Review: The Castle Game
There aren’t a ton of tower defense games on PS4, but The Castle Game is one to check out. The Castle Game is a sandbox-style tower defense game that allows you a wide range of freedom as to where you want to put your defenses. Each mission can be completed in many different ways, but some strategies are better than others, depending on what mission you are playing. The Castle Game offers a good range of content, flexibility, and polish.
If you are looking to play The Castle Game for the story, you’ll be disappointed. A Dark Lord has begun to terrorize the world, and the King has summoned you to defeat the Dark Lord and his minions. Over 15 missions, you’ll defend your keep, build defenses, take on new enemies, battle challenging bosses, and learn new abilities. With each of the 15 missions, there are 4 variations to the mission. The main campaign mission can be played in either Normal or Hard variants, and a Survival and Sandbox mode are also available. Survival has you lasting 8 waves or longer to succeed, and Sandbox tasks you with lasting longer than 8 minutes. Each mission will challenge you to survive waves of enemies and protect your keep. The keep is your home base, and if destroyed, you lose. Some missions task you with protecting miners or another objective, leading you to defend multiple points of interest. In the first mission, you’ll only have access to a few defenses, but as the game progresses, more defenses will become available. The range of defenses the game offers can lead to multiple ways to complete each mission. The enemy variety is decent. In each new mission you’ll fight a new enemy, but at the same time, expect to fight the same enemies you have fought in the previous missions. Most enemies will be ground based, but occasionally bats or flying dragons will come to attack your keep, and you’ll need to manage your defenses accordingly. In terms of bosses, the game only features 3 of them, but they are some of the more memorable moments from the game. Each boss is challenging and after you have spent time building your defenses, a boss will come and wreck everything. You will be holding your breath that your defenses will last long enough to destroy the monstrous boss. Abilities are one of the most interesting aspects of the game, as they put you in direct control of the world. Some abilities include calling in reinforcements, casting down a lightning spell, or focusing your fire on a specific enemy. Other tower defense games have given the player abilities to fight alongside your defenses, but The Castle Game allows you to manage your defenses and fight at the same time. These abilities make you feel like a game changer. It’s possible, but it is tough to complete a mission without using one of these abilities.
In each mission you’ll build your defenses in the building phase, the next moment you’ll be trying to survive the onslaught of enemies. Building and using your abilities are what is at the core of The Castle Game. To build defenses, you’ll need farms, to build farms and defenses, you’ll need crystals. Crystals are given to you after you defeat an enemy, and after each wave. The game gives you enough crystals to keep the challenge up, but at the same time not make the game feel easy to win. Rarely will you encounter a wave where you can just sit back and watch the action happen. Repairing defenses and using other abilities are crucial to survival. Later on, forges and workshops will be available to build, which will let you build more powerful defenses. After completing either a Normal, Hard, Survival or Sandbox mission, you will be awarded a gem. Gems are used to improve the stats of your defenses and abilities. At any time, outside of missions, you can completely reapply each of your gems to other attributes. It is nice not being completely bound to a certain decision and reapplying gems to different attributes before a particular mission can be useful.
Visually the game looks good. The enemies and defenses have enough detail to make them look unique. No backdrop is the same, as each mission takes place in a different environment. Using abilities on the field of battle make you look powerful. Lightning bolts sound and look great, as the bolts are quick and efficient. Other abilities have detail that makes you feel powerful when you use them. Music in the game can ramp up and sound great when a giant boss comes. Other times, music can just be in the background and not add much to the experience. When tense moments arise, the music complements the moments well. Most times, the game runs at a constant framerate, but when there are tons of enemies and defenses on screen, the game can chug sometimes. At the same time, the camera can become wonky, as there are a ton of things happening on screen. It doesn’t break the game, but it is noticeable.
The Castle Game offers a decent amount of content and has a sense of polish to it. The enjoyment of the game increases because few problems arise as the game goes on. The building tools are simple and easy to use, but your defenses need to be set accordingly, to survive in the game. Tough bosses and gems to collect to upgrade your defenses will have completionists completing all Normal, Hard, Survival and Sandbox missions. If you are looking for a tower defense game on PS4, check this one out.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Amount of Content
- Challenging Bosses
- Consistent level of Challenge
What I Dislike:
- Occasional Slowdown and Wonky Camera