Let the Strategic Battle Begin!
With all of this furore about the recent release of the mighty Kingdom Rush: Frontiers, castles and towers are bound to be on many gamers’ minds at the moment, whether you’re a fan of tower defense or simple destruction games like Crush the Castle 2. CastleWars is a castle building/destruction title from M0rkeulv that takes a noticeably different approach to fortifying your castle and defeating your opponent’s structure. The game is card-based, which is very unusual to see from a game these days, but it works remarkably well as you draw cards and choose them wisely in order to build your castle to level 100 or destroy your opponent’s castle before he can manage the same feat. It’s not a game with universal appeal, but it’s unbelievably simple and many will enjoy the unusual experience.
The actual gameplay at first appears complicated since you are presented with two castles on opposing sides of the screen and are dealt a row of different cards across the bottom, each with their own illustrations and particular function in the game which initially remains unclear. The idea is to simply pick cards that will add to your different attributes that are listed down the right hand side. Each of these attributes corresponds to different functions of your castle, but the ultimate aim is always to build your castle to 100 or destroy your opponent’s before he manages it. You will take it in turns to pick cards, and each one will benefit you in some way or another, and sometimes has disadvantages that come along with it.
There are four categories which you can add to by choosing the right cards. Buildings and Bricks is the first category; this allows you to build everything, with your brick number rising each turn by the number of builders. Soldiers and Weapons have a very similar relationship and are used to attack your enemy. Magic and Crystals behave in the same way as the previous attributes and allows you to attack your opponent or enhance your stocks of supplies. The most important attribute to consider is the Castle and Fence; once your castle reaches 100, you win the game, and your fence is your primary defence, though has no bearing on your progress or eventual winning the game.
The game proceeds in a turn-based manner where you can either pick a card by clicking it, or discard it by clicking CTRL and clicking the card. The small numbers on the card are indicative of its cost to the particular resources of the card type, as well as the damage it causes to your opponent’s resources. The game is effectively about employing the best strategy based on the selection of active cards available to you. Deciding whether to build your fence at the detriment of your castle size may initially seem a foolish move, but the added defense will later allow you to build your castle without wasting turns on defending your castle in other ways.
The whole game’s design is fairly basic but is very solid with everything looking and feeling like it fits in spite of the lack of flash or dazzle that is sometimes employed by many games at the cost of the actual quality of gameplay. There is also a two-player and an online mode where you can play against other people if you so wish. Castle Wars is well worth a look, and while it may not have the addictive potential of games like Crush the Castle 2, it might end up taking up more of your time than you had anticipated.