castleThe best way to think of Game Resort's Castle Warriors is as a hybrid that takes the visuals of ngmoco’s Star Defense and blends it with the real-time strategy of Phil Hassey’s Galcon. And, that’s how you get this entertaining and immersive offspring.

Presented in a series of letters between you and Queen Mynera, the storyline involves a kingdom under a cloud of darkness as evil foes plunder the land. You command an army of warriors, warlords and giants in the war against an overgrown gang of orcs, trolls, ogres and demons who are just as conniving and intelligent as you are. The objective is simple: prevent the enemy conquest of the land by taking control of all the castles on the battlefield.

With 3 levels of difficulty—easy, normal and hard—you’ll do battle through 12 maps in a single-player campaign. The maps themselves look amazing, and each has physical geographic features that can both hinder and help depending on how wise you are.

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On each map, a series of castles exist with the base of operations for each side located on opposing sides. Castles in your control bear a blue flag while those of the enemy have a red one. Each flag shows the number of troops stationed there. Empty castles do not have flags and are usually ripe for the picking. A mini-map in the upper left corner shows the location of castles and is color-coded accordingly. Attacking an enemy tower is as simple as sending troops to that tower. Battles take place automatically with the outcome determined algorithmically. In this way, the relatively simply strategic gameplay is very similar to Galcon. Unlike Galcon, troop production is not done in real time. At the end of each day, you are awarded reinforcements based on the outcomes of the day's events.

855673_2The game controls are simple. As in Star Defense, you can pan across the map by dragging the screen, although there is some noticeable sluggishness on first generation devices. Also just like Star Defense, however, some players may not like the constant need to pan back and forth to properly manage your troops -- though, arguably it does add to the overall experience. To move troops, you tap on the castle where the troops are located, and then tap on the destination of the other castle. The game does a terrific job of showing troop movements and skirmishes when opposing forces cross each other in the field. As for selecting the amount of troops, Castle Warriors provides some pre-set options which you can click through fairly quickly (e.g. move some, move half, move more than half). One issue introduced with this interface, however, is accidental castle selection while panning across the field. This can result in unintentional troop movement which can be frustrating.

When attacks occur on your castles, an event tab appears at the bottom of the screen identifying the castle in distress. Simply tap on the event tab and you’re automatically taken over to the castle. As you conquer castles and the days pass, additional troop reinforcements are made available since you’ll lose a fair amount of troops in battle. Castles also physically upgrade at the end of the day to provide additional defenses and capabilities. While you have no direct control over these upgrades, the more troops you have stationed in a given castle, the faster the upgrades will come.

The gameplay requires some quick thinking and even faster actions since you’ll often find yourself defending your castles against marauding enemies. One of the best parts of the game is the in-field skirmishes which unfortunately are not something you can reliably plan. Visibly, it’s rather entertaining to watch with blood and accompanying sound effects. The element of time also adds to the challenge of this game. Since battles can only take place during the day, and you have a limited number of days to complete your mission, the onus is on you to plan ahead. Keep in mind that the farther away troops have to travel, the more impact time will play since they have a greater distance to cover.

Castle Warriors is a simple and attractive strategy game that should appeal to a broad range of players. While the 3D panning interface allows a rich graphical experience, it does introduce some potential performance and usability issues. Still, it delivers an immersive experience that does make you want to play "just one more time".

App Store Link: Castle Warriors, $0.99 (Launch Special)

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://www.atrinh.com hapz

    bought it.. loved it.. simple gameplay, funny storyline, micromanagement, would much prefer the indicator for sending number of troops to be easier..

    i.e. you can send, SOME, HALF, MOST, and ALL.. and there is only one button which forward toggles through each of the options. would be better if there were 4 buttons on the screen.

    sometimes you can have a castle selected but nothing shows up so you may end up sending troops to a castle which you wanted to select. might be a bug or maybe just me confused in the heat of battle.

    definitely recommend for the 0.99 cents.

    the menu screen is uber slick.

  • http://www.atrinh.com hapz

    bought it.. loved it.. simple gameplay, funny storyline, micromanagement, would much prefer the indicator for sending number of troops to be easier..

    i.e. you can send, SOME, HALF, MOST, and ALL.. and there is only one button which forward toggles through each of the options. would be better if there were 4 buttons on the screen.

    sometimes you can have a castle selected but nothing shows up so you may end up sending troops to a castle which you wanted to select. might be a bug or maybe just me confused in the heat of battle.

    definitely recommend for the 0.99 cents.

    the menu screen is uber slick.

