What do we want? YEAAA! When do we want it? YEAAA! Hey wait, I just found a rock in my shoe. YEAAA! No seriously, it hurts… YEAAA! Guys, what’s wrong with you? YEAAA! Your mom just called and she… YEAAA! That’s it, I’m leaving.
Described in the Play store as a “reverse” tower defense game, Royal Revolt pits you (the hero) and your minions against 42 gauntlet-style runs. Along the path to victory, you’ll need to deal with towers shooting arrows or spewing lava, traps, barricades, and waves of enemy troops. As your own troops steadily lose steam, you’ll be constantly creating more (who spawn back at the starting point) as well as using your own hero’s spells and abilities to help move things along. Can Royal Revolt be truly called a reverse tower defense game? Aside from a minor technicality, I think so.
Reversed Tower Anti-Defense
Tower defense games typically involve you building turrets and upgrading them in order to deal with increasing waves of enemies. Then, after every few levels, a “boss” will come your way that you’d better hope you’re ready for. To literally reverse the scenario, the enemy AI would be constantly building and upgrading towers while you sat back launching wave after wave of troops. Every so often, you’d also have the ability to send a boss out who would wreak havoc on the enemy’s defenses. In Royal Revolt, you’re the boss (sort of) and there is no enemy AI constantly upgrading/building towers during a given level; they’re static. The result, however, is still a pretty fun spin on a tried-and-tested genre.
As you complete missions – which are essentially quite short, single-lane dashes to a castle at the other end – you’ll gain gold and levels. Levels allow you (the hero) to unlock new spells and new troops while gold allows you to upgrade your hero’s stats, spells, and troops themselves. Once you’ve spent your hard-earned ca$h on upgrades, you’re tossed into the gauntlet. Enemy troops will start advancing immediately, so you’ll need to start churning-out your own. Lucky for you, you can see what types of enemy mobs are coming your way via the timeline at the top of the screen giving you a slight strategical edge. Time is the currency when it comes to creating your army, and you have a fixed pool from which to draw. Different troops will cost you different chunks of time, and the time-bar continually replenishes as you wait. This is where most of the strategy comes into play.
Get In Line
Obviously, you’ll want to charge out into the fray with your troops since you have a wicked swing and some nasty spells under your belt, but what happens when your troops die and the new ones you’ve queued are all staggered behind you? Troops move on their own schedule, and until you get the Rally ability there’s no way to stop them. So unfortunately for you, one or two of your new troops will end up squaring-off with four or five of the enemy’s (the AI tends to send his out in clusters). What this means is, you’ll be best-off letting your timer bar fill completely before buying troops so that your troops will cluster just like the enemy’s. Once you get the Rally ability, however, you can move back a bit and call all your troops to your position for a quick heal and to wait for the others. Though, they won’t wait long before they’re compelled to continue the fight. Another strategy to combat your troops’ antsyness is using barricades to your advantage. Hang-back just out of your hero’s range and help fight the enemy troops while leaving the barricade up as long as possible; your new troops will start pooling at the roadblock.
A “YEAAA!” For Every Season
Mechanics-wise, Royal Revolt has some interesting features but in general I felt like each level was too short and my spell upgrades didn’t have much impact. Yes, you get to buy upgrades and yes, you get new spells, but each spell felt like a wash – the new one wasn’t a whole lot better than my older, upgraded one. Not to mention the scenery… In thirteen levels, the maps felt very similar and it started to feel like a slog; too many tiny little levels and tiny little rewards. In my opinion, they could’ve compressed the game down to twenty-or-so levels and made the upgrades feel more weighty to overcome this impression. The graphics, however, are sharp albeit cartoony. What’s with all the cartoon graphics in Android games, seriously? I did have one major gripe with Royal Revolt (hence the opening paragraph of my review), and that is all the constant, annoying, over-use of the “YEAAA!” sound effect. You’ll hear it once when you start a mission, once (in chorus) when you end a mission, and then every-single time you spawn a new soldier. Given that each mission takes all of five minutes, that’s a whole lot of obnoxious “YEAAA!”ing… Seriously guys, can’t you be a little more creative with the sound-effects? The over-use of this one sound-effect is absolutely annoying as hell. /rant
Royal Revolt’s slick graphics, level-unlocks, and upgrade mechanics will keep you busy for quite some time as long as you can handle all the repetition. There are daily challenges for extra gold as well as “elite” missions that unlock every few levels – unfortunately, these look/feel mostly the same as all the rest. Still, for a free title this is definitely worth a shot… just be sure to use your earplugs. In my humble opinion, the “true” test of your abilities is not in beating the game but withstanding the incessant “YEAAA!”s constantly barraging your senses.