's word for stages/levels in each section).. Castle Shop Please Register or Log in to view images The yellow numbers represent amount of Gold needed; The blue, Sacrifice points Unfortunately, gold isn't enough to purchase all upgrades. Certain upgrades require Sacrifices. These Sacrifices are gained through special upgrades (Sacrificers). There are two types of Sacrificers, the first is Hell Gate. This is basically just a pit with a cover in the ground. Drag an enemy over the Hell Gate for a moment and it will open, allowing you to drop the enemy in and damn a soul for eternity. You must wait briefly for the hole to spit out the carcass of its victim until you can use it again. The second Sacrificer is Dragon Altar. Drag an enemy onto the hook attached to the altar and soon a dragon will swoop from the sky and gobble it up. Only one enemy may be hooked at a time. Each Sacrificer provides one Sacrifice point for each kill. All enemies can be sacrificed, including Catapults (Catapults have souls too apparently). Sacrifice points can be used in conjunction with gold to purchase further upgrades. For example, want more power of destruction? Try a Boulder. Boulders come in sizes of Small, Medium, and Large. Spawned on top of castle towers, it provides quite a bit of demolition power. Lift it from its spawn and throw on top of an enemy to kill it or bounce enemies into the air if they're stronger. It has splash damage so better yet, chuck it into a mob of enemies for maximum carnage. This upgrade has a respawn timer, and should be used sparsely. Next we have a Fireball. As before, it comes in the same three sizes (Small, Medium, Large). Fireballs are used the same way as Boulders and also have a respawn timer. The only difference between using Boulders and Fireballs is that Fireballs can be swirled around in the air for a while, thereby causing a bigger Fireball for more damage. This usually instantly kills any enemies. Different from the previous offensive upgrade, we have Columns. Columns can be utilized by tapping the controlling tower, the column will then descend from the sky waiting to be flicked at an enemy underneath it. A special thing about Columns is that they can be used several times before disappearing. Same as the previous two, it has a respawn timer, Small to Large sizes, and splash damage. Last of the offensive upgrades, the Guns. Available upgrades are Cannon, Freezer, Flamethrower. Each Gun has a different effect. The Cannon provides explosive damage similar to the Fireball, whereas Freezer can instantly solidify any enemies in its path into ice. Flamethrower destroys enemies in its way. Guns must be aimed by holding the tower and releasing when satisfied with its trajectory. This upgrade has a timer as well. The final upgrade are door upgrades. This changes the look of your castle door and provides better defense. When the door is destroyed, you lose. Version 1.1 Update: This update brings a new weapon, the Ballista. The Ballista boasts a very short reload timer in exchange for quite low damage. The first upgrade is a piercing shot which kills all enemies it touches. Unfortunately since the Ballista is mounted on the roof, the angle it shoots at is not that great for maximum penetration, though I suppose that was the intended effect. The second upgrade is the same as the first but I assume it has a faster reload time. The third upgrade is different, it still has the same fast reload speed, but now it explodes on impact, effectively eliminating large mobs the same way Fireball would. It works similar to the Gun weapons, tap and hold to aim then release to fire. The Ballista in action Please Register or Log in to view images Instructions from Knights Onrush Help menu Please Register or Log in to view images Other offensive strategies include smashing Catapults into the ground, mimicking Fireballs. Or similarly, using Explosive Barrels carried by enemies. Campaign Mode No story to this, it just drops you in a map with shields icons that indicate levels. Each level may have different enemies and/or starting upgrades. One level consists of many "days" ranging from 8 to 25. Levels are unlocked by completing the one preceding it. Utilize reflex and strategy to beat levels. Level selection menu in Campaign mode Please Register or Log in to view images Endless Siege Mode This mode is one level with an infinite amount of days. You start out with no upgrades and slowly build up your defense and offense. Castle Shop is available. Madness Mode Quite honestly, this mode is hectic. Enemies are strong and come fast and often. You start with Steel Door but no offensive upgrades. If you somehow beat the first day which frankly, is extremely difficult, you can purchase much needed offensive upgrades in the Castle Shop. This mode is like Endless Siege but much, much harder. In the later days there are springs which launch enemies directly in front of your castle, making defending absolutely laborious. That's the end of the Gameplay section and I'd like to note I haven't beaten most of Campaign (and likewise, Endless Siege and Madness) so