I received a review copy of a game I was eyeing on the Nintendo Eshop roughly a week ago it is exactly what you read in the title above… Welcome to NZ Gamer’s Review of Zen Studios, Castle Storm. Let me start this all off with a disclaimer, Castle Storm has DLC I did not get the opportunity to experience to that portion of the game. I attempted to acquire something from this package yet there was nothing available yet at the time of my review. Though, the online structure is set-up so that you can choose various types of castle sets from the Viking side of the war which is similar in many ways to the knight class of men normally used in single player campaign. These on the other hand have classes of soldiers and projectile types along with your spell casting possibilities are unique to the mystic lore of the Norse people I must also mention that at the times that I had enjoying Castle Storm I could not get a connection with another player on Nintendo’s Network not because of network issues just that the game is fairly new and also the time I decided to play this title. Now that all the jibber-jabber is out of the way lets hunker down and take a longer gaze in the world of Castle Storm.
From war to peace and back again…
A very long time ago when time moved at the pace of a gargantuan snail yet war was as constant as the sun rise and sun set. There were the Vikings, on the barbaric path to rule all the lands of the civilized world pitted themselves constantly against the Knights of might, magic and chivalrous deeds. The history was torn by tumultuous times neither side making headway towards a victorious end came to a battle of the ages. The greatest battle of their times this war was so great and horrible the goddess wept over the battlefield and the many lost as she wept two gems of tears fell to the ground one red and the other blue. The sheer sound of these gems touching the ground caught the attention of each colliding squad of men as they each grasped each jewel each bearer had unending life creating the atmosphere for peace for all and so the entire land fell into peace. Time passes the kingdom fall under the same woes of past lore forgotten by most though, not by time.
First, I delved into the kingdoms by selecting the Normal difficulty, the other two options available is Casual & Hard. I played this title mainly in Gamepad mode I am a Dad and a Husband so, there is some the full treatment I was able to fully interact with the screen in simple ways like, selecting virtual buttons and opening up menus and sub-menus. This is not the only interaction that is included with the user experience you can also play directly from the gamepad screen via touch controls, independently from the controller’s thumb sticks & face buttons. I found that as a beginner the touch controls are great for a novice though as I progressed through the game I have gotten used to the normal controls. Castle Storm at first glance to would seem like an Angry Birds projectile game with the some swordsmen added to the mix. Making that assumption and sticking with it might be a decision you should reconsider all because Castle Storm is a 3D modeled 2D Tower Defense/ Light RTS/ Action side-scroller it requires a much deeper skillset. Gameplay elements are simple and the light & sometimes funny dialogues in between stages are a good break from the madness that occurs within the game. There are “capture the flag” scenarios along with “raiding” scenarios the latter has you sending your troops by foot to the neighboring castle while, the former has you defend the flag on the opposing troop & your squad tries to retrieve the flag first. There are various types of gameplay scenarios thrown at you through Castle Storm all of which are scored, tallied and hinged upon the completion of certain objectives. All in which are as follows; Main Objectives which is something that will have you complete certain tasks that are typically story involved like Capture the flag or destroy the castle while the Bonus Objectives you have a mission to complete the stage by a certain time limit or to obtain a point score of a great size to be able to receive additional points or coins. There is a statistics system that consists of total kills, headshots, ballista kills and frenzy kills along with kill streaks & longest streaks. In between each main stage you will compete in a arena type stage pitting you against a bevy of baddies such as wild turkeys, boars and the like within a limited amount of time along with some bonus objectives.
Ready the arms we have troops incoming!
There are many different ways to deal death to your sworn enemies in Castle Storm you get 3 different of weapon classes to accomplish your goals. Weapon types can be selected using touch or classic controls by tapping the L & R shoulder buttons the list of your available items will be located on the bottom of either screen you decide to use. Depending on your play style the Ballista will be your choice Reaper of bodies several “Projectiles” are ready for you to use 9 to be exact. The life blood of most of your military operations will be “Troops” whereas you will be able to select from 9 different types. This list ranges from Archers, swordsmen, Healers and many more it will be up to you to figure out the correct range of mighty men to place in your queue choose wisely the kingdom is on the cusp of destruction. Last but not least you have the class of “Spells” in which you have 7 to choose from these spells can be used in the field typically by Temporary Invisibility, Shielding for your castle of course there are others to utilize against your enemies I will let you discover what lies ahead. All these weapon types can be selected in between stages so, that you can reconfigure your plans leading into your future battles. While using your “Troops” you can have them on the field as long as their health meter has energy left. Your projectiles from your ballista are controlled by a timer which can be extended by upgrades to your arsenal. The same can be said about the spells that you will use throughout your battles against your barbaric enemies.
As they huff and puff let’s fortify our walls with strength and grit so that they shalt not fall…
Castle Creator/ Defense strategy
As your game progresses you will start to unlock castle upgrades initially you can change typical decorative aesthetics. Later, things like your barracks of your Archers & swordsmen also recruitment office quarters & many more will be available to you. These castle upgrades can be positioned anyplace within your castle walls it’s up to you to strategically place these upgrades wherever you see fit. I have tweaked the best positioning that suited my plying style though, I have created several types of castle sets to work great with certain stage difficulties along with the opposition’s projectiles and various troop types. You are able to test your designs within the creator’s ballista which has all the possible projectiles available to you via your single player missions which is great for perfecting your fortifications. As I delved deeper into mastering the architecture of castle building I was pleasantly surprised by how this game came together I tip my hat to Zen Studios of Pinball fame. I can now see that this game company is not just a one trick pony and I hope two things happen 1.) You go out and purchase this game from Nintendo Wii U Eshop available to you for a low $9.99 2.) I hope that Zen studios keep hitting us with games with deep skill sets and enjoyable to play.
Thank you, for your stay and please enjoy the rest of Real Otaku Gamer your place for Nerdgasmic pleasures!