Castle Warriors is another of the recent and welcomed iPhone/iPad Android ports. Castle Warriors borrows much of its game design from Galcon while mixing it with updated OpenGL 3D graphics, a medieval theme, and a campaign mode with 13 detailed levels and full story.
Now, when we say Castle Warriors ‘borrows game design’ from Galcon, we mean it’s pretty much the same game. As it turns out, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Castle Warriors, but many of the RTS (as the developer calls it) elements are nowhere to be found. If we had to classify it we would say it’s more of a capture-the-flag type of game with some elements of tower defense mixed in, and we think it works reasonably well here.
- Fast, fun CTF-style
- Gameplay mostly works well on mobile
- 2 Game modes: campaign/quick play
- Somewhat entertaining story
- Well textured graphics
Campaign and Quickplay modes will be keeping you busy here and they’re both pretty well-done. The story is told using text presented as letters passed between different characters, which serves to advance the plot. Functionality-wise, Campaign Mode doesn’t really introduce any new elements or ideas to the core gameplay, so we recommend skipping it entirely and jumping right into the quick play mode until you’re bored with the one map. To unlock more maps, you’ll need to finish their corresponding missions.
To win, you must tap on other castles (either neutral or enemy), select how many soldiers you want to send to fight, and then watch how your decisions turned out. “All” “Most” “Half” and “Some” is where all the choice is made and it’s where all the complexity of this game is found. Too few swordsmen and they’re all sure to be wiped out, meaning you’ll need to waste time sending a second or third force to aid the first; too many and you leave your castles defenseless against enemy attack.
The concept of the game seems simpler than it actually is. During the day, the player must capture enemy castles using a limited number of troops, stored in the player’s castles. As day eventually turns to night, your troops are replenished and all of your current attackers retreat to the closest friendly castle. Since you can’t attack at night and shorter games are more difficult. At night, your castles get upgraded depending on how many of your troops occupy them. This makes them tougher when inside and eventually, they will even gain defenses like arrows.
Castle Warriors has no multiplayer game modes to speak of, and we found this to be hugely disappointing. It feels like it’s designed to play with a friend, but instead we have a campaign mode – and campaign mode definitely doesn’t make up for the omission of multiplayer.
Controls and Interface:
You know that 3D landscape we described earlier? Think of it like Animal Crossing’s “globe walking” effect. It’s an interesting concept for this type of game as it effectively replaces the fog of war on the battlefield by making it difficult to see everything at once. We find that the inertial scrolling found here is sometimes difficult to deal with and gets in the way most of the time. If you move you’re finger to the edge of the screen expect it to be difficult to stop. Still, we find this adds unique elements to the game we just wish it was more responsive, especially on faster hardware (like our Android HD2).
Now, as for the interface we would have to stay it feels very stuck together. In the campaign when reading the story the game’s format doesn’t stretch to the screen, and the borders around options menus we find confusing.
Graphics and Audio:
We’re happy to report that everything here is well textured and seems to take full advantage of OpenGL 3D rendering. Environments are well rendered but sometimes feel out of place compared to the story. Character models are crisp and serve the game’s theme well, a kind of medieval look that’s both appropriate and visually appealing. If you have too many of them on screen at once though expect slowdowns – even on fast devices.
Sound fit the theme and generally works well for Castle Warriors. The music and sound effects are loud and well recorded (all considering). We can’t complain about either and they seem to play back well through mobile speakers with little distortion.
Overall we would say it’s worth a try if you haven’t played Galcon and into tower defense. If you disliked Galcon, we would recommend skipping it entirely as Castle Warriors doesn’t really add anything to the mix interesting and it lacks a good multiplayer component.