Best iPad games: Royal Revolt!

A streamlined Little King's Story for the free to play generation

Apple has revolutionised how we consume and play portable games with iPhone and iPad. In this new regular series, CVG discovers and celebrates the most innovative new iPad games on the App Store. Click through the link to find our full list of the best iPad games.


Best iPad games: Royal Revolt!

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Royal Revolt starts gently, a diverting action game with a simple timed strategic thread running through it. An hour and a half after starting my first quest, I looked up to discover that it had swallowed up an entire train journey. Ever since, its smart approach to player upgrades and rewards has kept me coming back regularly to devour twenty minute bursts of play.

It is like a streamlined Little King's Story, a free to play action-strategy title from German developer flaregames. It's the inverse of a tower defence game, in that you are the one raging along a set path trying to destroy fortifications and defeat enemies. Flatten the 'boss' castle at the end of each stage and you are victorious.

Everything in Royal Revolt is set to a timer - when to call for more troops, activate extra attacks, heal your existing army and how you gain currency for upgrades. Progress means tougher battles and requires tighter control over the ebb and flow of your troops, whilst also judging which types to summon. It is simpler and more intuitive than it sounds, but fumble your offence and the opposing grunts won't hesitate to force you into a hasty retreat.

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It is a tower attack game, then, an action title with a vital strategy seam which adds in increasingly complex and absorbing battles. Some might sneer because it is free to play, but in-app payments are well-handled and unobtrusive. Coins are earned through completing missions, in-game pick-ups and another timer, ticking away between games and rewarding you each time you return.

Younger players might not have the patience or inclination to sensibly level up or simply wait for more coins, but play Royal Revolt in sporadic chunks and it can be enjoyed by most without paying a single penny. Even the smallest payment (£1.49) buys 20,000 gold - more than enough to beef up your troops and ease the challenge considerably.

Royal Revolt's developer flaregames is part of a growing number of studios aiming to overturn the negative perception that comes with being free to play - and succeeding. Its latest release is accessible, increasingly demanding and compelling in a way which defies its cuddly cartoon look. Yes, Royal Revolt is free to play, but more importantly it is an excellent videogame.

Royal Revolt! is free on the App Store. Download it here.