Rise of Kingdoms Review: Is It Worth Playing in 2024?

Sharing insights from my personal experiences with Rise of Kingdoms, here's a review of the game.

Rise of Kingdoms is a real-time strategy mobile game created by Lilith Games, playable on iOS, Android and now PC. Players set forth on a quest to construct and oversee their own civilization, commencing with the establishment and progression of their city. The main gameplay revolves around city construction, resource collection, troop training, and the execution of strategic choices.

A notable aspect of Rise of Kingdoms lies in its incorporation of historical commanders, each possessing distinctive skills and talents. Players can recruit and command these leaders in battle, fighting against AI-driven barbarians and fellow players alike.

I’ve been playing Rise of Kingdoms for more than 5 years, and in this article, I’ll share my personal feelings and experiences within the game. If you’re thinking about starting with Rise of Kingdoms, this may help you decide if it is the game for you.

Gameplay Overview

Right from the beginning, your city will be placed randomly on the map. The maps in Rise of Kingdoms are vast, taking several hours to march from one end to the other. While you can teleport, you’ll need teleport tokens, and they might be scarce at the beginning, so use them wisely.

Rise of Kingdoms starting map.

Surrounding your city, you’ll find other players’ cities, resource nodes, and barbarians. Resource nodes range from levels 1-6, and barbarians vary from levels 1-25. Higher levels mean more resources or rewards.

The map operates on a free-for-all basis, allowing you to attack any player and seize resource nodes. This all-out war aspect adds excitement to the game, with plenty of areas to explore. Strength in Rise of Kingdoms is measured by power, which you can increase by leveling commanders, upgrading buildings, and training troops.

Alliance System

Rise of Kingdoms encourages players to join alliances for teaming up and securing territory.

Rise of Kingdoms alliance screen.

In my view, alliances are among the game’s best features. They not only help you progress faster but also offer a strong social aspect. You can chat with other alliance members, forge new friendships, seek assistance with in-game challenges, and experience a sense of teamwork during battles.

It’s crucial to stay active within your alliance, participating in events and boosting your power, especially in the early stages. Many top alliances have power limits, so logging in daily becomes essential to maintain a strong presence.

Commanders In Rise of Kingdoms

One thing I really appreciate about Rise of Kingdoms is that you get to play as actual historical leaders instead of fictional ones. There are well-known commanders like Guan Yu, Sun Tzu, Cleopatra, Richard I, Boudica, and more. Each commander comes with authentic historical background, representing the civilizations they led in real life. If you’re a history enthusiast like me, this aspect of Rise of Kingdoms is quite enjoyable.

Rise of Kingdoms commander overview.

Commanders in the game have different rarities, ranging from common green to legendary orange. Each one possesses a unique set of skills, troop specializations, and talents. You have the flexibility to customize commanders based on your individual playstyle.

If you’re unsure about how to build your commanders, we have a dedicated section for Rise of Kingdoms builds that you can explore.

Kingdom vs Kingdom Seasons

All the resource gathering, troop training, and commander leveling in Rise of Kingdoms lead to more than just battling AI barbarians. This is where KVK seasons come into play.

KVK seasons kick off when an alliance captures the Lost Temple after completing the initial monument quests. During KVK seasons, kingdoms gain access to another map, playing alongside other kingdoms for the season’s duration. The main objective is for the kingdom to collaborate in controlling the Great Ziggurat, earning fantastic rewards while defending against alliances from other kingdoms (or coalitions in the Season of Conquest).

The KVK seasons missions screen.

This part of Rise of Kingdoms is the essence of the game and, in my opinion, the most enjoyable. KVK involves extended intense battles that truly put your commanders to the test.

Is Rise of Kingdoms Pay-to-Win?

In short, yes, Rise of Kingdoms is considered a pay-to-win game. In-game bundles are available for purchase, offering essential items like gems, speedups, resources, legendary heads, and more to help boost your power and advance your commanders and city quickly. You can obtain the premium currency, “gems,” without spending any money. You have the option to gather gems from nodes or take part in events that occasionally offer gems as rewards.

A glance at the Rise of Kingdoms store where bundles can be bought.

In player vs. player battles, individuals who have spent a significant amount of money on their commanders and equipment (referred to as “whales”) often have an advantage. However, this doesn’t necessarily make the game unenjoyable.

Rise of Kingdoms places a strong emphasis on strategic planning. If you’re part of a well-organized alliance and fight together as a unit, you can overcome even the most powerful spenders. It’s the collective contribution of the entire alliance that determines victory, not solely individual players. Nevertheless, in one-on-one situations, those who have made substantial investments will likely have an advantage.

Being F2P Isn’t A Bad Thing

Free-to-play players (F2P) can still fully enjoy Rise of Kingdoms, even with the presence of many pay-to-win players. An important factor to consider is that, if you’re part of an alliance with spenders, you’ll receive an alliance chest when they make purchases.

Chests that can be redeemed when alliance members make a purchase.

These chests contain valuable items like VIP points and speed-ups, which can significantly aid your progress as a free-to-play player. In essence, the presence of pay-to-win players can enhance your gaming experience rather than detract from it.

Regardless, if you invest time and effort into strategic account building, wisely use gems, actively participate in events, and level up the right commanders, you can still develop strong open field marches and powerful commanders for battles. I’ve personally played as a low spender (under $100) throughout my 5 years of playing, and while progression may be slower, consistency pays off. By the time you reach the Season of Conquest KVK, you can have a substantial troop count and several formidable marches available.

Summary: Is Rise of Kingdoms Worth Playing in 2023?

We strongly believe that Rise of Kingdoms is still a fantastic game to play in 2023. Lilith Games consistently updates the game with new events, commanders, and exciting features. Personally, I’ve been enjoying the game for a while, finding it both fun and engaging.

In the world of mobile civilization games, Rise of Kingdoms holds a solid position in our top 5. With its regular updates and addictive gameplay, it’s hard to beat the enjoyment it offers.

For those choosing to play as free-to-play, it’s important to note that there will be a fair amount of grinding to collect sufficient resources for competition. It’s possible to feel overpowered by players who spend money in the early stages if you don’t invest enough time. However, by staying active, playing strategically, and leveling up efficiently, there’s no reason why you can’t fully enjoy everything Rise of Kingdoms has to offer.

Rise of Kingdoms Review

Rise of Kingdoms is a visually appealing mobile civilization strategy game, offering a plethora of enjoyable features and events. Take on the roles of real historical leaders as you strive for kingdom domination. While the game lacks a comprehensive storyline and incorporates micro-transactions, players can still have a great experience without spending any money.

The Pros
Incredible graphics for a mobile game Regular updates and events Real historical commanders Good RPG elements
The Cons
Doesn't have a storyline Heavy on micro-transactions Strategies can take a while to master Can take a while to learn the game properly
  • Gameplay10
  • Graphics 10
  • F2P Friendly5
  • Easy to Play7
  • Story3
Written by

Passionate about mobile games, especially in the strategy genre, Josh founded Touchscreen Gaming. Dedicated to sharing his enthusiasm and expertise, he offers valuable insights for fellow gamers seeking information on their favorite mobile titles.

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