Developed by Neptune Interactive, The Castle Game is your typical strategy castle building game. Although we are talking about a tower defense game, Neptune Interactive did a terrific job in making sure that the game looks attractive not only to veterans of genre, but newcomers as well.
The Castle Game takes place in a world known as Eastlands, in which the King tasks the player with defending the land from the Dark One and his minions. The game’s campaign might seem short at first, having only 15 levels, but you will soon realize that each level will end up taking a lot more to complete than you thought, specially taking in consideration that it requires careful planning in order to win.
At the start of each level, the player is given a certain amount of crystals, which can be spent to build walls and buildings, as well as train soldiers. However, it’s not all just about building walls around what you want to protect and spend the rest in soldiers. In order to have soldiers you need food, and in order to have food you need farms, and to build farms you also need crystals, so the player needs must plan carefully to build what’s necessary to survive the next enemy wave. There’s also the engineers, which repair damaged structure and boost the damage of nearby long-ranged units, the workshop, which is necessary to build catapults and ballistas, and the Forge to train close-ranged soldiers.
Each level consists of several waves of enemies, and once an enemy wave is over, the player must use the crystals obtained from defeating enemies to repair damaged structures and strengthened its defenses. The game tells you where the enemies are coming from before the wave starts, which in most levels can be from any direction, which might seem challenging at first if you have all defense focused on just one side. Luckily, the game lets you to sell your structures for crystals, allowing you to rebuild them again in other positions, which is a good mechanic, although it removes a bit of the challenge. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t allow you to build everywhere you want, which is sometimes a restriction on your strategy.
The position is a crucial factor, but so is the type of soldier or building you have in each place. Enemy attacks come in all forms and ways, such as long and close-ranged attacks, attack by air and land, small and giant enemies, etc. With this in mind, you must think carefully on how will you approach enemies.
In this type of games, the gameplay might feel a bit repetitive after a while, but Neptune Interactive did a good job at keeping things fresh. A new ability, type of soldier, upgraded version of one of your soldiers or building is unlocked in pretty much every level, with each of these adding a new level of strategy and complexity to the gameplay. The game also offers different objectives once in a while, such as defending a specific structure or escorting civilians.
After completing the campaign is said and done, there are more challenges for the player if he wants to, which are Sandbox and Survival. In Sandbox the player is given a huge amount of crystals from start, which the player must use to build his defense quite well and defend the keep as long as possible against a single never-ending wave of enemies. Survival is similar to the campaign levels, however, the number of waves in infinite and the objective here is to survive as many waves as possible. Completing these challenges and the campaign levels earns jewels that can be used in a skill tree to increase the effectiveness of your soldiers, abilities and structures.
The game also does a good job in terms of presentation. Visually speaking, the game’s several environments are colorful and very distinct from one another, although, at times it seems that they lack a little more detail. The game’s soundtrack is a hit and miss and tends to fall a bit short, with a few soundtracks that are great, such as boss battles or other more tense moments, while the remaining soundtrack it almost feels like it’s just there and doesn’t add anything to the overall experience. I also ran into a few moments with noticeable frame-rate drops when there were a lot on enemies on screen, but aside these moments, the game remains relatively stable for the most part.
Overall, The Castle Game offers a decent amount of content and variety to keep players entertained for quite some time. The game’s simple mechanics allow it to be more appealing and manageable for players not used to play tower defense games, but that doesn’t it’s an easy game, on the contrary, in fact. The game’s presentation and the fact that the gameplay lacks more depth might hold the game back a bit, but that doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable experience.
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