there could possibly be many things I'm leaving out. - - - Short Version Please Register or Log in to view images A. Dragon Altar. Hang an enemy on the hook and a Dragon will devour it. Each kill earns 1 Sacrifice point. B. Column. Drag downwards to trample enemies, may be used several times before dissappearing. The button to activate this power is at G. C. Hell Gate. Drop baddies into this pit and earn 1 Sacrifice point when the victim's skeleton is spat out. D. Enemy. This is just one of many enemies that will assault your castle. Flick upwards to kill, or use other offensive means including Fireballs, Boulders, and Columns. E. Boulder. Hurl at an enemy or a mob of enemies for damage. If enemies are not killed, they will be thrown up into the air by the force of the impact. F. Door. Last line of defense. When it is destroyed, you lose. Can be upgraded for more hit points. G. Column Tower. Tap and a Column will descend from the heavens. H. Respawn Timer. A timer showing how long left until you can use the corresponding power. Only applies to Columns, Fireballs, Boulders and Guns. I. Gun. Tap and hold to aim, release to shoot. Three different kinds of guns available (Cannon, Freezer, Flamethrower). J. Fireball. Drag around the screen to increase the size for more damage. Chuck at enemies to kill. K. Gold. This is the amount of Gold you have right now. Gold is earned by killing baddies. L. Sacrifice points. How many Sacrifice points you have. Can only be earned by using Hell Gate and Dragon Altar. M. Door Hit Points. Each enemy attack that strikes the Door removes a little of the hit points. Empty out and it's game over. N. Pause. Pauses and brings up a menu with "Resume", "Options", "Abort". A little of what you can expect from Knights Onrush Please Register or Log in to view images Controls Everything is done by taps or dragging, making Knights Onrush simple and untaxing. As with most games, you can multi-tap; Flicking enemies into the air is much faster with two fingers. Visual This is where the game truly shines compared to the forementioned similar games. Comparing graphics in this game and the others is akin to comparing finger paintings and oil paintings, sure they're both art, but it's clear which one is better. The little enemies wriggle when picked up, which is a nice feature. Take a look at the screenshots spread across this review and see for yourself. Audio The audio in Knights Onrush is amazing. Enemies grunt and scream, Fireballs whoosh and crash, the detail is meticulous. Virtually every action is accompanied by a sound, including menu selections Indeed, when playing the game, it feels like an assault of bangs and crashes. Never once was there an annoying sound. Replay Value Version 1.1 has global high scores now. Replay value is high due to the two modes: Endless Siege and Madness. I've found myself playing Endless Siege more than Campaign. Last Thoughts All in all, this is a fantastic game. Controls are solid, graphics are adorable (one of my weaknesses I might add), music and general sounds are excellent. The other castle defending games don't even come close to the gameplay Knights Onrush provides. GLITCHES FIXED IN 1.1 UPDATE One of my beefs with the game is the presence of glitches. This may be because I'm naturally a person who likes to fool around with games on purpose to try to glitch it. There's one glitch with the Hell Gate that happens occasionally when I drop an enemy into it right after the top blows off and spits out a carcass. The first time it glitched it just refused to open for me again. The second time it stayed open and wouldn't work. Another time, the enemy went in, but the animation showed the baddie falling on the outside of the hole. Out of the many times I took advantage of the tiny window of opportunity after the top blows off and before the top falls back on, it glitched thrice. Another thing I have something to complain about is the price. $4.99 for a game is quite a lot. Especially since there are plenty of decent $0.99 games. Of course, considering the quality of Knights Onrush it's somewhat justifiable. This is more dependent on whether or not you believe it's worth it. Loading screens are tedious, and there are a lot of loading screens. For me, it loaded a little too slow, not overly patience killing, but slow. The MoreGames dev team has lived up to their standard of excellence and have me eagerly awaiting upcoming games from them. The new update has brought me back to playing the game much more. I know I can't be the only one when I say "More updates from Moregames please!" Ratings (1.1 revised) Gameplay/Controls: 9/10 - Long loading screen Presentation/Graphics: 10/10 - Glitches no longer present Audio: 9/10 - Excellent audio, not quite ultimate perfect, but up there. Replay Value: 9/10 - Global High Scores are now implemented. Value for the Money: 8/10 - More games like this out there, although this is the best one so far. Has a sale going on right now, it is $2.99 until June 22. Overall: 9.0/10 "Excellent" Image Sources: MoreGames Entertainment (Banner), Chillingo Ltd (Thumbnail).