Developer/Publisher: Zen Studios
Age Rating: 12+ (UK & EU) | T (US)
Price: £13.49 | €14,99| $14.99
Release Date: 16th Aug 2018
(The game is also available on Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PSVita, PC, iOS and Android)
Overall Feeling: I like it!
Review Code generously provided by Zen Studios
Conquer the enemy before they conquer you! Send in the troops, aid them with spells and fling an assortment of weapons to take down the enemy; just don’t hit your own troops! If that’s not good enough; control a Hero and fight the enemy yourself!
Gameplay & Controls
CastleStorm is a real-time action-strategy tower defence game, with a medieval and viking theme – all with humorous characters and script.
During battles, players have: a ballista to fling projectiles at the enemy, the ability to summon troops to the field, use magic skills to aid/strengthen the troops, and even summon a Hero to the field!
When a player summons a Hero, they take control of the Hero and fight alongside the troops in combat. It’s a nice aspect and can give the player a little break from controlling the ballista. The Hero character is only on the battle field for a certain length of time; so make it count! If they’re defeated; you go back to controlling the ballista. However, once the cool down period ends, you can summon the Hero again (happy days 😀 ).
Players collect gold from winning battles in the single player modes. All the gold gets collected together; helping with the flow of the game -so if stuck on a mission; you can play a different mode to collect gold, rather than having to replay a mission repeatedly.
You can construct your own castle using the pieces available. It’s a simple drag and drop system and you can test the castle’s strength before saving and using it in battle. If piecing together a castle doesn’t interest you; there are pre-made castles for you to use, with new ones unlocking as you progress through Campaign mode.
Campaign mode has the player unfold a story involving Sir Gareth and a mystical gem that has been stolen from his king. The player unlocks new weapons, troops, castle parts and skills from progressing through missions – all are key to win battles!
Some of the campaigns are locked to begin with; progressing through the story unlocks them. There are two additional expansions that are included in the Switch version: “From Outcast to Savior” and “The Warrior Queen”. The expansions continue on from the original campaign, add more levels, introduce new characters, weapons, troops and more!
There is also Skirmish mode; for when you just want to battle without a story or missions to go through. You can use everything you have unlocked in the campaigns and select your own settings for the battle; who you play as, who you vs, which side of the screen your castle is on, etc.
Survival mode; for a more, tower defence experience. Where you have waves of enemies attacking and you just need to survive as long as you can. Again, what you have unlocked in the campaigns can be used here – the more you have upgraded your troops/defences; the more waves you will likely survive.
Hero Survival mode has us playing as a Hero character; fighting waves of enemies all by our lonesome (no troops, magic or ballista to help), all while having to defend our flag for as long as possible.
The multiplayer options are either local or online, with the modes: Versus, Survival and Hero Survival – the survival modes are played cooperatively. Additionally, there are leader boards ranking scores gained from the levels.
The controls can take awhile to get used to (but it doesn’t take too long thankfully) and the directional buttons give more precision when aiming (very handy). Alternatively, you can use a pro controller or use the touch screen if you prefer.
Graphics, Designs & Soundtrack
Due to the thickness of line details and characters having exaggerated features; the graphics are quite like a graphic-novel/cartoon. The graphical style helps a lot with spotting which character is which on the battle field, but the style also works brilliantly with the humour and the overall feeling of the game.
CastleStorm isn’t a game that needs beautiful environments/levels; it’s about smashing and defending! The level designs are simplistic due to the nature of the game; typically a castle either side or a camp site, with a different environment to change things up a bit (a few exceptions to that but not many).
The soundtrack has lighthearted music; keeping the game joyous and fun in between battles. It’s a nice change of pace from all the troops shouting and buildings collapsing,etc during the battles.
The script is rather silly a lot of the time, but it fits so well with the characters and brings humour to the game (not roll-on-the-floor-laughing level of funny, but a few chuckles perhaps). For comedic effect; some characters will say a line of text that may come across as rudeness/being mean – it’s not to be taken seriously and isn’t said maliciously in game, but it’s probably not everyone’s “cup of tea”.
I was surprised by how many hours I have ranked up on the game; according to my Switch “20 hours or more”. I’ve yet to finish both the campaign expansions – plenty more hours to play it seems. Good value I think for the price.
CastleStorm is a nice mixture of genres; making it an interesting real-time strategy game. The graphical approach, characters, script and soundtrack work great in making CastleStorm a really fun, lighthearted game.
I’ve been having a great time playing through the campaigns; it’s really well suited for handheld – can easily pick up and play for half hour or so – it’s great!
I think the game however, may start to feel a bit repetitive; majority of the game is doing the same thing, just in a different location with some alterations with who the enemy is and what resources you have for a battle. Some missions change things up a bit, but it may not be enough.
Although there are four campaigns, there is little difference between the weapons, troops, skills and castle parts you have available in each campaign – I would of liked at least one to have a drastically different set of weapons, etc, to really make the player change up their strategy.
It’s not a game to play for hours and hours on end I don’t think; it’s best to go back to it every now and then, playing an hour or two at most – playing in moderation is key with this one!
CastleStorm; a light hearted, silly but humorous game, with plenty of fun filled hours of play. If you like real-time action-strategy games and are fine with crude humour (and a bit of blood); certainly give CastleStorm a go :D.