CastleWars 2


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Rating: 3.9/5 (131 votes)
| Comments (27) | Views (223)

castlewars2.jpgJohnBCastleWars 2 is an unassumingly captivating turn-based strategy game that pits castle against castle, wall against wall, and decks of randomly selected cards against decks of randomly selected cards. Take turns with a computer player or a real human being as you draw from your pool of resources to play action cards that build your tower to the sky or crumble your opponent's castle to the ground.

Following the original CastleWars, the sequel keeps the same basic principles but shifts the interface and gameplay around a bit to make things more digestible. At the top of the screen you'll see both you and your opponents resources and health. There are three resources to keep track of: bricks, weapons, and crystals. You'll need these to cast cards that are dealt at the bottom of the screen. You can increase each resource's regeneration rate by recruiting workers for each one. So, for example, if you have three mages, you'll gain three crystals at the beginning of each turn instead of one. Other cards also shift around resources, but the bottom line is you need them. And in great quantities.

Each turn you can either play a card or discard cards. Most of the time you'll be doing the former. Cards either attack your opponent, recover your health, or have unique special effects, such as siphoning off resources or letting you take a peek at the other player's hand. You can win by either building your structures beyond 100 or by reducing the other player's castle to rubble. Which strategy you employ is entirely up to you, and choosing which cards to spend your precious resources on is where the challenge of this game rests.

castlewars2b.jpgOnline multiplayer has returned in this CastleWars sequel, and as always, it's more fun to battle living opponents than computer AI. You can also head to the deck customization menu to choose which cards you want to carry into battle and how many. It's a great way to really refine your chosen strategy, but until you work your way through some of the campaign, it's best to stick with the default set.

Analysis: CastleWars 2 serves up the same balance of strategy and luck as CastleWars but with a new interface and much-improved visuals. The campaign mode offers a good challenge, but multiplayer is where you'll spend your time after chugging through the main part of the game. There's also the quick-round practice mode for when you just want to battle it out without all that progression stuff involved.

The interface, while easier on the eyes, does come off as more cluttered than its predecessor, and selecting menu items to discard, use, or get info on cards is a bit of a nuisance. Why not let us see what a card does via a mouseover bubble? A short "how to play" section available from the title screen is probably a good starting point for new players, as the game won't be immediately intuitive for everyone.

More CastleWars is a great thing, and the sequel provides just the right amount of turn-based strategy to keep casual gamers coming back for more.

Play CastleWars 2

27 Comments

StephenM3 Author Profile Page June 2, 2010 6:39 PM

Aah this is the best game to get a sequel. I remember good times playing the original a while back.

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Anonymous June 2, 2010 7:28 PM

whats up with the sequel theme?

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Danielle June 2, 2010 7:29 PM

Whoa! I played this game years ago, but it went under a different name -- Ants. I didn't realize there were more updated and graphical iterations out there! Thanks for the post!

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Magic defense = Star of David? Haha...

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Danielle, doing a quick google search, it appears that Castle Wars was a remake of Ants. Apparently Ants is no longer hosted by the original person who made it, and this guy created a new game based on it.

Also, I'm glad that Castle Wars got a sequel.

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I think Ants is just a clone of the original game using this concept - Arcomage. It first appeared as a minigame in Might & Magic VII.

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Criticisms: 1) Animation is too slow--no option to speed it up. 2) Interface is pretty, but not as easy to read as in the original Castlewars. For example, it is harder to read the stats because they are not color coded.

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Another criticism: Certain enemies' starting stats are so skewed that if they just happen to possess the right card, they can destroy you before you even have your turn.

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Great game!

But I don't get the "Add crystals" card. I mean, it costs 5 crystals and adds 8? To me that's just adding 3 crystals. Is it supposed to be such an useless card?

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Another criticism, this time regarding game mechanics: If you play Magic Weapons to double damage, and your opponent plays Reverse, then the doubling effect is nullified.

The more I test this game out, the more it becomes clear to me that it was poorly planned. It looks pretty, but it is actually an inferior playing experience compared to Castlewars.

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@atomic

The Magic Weapons being nullified was simply a bug and Reverse was never intended to have that effect, it should now have been fixed =)

@Julio

Yes the "Add crystals" is suppose to be that "useless" =P

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Anonymous June 4, 2010 11:15 AM

Absolutely frustratingly unbalanced. When I lose 5 games in a row without being able to play a single card, on MEDIUM difficulty, there's an issue.

Of course, I was stubborn enough to get through to HARD difficulty, but can't beat the very first match. I've been at it 5 hours now split between two days, and I'm officially giving up on it. While the beginning levels are fun, the medium and hard difficulties are incredibly unbalanced and ill-planned.

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Atomic: You can turn OFF the animations, and change the 'card speed' (not sure what that is)
Just click the gears in the top right, and then under the game tab.

My problem is that the card info doesn't let you see what the card your opponent played does, if it's a special one.

And on some of the special cards, I could really see it being on the card itself.

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I've unlocked several new cards but I never get any of them. The enemy does get them and uses them all the time. What up with that?

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ViciousChicken Author Profile Page June 4, 2010 7:07 PM

Anna: There's a deck builder in the main menu. Newly unlocked cards don't appear in your deck until you put them in manually.

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ViciousChicken: Thank you!

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Well, shoot. Now I'm trying to save my deck and it won't let me. Any suggestions there?

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Anonymous June 5, 2010 4:06 AM

Yeah, Medium is no good. I start out way behind on resources, and the opponent cuts my resources further. uhh.. Fun time waiting to lose.

Easy was fun enough.

