Virtual Reality lends itself well to many genres and themes, but I would say it works particularly well with tower defense games. One great example is Alchemist Defender which immerses you in the world you’re defending by incorporating a clever first-person action element. However, table-top VR tower defense games can be extremely fun too, if done well.
Battle Of Kings VR is one such game from Wenkly Studio, that was first released for Gear VR in 2017 and has now made it over to PC VR platforms. This VR tower defense game offers a single-player campaign mode that gives you a classic TD game that’s simply set in a virtual world – which would be enough for some but not for everyone. Luckily, Battle Of Kings VR also offers a battle mode that combines the tower defense element with an offensive gameplay mechanic where you have to manage your economy between strengthening your defensive structure and creating troops to send out to fight. It’s certainly an interesting addition to the original tower defense theme and adds something different beyond just the fact that the game plays in virtual reality.
Another uncommon element to the game is an online multiplayer mode where you battle against other players in PvP matches. While not unheard of for a tower defense game, it definitely adds replayability to Battle Of Kings VR for when players have finished with the game’s main campaign.
Take a look at my gameplay video:
Battle Of Kings VR takes place across three islands and involves protecting your kingdom from some guy called James who decided he’s now taking over. So basically, you’re just directing your carpenters and builders to construct defenses for his incoming army. Well that’s the story at least. Gameplay-wise things are much simpler and much like with any classic tower defense game I was the one placing the defensive towers using my Vive trigger. That’s the only part of the controllers that this game actually makes use of.
So I got underway and quickly made my way through the first five levels of the “green” forested island. The narrator quickly got me up to speed with the story as well as the game mechanics and then the first few soldiers started straggling as I looked on from above my little piece of the world. While not awe-inspiring, the visual style of the islands are pleasing to look at and create a colorful backdrop to the shooting and freezing shots of my towers. The visuals, much like the voice acting is a nice complement to the gameplay but not at all intrusive – or even the main focus for the game.
A Fast But Steady Progression
Things progressed fairly easy and I’d say it took me maybe about 50 minutes to make it on to the next island. Each level was just a little bit harder than the previous one and the game did a great job of easing me in and making things progressively harder. When I reached level 5 things got a little more complicated through the aforementioned battle mode that lets you manage your own little economy and send some troops. It was a welcome variation in the gameplay and actually had me on my toes thinking again, instead of almost mindlessly waiting for money to place one more tower after another. It also ramped up the challenge a bit by making me concentrate on two types of strategies instead of just one. Although a welcome addition to Battle Of Kings VR would be some difficulty settings so more experienced players can get a little more out of the game.
That said, the tower placement positions have been pre-chosen by the development team, which essentially makes this game very simple to play. That’s not a bad thing of course because easy UI and uncomplicated gameplay makes for a smoother experience. But it can also get stale pretty easily. Not to mention the replayability, in this case, isn’t very high.
That problem gets somewhat solved, however, with the Online PvP mode that lets you go up against friends or strangers with, essentially, the same mechanics as the battle mode for the single-player campaign. So while it doesn’t necessarily add anything new in terms of gameplay, it does create some more excitement and (hopefully) more of a challenge when you’re facing off against a real person.
In the end, it feels like the developers tried to play it safe with every aspect of this game. So it’s a pleasant, if somewhat familiar experience, that will bring you a few hours of fun if you’re into tower defense games. If you’re new to the genre, however, then Battle Of Kings VR is a perfect title to start with.