  • wegmans

    instant buy, curse my slow internet!

  • wegmans

    instant buy, curse my slow internet!

  • Ender

    That ad was one of the best iPod/iPhone App commercials I've ever seen! Brilliant!

  • Ender

    That ad was one of the best iPod/iPhone App commercials I've ever seen! Brilliant!

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Instant buy as soon as this game got bluetooth battle mode.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Instant buy as soon as this game got bluetooth battle mode.

  • Chad

    If they gave out awards for best iPhone app commercial, this would be my vote.

  • Chad

    If they gave out awards for best iPhone app commercial, this would be my vote.

  • Kita

    Bought it, played it, loved it. Great price and great app from an a smaller dev. now THIS is how you make an iphone game!

  • Kita

    Bought it, played it, loved it. Great price and great app from an a smaller dev. now THIS is how you make an iphone game!

  • rich_952000

    Finally D/Ling this *waves fist at crappy laptop "hurry up"*

    Game Resort have some fantastic titles to their credit already (Biplane, Downhill Bowling etc..) and Castle Warriors looks to be a solid effort as well.

    Congrats etoiles, keep em coming:)

  • rich_952000

    Finally D/Ling this *waves fist at crappy laptop "hurry up"*

    Game Resort have some fantastic titles to their credit already (Biplane, Downhill Bowling etc..) and Castle Warriors looks to be a solid effort as well.

    Congrats etoiles, keep em coming:)

  • http://www.darylangie.com/blog/ Daryl Lau

    Gonna buy it right away. I agree with everyone else... that commercial is blinking amazing. Loved it immensely!

  • http://www.darylangie.com/blog/ Daryl Lau

    Gonna buy it right away. I agree with everyone else... that commercial is blinking amazing. Loved it immensely!

  • Geert

    I've been warning the makers of Galcon for this...

  • Geert

    I've been warning the makers of Galcon for this...

  • Dimitris

    Damn this last level is hard!!
    Even on easy mode.
    It's driving me insane!!

    • Richard

      Did you ever do it? Got any tips?
      Last level is the only one i cant do!!!

  • Dimitris

    Damn this last level is hard!!
    Even on easy mode.
    It's driving me insane!!

  • Johnny

    i gotta stop doing this..still don't own a device but buying games..

    but hell, the developer needs to be able to bring in the future stuff like this and..i paid for it even if i can't enjoy it at this moment

    • wegmans

      You're just buying games and never playing them? You should totally get one off like craigslist for cheap! Hell I have a 16GB iPhone 3G I could sell!

  • Johnny

    i gotta stop doing this..still don't own a device but buying games..

    but hell, the developer needs to be able to bring in the future stuff like this and..i paid for it even if i can't enjoy it at this moment

    • wegmans

      You're just buying games and never playing them? You should totally get one off like craigslist for cheap! Hell I have a 16GB iPhone 3G I could sell!

  • sticktron

    The 3D graphics are nice, but after awhile, they fade, and the game itself isn't strong enough to supplant Galcon (IMO).

  • sticktron

    The 3D graphics are nice, but after awhile, they fade, and the game itself isn't strong enough to supplant Galcon (IMO).

  • TornadoTwins

    Did ANYONE ever finish the last level!????? SOO hard!
    But SUUUUCH a great game!
    -TT

  • TornadoTwins

    Did ANYONE ever finish the last level!????? SOO hard!
    But SUUUUCH a great game!
    -TT

  • http://panic-away-2.com/anxiety-cures Sherlock @ Anxiety Cures

    @ tornado: Yes I was able to finish up to the last level! Very great game. You have to finished the also. I had so much fun with this game. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Brown/100000713266712 Stephen Brown

    Don't know how Sherlock managed to finish the last level as I was damn useless at it. Love playing this game to relax when not working!

  • Philip Marks

    Yes I finally did it, the last level is hard but do-able, you just have to be super aggressive and take lots of castles early in day 1 and 2, i got 22, so that you get the lions share of the reinforcements, the game will then swing in your favour. From day 8 just go completely berserk . Good luck.

  • Philip Marks

    Yes, I finally beat the last level. It's tough but do-able. You just have to be super aggressive on day 1 and 2 and take alot of castles, i got 22, that way you get the majority of the reinforcements. The game then swings in your favour. From day 8 just go completely berserk and you should nail it. Good luck.