Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time

RRP: £52.99

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The tabletop adaptation of the famous mobile tower defense game! Welcome to Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time, where you and your allies must work together to fend off the furious onslaught of the mysterious Time Mage. Command Heroes and build Towers to defend the realm by placing polyomino pieces to attack your enemies and deploying soldiers to hold back the ever-advancing horde. Be caref…
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Category Tags , SKU ZBG-LKYKGRR01EN Availability 5+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Great production values
  • Thinky spatial puzzle
  • Hugely Replayable
  • Fun solo or co-op
  • Strategic co-op discussions

Might Not Like

  • Steep difficulty curve
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Description

The tabletop adaptation of the famous mobile tower defense game!

Welcome to Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time, where you and your allies must work together to fend off the furious onslaught of the mysterious Time Mage. Command Heroes and build Towers to defend the realm by placing polyomino pieces to attack your enemies and deploying soldiers to hold back the ever-advancing horde. Be careful, though! The Time Mage's portals are wreaking havoc, causing all of the Towers to warp in and out of existence! Will you play your Towers to defend the Kingdom, or will you pass them to your compatriots so that the Towers can be upgraded? The decision is yours!

Play through a unique campaign to foil the Time Mage's plan for total domination of the space-time continuum. Each new scenario in the campaign is more challenging than the one before it, introducing formidable foes, game-changing events, and epic bosses to battle! The only way to stop the Time Mage is to close all of their pesky portals but you'll have to do so while combating wave after wave of their minions. Fight back with unique Heroes, special abilities, and an awesome arsenal of upgradable Towers. The Time Mage will stop at nothing as they try to take over the Kingdom and neither should you!

Kingdom Rush Rift in Time Review

Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time is the board game implementation of the popular tower defence game app. But how can the frenetic, real-time click-and-upgrade-athon of Kingdom Rush translate to a tabletop experience? The answer is; it can’t. Yet that doesn’t mean that Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time is a failure. The design team have taken the IP, had fun with it and spun it into a complex puzzle that will get your brain cogs groaning and smoking.

The Bum Rush

Upfront, I am enamoured with Kingdom Rush: Rift In Time. It’s easily in my top 5 games and is the game I’ve played most in the last three months. I love it to the point of obsession. I think about it on the daily. Just catching the box out the corner of my eye gives life to a giddy nest of butterflies in my stomach. But as with all relationships, there are niggles and I want to get these out of the way so I can resume with what is, in effect, my love letter to my chunky box of joy.

First off, if you are coming to Rift in Time expecting a simulation of the computer game, that’s not what you will find. Sure, you are building and upgrading towers, deploying heroes and casting spells to try and beat back incessant waves of beasts and monsters, but it is not an adrenaline powered speed test. Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time is a think-before you-leap spatial puzzle where there are wrong answers.

To attack the hordes in the game, you place polyominoes on trays trying to cover up the ghastly beasties and ghosts that want to harm you. Co-operatively deciding who is going to do what, where and when requires planning and strategy.

I went at my first few games hell for leather and made bad early choices because I was just enjoying being a really muscly barbarian with a really big sledgehammer (which is, of course, a totally fine thing to enjoy). Poor choices I paid for dearly as I was overwhelmed by horde trays later in the level. Despite its lively cartoon art, Rift in Time is no joke of a game. It’s serious stuff.

Kingdom Rush Rift in Time Shot

Between a Rift and a Hard Place

This brings me to the second quibble with my new game beau; THIS. GAME. IS. HARD. Much of the complaints on forums centre on how difficult the game is out of the box. Even in the first ‘introductory’ mission it is easy to have one lapse of concentration in one turn and ruin your chances for the rest of that game. Though I have learned to embrace this and see it as a strength. Rift in Time demands you are switched on throughout and this makes for a thoroughly engaging co-operative and solo experience (though play with multiple characters instead of the solo rules).

Complexity doesn’t come at the expense of fun here either. I am pumped for the whole time I’m playing. Victories are sweeter because they are hard fought for. The excitement I get when I realise I’m going to finally beat that boss on my next turn is not something I get from most other games. It’s exhilarating!

Rush, Rush, Hurry, Hurry, Lover Come to Me

Enough negging. Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time is brilliant. The design is physically and mechanically on point and you get a good amount of game for the price. There are some genius component innovations; the plastic trays that you move the hordes along in and the acetate titles to denote building sites are just two. The minis are beautifully sculpted and full of character. I enjoy playing with different combos of heroes and spells to see how their powers interact. Trying, to get the edge to finally beat that fiendish level.

In Rift in Time, the design team have leveraged a surprising amount of variety in the way each level plays, through the slow introduction of different horde types and rule-bending boss levels. One of my criticisms of the app game is its repetitiveness. With the variety of characters, modular boards and range of baddies, that isn’t an issue here. And that’s before I added any of the three available expansions in.

As if the difficult gameplay and beautiful art and minis weren’t enough, undoubtedly my favourite part of Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time is the fact you get to put little star stickers on a map to show you’ve won. Most, games can be rewarding, but do they actually reward you with a star chart! I feel like a proper big boy when I get to put my stickers over the level totem when I win. All games should feature this mechanism going forwards. All. Games.

Kingdom Rush Rift in Time Miniatures

Kingdom Rush: Rift In Time Get Your Copy Now!

As is hopefully clear in this review, Kingdom Rush: Rift In Time surprised me in a big way. I thought I was getting into something frivolous. A quick and frantic fling with someone flirty and brash. I never expected it to get so serious. Yet, here we are, three months in and I’m still seeing Kingdom Rush on the regular. Each playdate brings new experiences and a deeper understanding. I still feel like we have so much more to learn about each other. As my mum might say; this one’s definitely a keeper!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Great production values
  • Thinky spatial puzzle
  • Hugely Replayable
  • Fun solo or co-op
  • Strategic co-op discussions

Might not like

  • Steep difficulty curve