Secret Kingdom Defenders starts off nicely. You’re a young monk on a long journey, but along the way you’re going to need some close friends to overcome the problems you find along the way.
Secret Kingdom Defenders Review
Think Wizard of Oz, but set in Ancient China, and presented in a cute cartoon style, and you’ve got it (well, kind of).
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This is the latest release from Doppler Hat Games, and it revolves around rescuing a princess. You use your team members and work together to get through the situations you encounter, with some excellent cut-scenes along the way.
The game takes a fairly conventional approach to real-time battling. Depending on each unique situation, you choose the most suitable friends to help you, and you place them in the optimal position to defeat whatever you’re up against.
In a twist, however, you have to not only beat all of the enemy characters but also ensure that none of them gets to the left side of the screen. You must constantly juggle attack and defence.
As the old proverb goes, “Choose your battling partners in Secret Kingdom Defenders wisely.” Each one has a different set of skills, ranging from healing, short/long range attack, attack speed, and so on.
At the outset your gang isn’t fairly underpowered, but over time you spend the Jade you earn on upgrading characters and obtaining new equipment, as well as bringing in new partners to help you in battle.
Secret Kingdom Defenders plays out in real-time, meaning it’s quite fast paced and demanding. Concentration and team selection are key to winning each battle.
There are some similarities with other games on mobile, such as Hero Academy, but the in-game visuals and cut-scenes help this one to stand out.
Defeating enemies – that approach across three planes – is therefore usually just a case of placing the right squad members in the right spots. But the “right spots” varies from second to second due to the real-time nature of the battles.
You can move warriors by swiping and tapping, and considering the swift pace of fights and the busyness of the battlefield this is refreshingly easy to do. The aforementioned clear and colourful presentation helps no end.
In any case the battles can be hugely satisfying once you’ve progressed a little further into the game and can create exactly the team you want. Picking a specific set of heroes that then perfectly pull off the plan you had in mind is immensely satisfying.
Now the game isn’t perfect. To progress beyond a certain point you’ll have to either dip into the game’s realm of in-app purchases or repeat battles over and over to get enough loot to level up your existing squad.
It’s to the game’s credit that you’ll probably do this willingly, as the combat is so consistently enjoyable. There’s even an online PvP element that’s completely free.
So although the freemium aspects may put off some, Secret Kingdom Defenders is by and large a genuinely accessible strategy game with an enjoyable oriental flavour that’s well worth trying.