Crazy Kings Review: Mild-Mannered Ruler

By Nadia Oxford |
The Good

A nostalgic throwback to when tower defense mechanics were basic.

Controlling your own warriors is fun.

Cute graphics.

The Bad

Game's mechanics may be too old-fashioned for some.

Free-to-play stamina meter means waiting or paying for a recharge.

Crazy Kings touts itself as a “new kind” of tower defense game, but it’s not. Not really. There aren’t many ideas here that haven’t been trotted out earlier by other tower defense titles.

That’s not to suggest Crazy Kings is a bad game, however. In fact, the simple back-to-basics mechanics driving it may be exactly what you need if you feel that the genre has gotten too aggressively fancy-schmancy lately.

Be warned, however: There’s an energy system to contend with, and you can buy packs of powerful cards with cash money. It’s no worse than what many free-to-play tower defense games offer (and the cards you win in-game are usually more than enough to earn you victory after victory, provided you play on some basic strategic level), but it’s worth noting if you’re not down with buying wins while at war.


As its name helpfully suggests, Crazy Kings takes place in a time and in a realm where war-hungry kings are dividing the land. You’re thrown against armies of baddies, and there’s a particular emphasis on monster warriors of all kinds. The usual suspects are on-hand in massive quantities: Archers, grunts, and heavily-armored knights, to name a few.

The bad guys attack in waves. They stream in from designated points and try to make their way through your defenses. You lose health for every villain that completes their trek and slips by you. But your defenses include archers, magicians, and bombers that can be placed at designated spots when you gather enough mana to do so. You can also use mana to upgrade soldiers that are already on the front lines.

Sound familiar? Crazy Kings really does tread old territory, though the game offers a soothing kind of predictability for doing so. There aren’t any new mechanics or gimmicks to get used to. It’s just you and your wall of warriors against the hulking threats that just keep on comin’. In Crazy Kings, endurance is just as important as strategy, if not more so.

The game does have one interesting mechanic that’s not exactly new in the tower defense genre, but isn’t common either. In addition to building towers, you can also control individual warriors that personally go toe-to-toe with the enemy and perform a bit of sword-swinging. These strong mobile units can be outfitted with upgradable weapons and armor, and they’re a great way to slow the advancing tide. It’s also satisfying to use them like sheepdogs, letting them stall enemies while nearby towers pick them off.

It’s easy enough to drift into Crazy Kings’ basic mechanics. It’s actually kind of calming to play, even though a war is technically raging around you and your fighters. A single battle does gulp down a lot of your allotted stamina, though said fights tend to last for quite a while.

If you’d like a tower defense game that’s easy to digest, downloading this one isn’t a crazy idea.

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