Iron Marines – Kingdom Rush on the Offensive

Oct 7, 2017
Strategy

Iron Marines is a strategy defense game from the makers of the famous Kingdom Rush that turns their own genre on its head.

Instead of the glorious medieval towers, defending against hordes of enemy assailants rampaging down your lines and depleting your health, this time you’re the attacker on an alien world.

Iron Marines form a special unit designed to assault any alien incursions on outlying planets. To that end, you deploy on a planet and begun to construct squads of firing units to fight against the enemy multitudes.

Similar to Kingdom Rush, there are a huge variety of enemies with strengths and weaknesses that different squads are capable of killing. Some squads are equipped with higher firepower and longer reload times, whereas others are snipers meant to pick off medium targets at a long range before they can even hit you.

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The significant difference from Kingdom Rush is the intense challenge of every single level. In Kingdom Rush, you’re defending your territory from enemies, allowing you to react to the enemy’s movements and play on the defensive. Thus, you inherently have the advantage. In Iron Marines, you’re constantly on the attack, even when you’re forced to defend a position, meaning the enemies will feel unstoppable. This ever-present feeling of more enemies’ incoming makes you feel incredibly hard pressed, most different from the comparably relaxing experience of Kingdom Rush.

To make it worse, there is no notification of exactly how many enemies or of what types are incoming. This lack of information makes it frustrating as you don’t know how exactly far along the level you are. You don’t realize it, but it was an incredibly helpful feature of Kingdom Rush.

You don’t realize it, but it was an incredibly helpful feature of Kingdom Rush.

To ameliorate these problems, Iron Marines gives you heroes. Heroes work in exactly the same way as in Kingdom Rush, providing differing types of fire support and damage bonuses, with a myriad of options allowing you to pick the type of hero you want to attack with. Some are heavy hitters, others specialize in close range combat, whereas others are all about hitting the small, fast enemies that rush you.

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The variety always ensures you can pick the types of units you want to recruit to compensate for your heroes deficiencies. When your hero is all about destroying the fast droves, you can recruit units from the base that focus on the hard, heavy hitters. This balancing and ability to make choices sets Iron Marines apart from other games of similar genres, as it gives the player agency.

This player agency is what allows Iron Marines to be more than just a strategy shooter game. It takes the established system of Kingdom Rush and turns it on its head, while adding new and interesting combat and gameplay mechanics.

It takes the established system of Kingdom Rush and turns it on its head, while adding new and interesting combat and gameplay mechanics.

Does Iron Marines get frustrating due to the enemies’ strength? Yes, but it is a conquerable frustration – you’ll become annoyed, but it will drive you to win the level, just to prove it to yourself. Iron Marines can’t beat you.

And you’ll have fun beating it.

Our Rating

ProsCons
Great variation on Kingdom Rush. Variety of unit types. Good Challenge.Can feel frustrating. Enemies feel too strong.
Rating
8/10
Iron Marines
Developer: Ironhide S.A.
Price: $4.99+
Iron Marines
Price: €4,99+

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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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