Castle Conflict a different twist on castle defense

Posted: May 13, 2009 in Strategy

The biggest appeal behind castle defense games is the strategy involved and then being able to watch the results unfold in front of you. Castle Conflict brings a new perspective to the genre because you not only defend your castle, you also need to control the natural resources around you to generate the funds needed to grow your army. Think of this as castle duels rather than castle defense.

The animation in Castle Conflict isn’t overwhelming and packaged with the sound effects exudes just enough of that medieval aura. Ideally, background music would play during the game to further add to the feel of the game. There’s a certain entertainment value in watching the little troops attack each other and watching blimps crash and burn.

Unlike traditional castle defense games where you tap or swipe enemies away, Castle Conflict involves the use of strategic planning similar to what you would find in tower defense games. Your objective is raise money while inflicting damage on your enemy. The menu is pretty barebones, and it could do with some upgraded graphics as well as a more detailed tutorial covering the basics. When I first played the game, I admittedly felt a bit lost and spent some time figuring out the overall objective. With its medieval theme and the use of touch controls, you select from a variety of defensive options listed below:

Wood Cutter—collects resources
Thief—steals resources from the enemy
Foot Soldier—basic ground unit
Engineer—repairs castles
Armored Knight—strong ground unit
Mounted Knight—most powerful ground unit
Cannon—battles air units and castles
Blimp—basic air unit
Bomber—dominates air and land

While wood cutters grow and harvest trees, they are unable to defend themselves. These woodcutters provide the main source of income for your castle and ultimately support your defensive options.

In terms of settings, Castle Conflict has three AI levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard, and you can set the game length for quick, normal and long play. There are also options for health power ups and tree growth rate. This will make sense once I get into the details of the gameplay.

On the gameplay screen, the two opposing castles face each other—the player has the blue castle and the red castle belongs to the computer. Each has a health bar and a tally of trees each owns. The options available are located across the top with the cost located under each option. For example, a woodcutter costs 5 gold pieces, while a mounted horseman will make you 50 gold pieces poorer.

This all sounds simple until you start playing the game. Once you understand the rules, gameplay is smooth and intuitive. You simply tap on the desired option, and have at it. When you deploy tree growers and harvesters, this means more trees and more money. The issue is that the other castle has its own set of growers and harvesters. And on top of that, both sides can and will steal from each other. In terms of strategic objectives, you will need to deploy troops to protect your tree growers because the opposing castle can send troops to kill your tree growers and vice versa. At the same time, you’ll also need to deploy troops that inflict damage to the other castle which is where the defensive options come in.

Honestly, the game requires a certain degree of planning and fast thinking based on funds available and the type of troops the opposing castle deploys. A castle’s health takes a significant hit each time enemy troops enter. The trees physically change to show growth while this is happening and you have to the option set speed of tree growth. The faster the tree growth, the higher the degree of action will be. By enabling the health power up option, a green box will appear randomly in the middle of the screen that will boost a castle’s health. Troops from either side can pick this up.

Upon a completing a game, a statistics page appears showing the victorious and the defeated and includes details on # of trees harvested, gold stolen, gold spent, units bought, units lost, and enemies killed.

As I mentioned, the game lacks polish in terms of the supporting content (menus, instructions), and I think adding an achievement system or even more detailed statistics (knights killed, blimps destroyed, etc.) would add significant replayability to Castle Conflict.

When it comes to castle defense games, Castle Conflict is simple yet strategic. It’s a solid start, and I hope the devs continue to build onto this game.

Albie Meter: 4 stars (recommended for those looking for anything medieval)

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