Over the past few days I have had the chance to play through Zen Studios’ CastleStorm. Coming to Xbox Live Arcade, this physics-based tower defence game, brings different and popular gaming features all into one and makes these features, that could get repetitive on their own, work together for a very enjoyable experience.
The aim in CastleStorm is to defeat the enemy by tearing the opponents castle down with your ballista, or break through the main gate and bring back the enemies flag using your soldiers. When the battles have finished the Castle must be upgraded, in its defence against the enemies ballista and adding special rooms and barracks to it, to grant you bonuses and better soldiers for the assaults ahead.
I found myself spending more time in the castle creation screen, then fighting the enemy. This isn’t a bad thing, as the creation screen is explained well and creating your own castle, trying it out and then seeing it in game being destroyed or staying strong is really satisfying. Also carefully taking your time with your castles layout is essential because if one of your barracks crumbles from the enemies bombardment, they will not be able to be used for the rest of that fight.
CastleStorm brings a lot of playability for a XBLA game, as the Single Player has four game types, Campaign, Skirmish, Survival and Hero Survival and the Multiplayer can be played either locally or online and these each have Versus, Survival and Hero Survival. I have been playing through the campaign mode, as it was a good way to learn the game with its basic tutorials and helpful explanations, quickly after I felt comfortable and in complete control with the games systems. In Every battle in the campaign mode the game gives you 2 bonus objectives, which will add to a star rating that you’ll get at the end of the battle. This style of battle rating adds for more chance to replay the game, as some completionists would try to get the maximum star rating possible, but this game brings enough to the table to keep you playing.
CastleStorm seems very similar to a few mobile games; such as Angry Birds for the ballista attacks and the projectiles that are used, also Battleground for the unit management and both of these games have very popular mechanics. Bringing too many popular features and combining them in one game can overload it, to the point that there are too many things going on and either the others get pushed aside or the game’s not enjoyable. CastleStorm is far from that, with it’s tower defence ideas, resource management and physics based battle scenarios, making it a lot of fun with endless hours of play time. With the hint of DLC in the future, this game will not go off the radar anytime soon.
CastleStorm is simple, addictive and incredibly enjoyable, so if you want to know more check out http://www.castlestormgame.com or it’s available now for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. Let me know what you think…