Ironhide Game Studio probably doesn’t need to innovate much to continue producing quality games. Kingdom Rush is fantastic, as are both of the follow-ups, despite not changing much with the formula. As I said, they don’t need to make big changes … but they did with their latest release, Iron Marines, and it’s worked out fantastically.

Where Kingdom Rush is a series of tower defense games with player-controlled heroes that can roam the map, Iron Marines is a full-blown real-time-strategy game mixed with the classic tower defense formula. There were always RTS elements to the Kingdom Rush games, but Iron Marines offers up a lot more depth.

It’s a gorgeous game and everything around the edges adds such a nice layer of polish that this developer is known for. There are little voice lines or animations that give all the units and tower types a lot of character, while the hero units are all very unique.

The only issue is that it’s a premium-priced game with microtransactions … like a lot of them. It has more microtransactions than most free games. I might have enjoyed playing Iron Marines as much or more than any game this year, but there are a slew of heroes I’ll simply never get to play despite paying full price for the game, and that’s disappointing.

Still, it’s worth the price of admission to experience the amount of content there actually is without the microtransactions. The game is a blast and worth your time, and is pretty long on top of that. It should keep you entertained for several hours, and then some if you want to do extra challenges and get the top rating on levels.

Iron Marines is $2.99 on Google Play.

Destination Android Game of the Year 2017 thus far

31. Sonny
30. A Girl Adrift
29. Burgle Bros
27. Passpartout: The Starving Artist
26. Cityglitch
25. Layton’s Mystery Journey
24. Disjoint
23. Linelight
22. Tokaido
21. Home Behind
20. The Witch’s Isle
19. Milkmaid of the Milky Way
18. Cosmic Express
17. FRAMED 2
16. Miracle Merchant
15. Spaceplan
14. Fowlst
13. Old Man’s Journey
12. Underhand
11. Sidewords
10. Love You to Bits
9. Card Thief
8. Cat Quest
7. Slayaway Camp
6. Million Onion Hotel
5. After the End: Forsaken Destiny
4. Thimbleweed Park
3. Iron Marines


James founded Destination Android and writes about sports for Vox Media's SB Nation. He is a mindless jerk who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

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