There are no shortage of castle defense games in the App Store. In fact, next to tower defense games, it’s one of the most oversaturated genres, so for a castle defense game to stand out, it needs to be truly original.
Little 3 Kingdoms, unfortunately, does not fit that bill, with standard castle defense tactics that do not add anything new to the genre, but it does have challenging gameplay and impressive graphics, making it a good choice for those of you who love defense games.
This is a 2D real-time strategy game, where the goal is to send out wave after wave of minions to attack the enemy castle while defending your own. As in several other games in the genre, there are no resources to collect – they accumulate automatically, and your troops walk forward automatically, so there is little micro management to attend to.
This is both a curse and a blessing. It allows players to concentrate on deciding which types of troops to send out (and there are several, from different types of melee to different kinds of ranged minions) to combat the enemy troops, but it also means gameplay can get monotonous.
To combat this, Little 3 Kingdoms incorporates heroes, which are used independently of troops to boost morale and attack powers. Heroes have abilities that can be activated every so often, so in addition to keeping an eye on your troops, you will need to manage special abilities as well.
All of the controls, including spawning new minions, controlling heroes, and upgrading buildings are tap based, so there’s not a lot of interactivity in the game. It’s mostly based on pure strategy – deciding when to deploy your troops and what kind of troops will best handle the enemy attack.
Each level allows players to earn stars, and more stars result in more gold. Beating a level quickly is the key to earning the most money possible, and you’ll need to do it right the first time around because players cannot go back and replay levels.
Gold is used to upgrade existing units and to purchase new units, and the game’s difficulty relies heavily on these upgrades. Basically, if you’re not purchasing them, you’re not going to be able to keep up with the enemy troops, and the game will eventually get too hard to finish.
I found that the game was stingy with the amount of coin that was made available to players, almost ensuring the need for in-app purchases to finish the end levels. I was disappointed to find that I hit a wall when playing this game – it was simply impossible for me to progress after a certain point because I didn’t have enough money to buy upgrades.
I think Little 3 Kingdoms could use an update to fix its difficulty curve, but I did enjoy the game’s gorgeous backgrounds and well-designed characters. The gameplay may have been disappointing, but the visuals sure were impressive.
What I liked: Little 3 Kingdoms has a fantastic theme and downright gorgeous graphics that are a pleasure to look at.
What I didn’t like: At a certain point, there is no way to progress without purchasing coins within the app, unless you are the world’s best castle defense player. At the very least, Little 3 Kingdoms needs an update to allow players to replay levels to earn more coins, because as it stands, the difficulty curve is much too high and the coins are much too sparse.
To buy or not to buy: You’ll want to pick this up if you’re a serious castle defense lover. If you’ve had a lot of experience with these types of games you may have better luck getting through the levels, and I think dedicated gamers may enjoy the challenge Little 3 Kingdoms has to offer.
- App Name: Little 3 Kingdoms
- Version Reviewed: 1.0
- Category: Games
- Developer: Asnet Co.
- Price: $1.99