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there is another bug: the AI can play the "sacrifice" card, although they have only one "inhabitant" (or how you would call them) left. this means they don't lose anything while playing this card.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 5, 2010 9:18 AM

I quite enjoyed playing all three campaigns. Thank you. The cards are more balanced compared to CastleWars 1 and the whole game more a challenge and longer experience.

On the usability side it has potential. So for example deck builder has no descriptions I've seen for cards, or you've to switch to the main menu to design, instead of doing it right in the selection. In CW1 it was also a bit more easy to see which resource generators (builder, recruit, mage) matches to which resource. I'd suggest a 3 by 2 table instead a 6 by 1 row.

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Fred Astaire June 5, 2010 5:25 PM

Seriously, the opponent having all thoe "sacrifice" cards makes it impossible.

As soon as I build up any sort of momentum I'm cursed or my builders/recruits/mages are sacrificed and I have no chance.

It's starts out in their favor and I can never catch up.

Like other people have said, hours of playing and no wins on the harder modes. Any advice because right now it seems impossible without extreme luck.

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ViciousChicken Author Profile Page June 5, 2010 6:46 PM

Is it just me, or is the "sabotage" card incredibly underpowered? It just gives the opponent a free discard/redraw; unless you very recently used Spy, you can't even tell what you're making them discard. Half the time when the computer uses it on me, it -helps- me because it gets rid of a card I was thinking of discarding anyway. I don't think I'd use it even if it was free; 13 weapon cost is just ridiculous.

One idea to fix it would be to have it make them discard, but -not- redraw, and only let them recover their hand size when they discard. Another (better?) idea: instead of discarding the card you choose, it is "marked" (invisible to the owner), and when they play it, they pay the cost and use their turn, but the effect is nullified.

For those finding the "hard" campaign impossible: tailoring your deck does make a pretty big difference; in addition to sabotage, I found roadblock and the "All ___" cards pretty useless, so I got rid of all of them, and filled my builders/mages/recruits to 5 cards each. Along with some other modifications (replacing walls with fences, knights with platoons, etc.) I was able to finish the campaign, though there is certainly still luck involved. Some missions took a few tries.

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Harlequin June 6, 2010 5:00 AM

Its... alright. Nowhere near as fun as the first one, to be honest. The issue I ran into was that there was times on the Medium and Hard matches where I was killed in one to three moves. It didnt matter what I had, I would get dragoned on the first pull or something similar.

Also, the "Add X" cards, and others too, simply had too little payoff for cost. I would be scrapin g to put something together, and even minor gains would wipe out my stores, while the computer would outpace me simply by utilizing its larger starting amounts.

Fun concept, but nowhere near as good as the original.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 6, 2010 5:20 AM

ViciousChicken, you are right, Sabotage is a pretty weak card and I removed it from my deck.

I think it is a good idea to decide for a deck if you want to win by 100 or crushing the other and focus on that decission. As in CW1 I found removing almost all offensive cards to be the better choice and rush to the 100. On the weapons side I just left in the recruits, thiefs and cards that go directly on the castle, since there isn't enough offensive output to get the others fence down.

About the game, for a flash game you play a few hours I consider it not too bad if some of the cards are weak. Gives you the experience to find out whats good and what isn't. As long you do not have complicated interactions like in http://www.eartheternal.com/ Perfect Balance would just mean it doesnt make any difference how you build your deck, because everything is equal.

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page June 6, 2010 5:22 AM

Sorry wrong link I ment http://www.elementsthegame.com/ (if one admin can fix it, and delete this, thank you)

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Potatanator 5000 June 7, 2010 9:41 AM

Does anyone know how to change the castle style in multiplayer mode?

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Castle Fan February 16, 2011 5:32 PM

Morkeulv,

I loved the first castle wars. A few criticisms, and some praises:

Twice I have played and when I seem to be getting in a good position the computer just stops on it's turn. This just happened on the very last Hard level with my castle at 94 and tons of resources. It will not unfreeze. Two out of about 15 games so far. Very frustrating.

The Hard campaign is just silly, some levels I would start by discarding something, then BLAM dragon... Instant death. Stupid. The game should be based somewhat on skill. Perhaps similar start resources, but comp has a big wall or something.

Also as stated previously some cards are worthless, mainly the sabotage card. I like the previous poster's idea of it being invisibly marked and when the player uses it, they lose the resources and that turn. Or at the very least let a person see which card they are destroying of the opponent's.

The Magic defense buff should not be taken off if your enemy wains you. It doesn't seem like an "attack". Plus it seems like a very cheap way to remove it. 10 bricks to up my castle 6 levels and bring down enemy barrier sounds cheap.

It also seems kind of odd there is a 9 attack and a 10 attack. They are just one point apart, but oddly costs 2 more weapon for the latter.

The cannon and the bomb are so similar as well. Perhaps make it so certain weapons can shoot over the wall, like Cannon and Catapult. This would give the units a different feel from their similar units.

I don't get why there is a 6 story "wall" for 4 bricks; or I could save up ONE more measly brick and build a 9 story "fence". Then the next biggest goes back to "Wall". What is with the fence? It has different art and seems much cheaper (which makes sense on a fence rather than stone wall). Perhaps the fence part could be burnt down instantly with fire arrows, lightning, or meteor? So it is a cheaper less effective alternative to stone.

The Artwork is great on this game. The animation of most of the units attacking makes it much more interesting! I like the fact that you have to earn cards in the campaign. Some new cards are great, Trojan Horse is my favorite! The sacrifice cards are too cheap in my opinion. Perhaps Sac 2 workers for 3 enemy? Or maybe Sac one worker PLUS 8 bricks, to kill two enemy workers? The All ___ Cards are great in a pinch. Also I like the fact that brick cards can do damage now like the catapult and battering ram.

Thanks for your work!

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