Review: “Crush the Castle”

It’s been a while since I reviewed some games, so here goes with another great one I found recently. “Crush the Castle” is yet another physics-oriented game (you know I love ’em!). It seems to be a single programmer job (+ 1 artist), and the concept is absolutely great. Unfortunately, it is not an original concept… it is borrowed (with permission apparently) from “Castle Clout“. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it, so here’s my thoughts…

The very simple backstory is that you are the siege engineer for an important dude who lives in a castle, and he wants you to take your big trebuchet and knock down the other castles. (The specific goal is actually to kill all the occupants, but it’s the falling debris that makes it fun.)

Beautifully simple controls… just one button. After you’ve had a view of your target, you click to start swinging the trebuchet, and click again to release the payload. The angle of release is the important bit, so timing is everything. The camera pans across to watch the destruction (or lack thereof) caused by each shot. As the game progresses, you get more types of ammunition, which keeps it interesting. There is also a “Build your own” mode, which is great fun, and it lets you save your designs as a text file so you can distribute them. (Very nice feature.)

What makes this game fun? Well destruction and mayhem are always popular in games. I think the simplicity of the concept, coupled with an element of strategy in how you use your shots, makes it engaging.

Now I’m afraid I do have to mention that it’s technically not wonderfully well implemented. This has an impact on framerate (speed and consistency) which isn’t compensated-for in the interface, making it very hard to time shots correctly. Aside from that, the artwork and audio are fairly basic too, but not bad at all.

My conclusion: it’s great fun, but play it on a fairly fast computer to really enjoy it. I would love to see a more polished sequel sometime!

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