When I was kid we played an awesome game called Crossbows and Catapults, in which you would build a little castle with individual bricks and place your Vikings (or whatever) all over the structure. You would then either lob or shoot caroms at your opponent's castle with the objective, of course, being nothing less than total annihilation. That was the best game ever. The only thing that could have improved the game was maybe the ability to rebuild your castle from time to time and oh, I don't know, dragons!
Enter CastleWars, a turn-based card battle against either a computer or live opponent where you try to either build your castle up to 100 or blast your opponent's to rubble.
After choosing the number of players (or the Net Play option), you're presented with an initially confusing screen full of icons and numbers. It's really very simple! Starting from above your castle and moving from the top of the screen downwards:
- Builders and Bricks - bricks build things, and your stock of bricks goes up each turn by the number of builders you have.
- Soldiers and Weapons - same relationship as builders to bricks. Weapons are used for attacking your opponent.
- Magic and Crystals - detecting a pattern here? Crystals do various things, from attacking your opponent to enhancing your stores of resources.
- Castle and Fence - straightforward. Build your castle to 100 and you win. If it reaches zero you lose. Your fence is your first line of defense. It's cheaper to build up than your castle, but contributes nothing directly to winning.
Each turn you can either click on a card in your hand to play it, or [ctrl]-Click to discard a card. Each card has a cost in resources associated with it, determined by the symbol in the upper-left corner of the card and the number in the upper right. The effect of that card is listed below the card's icon.
For instance, "Crush Weapons" is a fairly common card. It costs 4 Crystals to play and diminishes your opponent's stock of weapons by 8.
Once you play a card you automatically draw a new one and the turn is passed to your opponent. Play continues until one player's castle reaches 100, or until one player's castle is reduced to nothing.
Analysis: CastleWars is a fun and challenging game I'll return to again and again. The graphics and sound are basic without being too amateurish, so let's just say the developer didn't let attention to graphics and sound get in the way of the gameplay. They do, however, get the job done and didn't detract from my overall experience. There are a few nice touches, such as the clouds slowly rolling across the background.
The gameplay can get tedious, from time to time, simply because you and your opponent may find yourselves in a seemingly endless seesaw battle. You build up, she knocks down, you save up for a massive blow, she steals your resources, in comes the dragon... you get the picture. There is a balancing act required in your strategy that is fun to experiment with. You can go crazy and just build up your castle as quickly as possible, go crazy and just attack your opponent as ferociously as possible, or just plain go crazy and try to balance the two.
It's also nice that the developer thought to include two-player versus in addition to Internet play. I find it a lot more fun to demolish my opponent when he's sitting at the same keyboard. Trash talk has so much more value when tossed in the person's face. You try trash talking in a chat window and everyone hits the "/ignore".
Jay adds: There appears to be a timing bug when playing Net Play against an opponent: If you click a card too quickly upon it becoming your turn, the card is discarded without its effects being recorded. This happened to me enough times for it to be a rather annoying bug, and I hope the developer, Mads S. Lundemo (M0rkeulv), fixes this soon in an upcoming version since I have been really enjoying playing this game with friends for the past few days.
This is a unique and enjoyable game that we here at Casual Gameplay will be playing a lot more of in the future.
Cautionary note about Net Play: If you choose Net Play, the chat room lobby you are dumped into to find an opponent has often contained very offensive remarks. You are hereby forewarned.
Cheers to Fuzzboxer for the link! =)