This is a refreshing and different take on the tower defense genre adding elements of RPG and strategy. The story is simple but well portrayed with a good spattering of humor thrown in. There is a comical aside with your antagonists before and after every stage, usually giving you hints of what you can expect to face next. The are some subtle references to mythology, perhaps where the developers drew their inspiration.
There was the potential here for a complicated and frustrating play experience, thankfully though, the developers have put a great deal of thought into this aspect and the control gestures are both simple and intuitive. You take control of the hero directly, there is no virtual control pad, touching anywhere on the screen makes your hero set off in that direction. Your army controls itself, the only thing you need to worry about in that regard is making sure you keep calling them. On the bottom left of screen you’ll see a bar that slowly fills up, as it does so you’ll be able to tap the icons directly above it to call new troops. At first there are only swordsmen but you’ll have access to more types as you progress. As the hero you’ll need to lead the troops where you want them to go, but you’ll occasionally need to leave them to their own devices while you run ahead to disable traps and obstacles. To the bottom right of screen is your spell selection, you can equip up to 2 spells in each level and these are activated by tapping their icons. Spells have a cooldown period so you’ll need to use them with a little strategy in mind.
A lot of detail has been put into the sound effects and visuals, the play area is clearly defined and it’s easy to distinguish enemy troops from your own. Characters are detailed and upgrades are visible on units even in battle. The sound effects are fun and suit the visual feel of the game, I didn’t find them tiresome even after long periods of play. Royal Revolt! will shorten your battery life but it wasn’t even close to as bad as I thought it would be, there is a lot happening on an off screen and it doesn’t effect performance. I haven’t noticed any slowdown or visual glitching. If there is a limit on the amount of troops you can call, I haven’t yet discovered it. Put simply, this title sets an amazing standard.
As you gain experience your hero gets stronger, and gains more health. You can also upgrade your troops with your gold. Your troops get stronger and more effective, their equipment gets better and this is also shown visually. The first few levels are relatively cheap, but each successive level costs double the level before. Each unit has a maximum level of 9, you’ll probably want to focus on your swordsmen at first as they’re the backbone of your offense. Each unit has a speciality, the catapults for example are great for destroying towers but almost useless against troops and physically weak, meaning they need to be protected. You are also able to upgrade your spells giving them longer durations and stronger effects. Each spell has its pros and cons and its really just trying them out to see which combination you like best but playing through the missions you will need to utilize them all. The menus are all clear and simple, as well as organized.
All together, there are 30 levels to play through, 24 of which are story missions. The final level by the way is almost impossible, combining all the traps and elements from the whole campaign. I found I needed to backtrack here to level up my troops a bit. There are 6 levels scattered around the map marked with a skull flag, these levels are a little more difficult but they’re not essential for progression. They have a more social application, if you sign in through social media you can compare your score with your friends. The only way to score is by playing these extra missions and each week the score is reset back to zero. For every star you earn in the story missions, you gain a daily income of 100 gold, handy when you’re saving for expensive upgrades.