If you’re a keen PC user you may have come across Defend Your Castle as an addictive flash browser game, if not then don’t worry, it’s not essential to have played it before to appreciate this new version. Defend Your Castle the Flash game asked you to use your mouse to fend off a hoard of little stick men whose sole intention was to knock your castle down. Defend Your Castle now with Wii Remote control makes its way to the WiiWare service and comes with a radical makeover and a few gameplay changes, but is it any good? Well for a really low price of 500 WiiPoints we couldn’t help but give it a try, so here is our review of Defend Your Castle Wii.
Defend your Castle Wii is a very straightforward game to play, during the game day simply you point your Wii Remote towards the television and hold the A (or B) button to grab one of the stick men running towards your castle, you can then flick the Wiimote up, left or right and let go of A to fling him away to his doom or you can pull the controller down to squish him on the ground. Sounds easy right? Well it is…..to start with. You’ll easily throw every stick man into touch for the first few levels but just as you get comfortable a few more will run onto the screen at once, they’ll also be running faster – some might even be carrying battering rams. Doesn’t sound quite as easy now does it eh? Yes still too easy you say, how about some tall button eyed monsters that take five attempts to pick up before they fall down and die? While you’re busy taking those extra four attempts the stick men are fully taking advantage of you being held up by the bigger guy. So wait, we can’t be expected to fend off an ever increasing army of bad guys just with our giant stick man throwing hand can we? No of course not, at each Night fall (end of each level) you get the chance to spend the points you earn for squishing bad guys. Here we can purchase some castle upgrades to help ourselves out – though we may have to spend some of our hard earned points on repairing damage first. You may also want to fortify your castle walls a bit too, thus making it take longer for the bad guys to break in – but should you spend all your cash strengthening or should you look at more aggressive options? Let’s talk about the castle upgrades that you can purchase a bit more, first things first you will need to install a pit of conversion which allows you to turn enemy stick men into nice chaps to work for you in your castle defence. You do this by picking up an enemy stick man and dropping him into the pit (which looks like a paint pot – more on that later), after a few seconds he will be fully converted to your side and sitting in storage – but without a task he is next to useless.
Each of the four Castle turrets can be upgraded for use; the first you’re likely to be able to afford (with your squished stickmen points) is an arching range. With your recently converted chaps ready and waiting why not send them up to the Archery tower so they can shoot arrows at those nasty enemies? The more archers you train the more arrows they’ll shoot, thus more enemies will be shot – but those devious enemies are coming up faster and faster – perhaps you’ll need to invest in a Stone Masons Shop? Yes that’s a good idea, instead of just training archers why not have some chaps repair your castle from within as the battle is happening? That would be helpful would it not, but you’ll need a lot of chaps working at the repairs to make it worthwhile – don’t forget that each chap in the Stone Mason tower is one less Archer you could have on the front line, a tough choice indeed. So with that tough balancing act you would think it was crazy to add another two upgrades into the mix, well crazy or not – they’re here. Let’s throw a Demolition Laboratory (where you can send out suicide bombers to blow the enemy up) into the mix too, oh and while we’re here, why not top that off with the Institute for Magical Arts (no, not Hogwarts), a tower dedicated to the pursuit of magic, training mages to cast spells. Depending on the number of mages you train up the more spells you’ll be able to cast: You start off with a simple Erasing tool – hover over an enemy you want to erase and press the relevant D-Pad direction and he’ll be wiped out, literally! It takes a long time for a solitary mage to recharge his power, so it’s best to train more but once again the dilemma – one more mage is one less Archer, Stone Mason or Suicide Bomber that you can use. To make it even harder you’ll need 35 Mages to unlock the Convert spell which will bring on a spray can to convert a single enemy to your clan and 100 Mages to acquire the explosion spell (which lets you blow a bunch of enemies up simply by pointing towards them). Though we shouldn’t forget that whilst all this is going on, the waves of enemies has increased tenfold and not only that, they’ve developed huge catapults which are very tough to destroy – those spells could be handy here, we hope you chose not to train too many Archers, Bombers or Masons instead of Mages otherwise you might be lacking in spell power when the catapults arrive. Every few levels is made even harder when the bad weather comes in, snow and rain that obscures your vision can really make things tough. This seemingly simple game has turned into a strategic nightmare hasn’t it folks?
Remember I mentioned the Pit of Conversion being a paint pot? You do? Great, that means you were paying attention – top marks. Well yes, the Pit of Conversion is indeed a paint pot, a pot of blue pain in fact. The whole game has child arts and craft theme to it and it’s so distinctive; the clouds look like bits of paper attached to drinking straws, there are written notes in Biro ink, scrabble letter tiles and much more – you’ll need to see the game in motion to really appreciate it. The graphics might not be next gen, but they look good, run smooth (even with hundreds of enemies on screen) and really suit the game. The sound effects are just as child like too, the squishes and explosions all sound like a small child playing with toy soldiers in his room.
The developers of the game claim that the game has unlimited levels so you’ll technically never finish it, though we suspect it will become so insanely difficult later on that it will effectively become impossible for a single human to do – but how about two, three or four players? Yes that’s right, up to three other players can all help Defend Your Castle if you so wish and what’s more they can jump in at any point, just turn another Wii Remote whilst the game is in progress and multiplayer is enabled there and then with no interruptions.
We really recommend Defend Your Castle for the Wii, we think it is fun for gamers and non gamers alike and will really keep you entertained for many weeks – beware though Defend Your Castle Wii is very addictive and intense and we only have one gripe and that is the game throws in its upgrades and variations quite early on leaving few surprises for gamers who manage to get to higher levels and so we give Defend Your Castle near great 8 out of 10.