CastleStorm is just as much a game as it is a test of your multitasking and micromanaging abilities. What seems like just a knock-off of the iOS hit, Angry Birds, is actually so much more. In fact, CastleStorm boasts just as much, if not even more, addicting gameplay, as well as several other layers of depth that make the title even more exciting to play. Couple this in with extensive single-player and multiplayer modes and quite the quirky style, and it becomes quite the appealing product.
Similar to Angry Birds, the player mans a catapult that launches various types of projectiles at the enemy. There’s a catch, though: while the player is hard at work trying to destroy the enemy’s castle, the enemy is hard at work trying to destroy the player’s. This adds a strategic element, as the player is essentially competing with the opponent in wrecking the other’s castle.
The strategy is furthered by another element, though. While the catapults are slinging at each other, there is a battle raging on the ground as well. In addition to simply wrecking the enemy’s castle, a player can also capture the enemy’s flag, which is hidden away behind the enemy lines, in order to win a match. You thought destroying a castle was hard enough? Now you also have to manage an army on foot!
The strategy does not stop there, as the player also has a third tool to command. While soldiers are competing on the ground and bombs are being launched through the air, the player can send in a special foot soldier occasionally for thirty-second intervals. This foot soldier is special in the fact that he or she is more powerful than the other soldiers and is controlled directly by the player. In essence, in the middle of commanding an army and bringing down the other castle, the player will take occasional breaks to take the enemy firsthand in the battlefield. As I said, it is a test in your micromanaging abilities.
Between different levels, players will be able to upgrade their various soldier units, projectiles, and even their castle. This is done using the gold obtained while playing through the game itself. The most interesting upgrade mechanic comes from the castle using the in-game castle builder. The premise itself sounds very interesting and, if someone is experienced in the editor, they can create something very impressive. Unfortunately, there is a notable lack of a comprehensive tutorial in the game. As a result, players will have a much harder time figuring out how the castle editor works without having to do some trial-and-error first.
Leading the player through the game is a nearly nonexistent story. Sure, there is some sort of plot there, but it is so unimportant to the experience that there is no point in caring. The style of the game is quirky and whimsical, though. Even though the story is not appealing, the writing can still be pretty entertaining. Furthermore, the expressions of the characters, as well as the character models themselves, are good enough to warrant not skipping the cutscenes.
Once players finish up with their seven to ten-hour adventure, they can try out the game’s multiplayer mode. Essentially, multiplayer is identical to single-player, except that there are two people. There are even several game modes, which allow competition to be constantly switched up. It proves to be a blast to play with a friend or a family member, due to the tension the game naturally creates. Within minutes, opponents will be slinging playful verbal insults at each other while still having fun. The developers have created a formula which can be replicated in both single-player and multiplayer modes with both at the same high level of quality.
CastleStorm is a game which ended up taking a simple premise, like the destruction within Angry Birds, and added several other simple layers to create one very complex game. The story mode of the game is extensive and replayable, the multiplayer modes are a great way to fuel some friendly competition, and the style itself is incredibly quirky and entertaining. For its ten dollar price tag, CastleStorm is absolutely worth buying and playing through!