Like many other gamers, I'm a pretty big fan of Adult Swim's iOS offerings. With every new genre the developer takes on, we get another great game that either offers innovative elements or a traditional experience so refined that it simply raises the bar against the competition. Castle Doombad squarely falls in the latter category. One of the first non-F2P Adult Swim games in awhile, Castle Doombad [$2.99] nails everything I could want in a 'defense' title and should be played.

In Castle Doombad, you play the role of a villain’s minion ensuring that your master’s abducted damsel remains in distress. Waves of heroes will break down your castle doors, climb ladders and scale walls, all in an attempt to climb to the top of your castle and save the princess. However, getting to the princess is just the beginning, as the heroes must actually make it out of the castle in order to succeed (which ends the stage in failure for you). Defeat every wave of heroes, and you win the round.

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You'll accomplish this by laying down traps, building weapons, and summoning minions to do your evil bidding. Castle Doombad broadly classifies each of your weapons into three different categories: automatic traps, minions, and manual traps. As you might imagine, automatic traps let loose their destructive force at timed intervals and have some restrictions on where you can place them. From a standard TD perspective, a lot of these weapons will feel familiar.

The other two categories are where Castle Doombad becomes a bit more unique. Manual traps share the same restrictions as the automatic ones, but are user-activated and are on cooldowns. Minions don't have any restrictions, which makes them useful in conjunction with the other traps. However, players lose a lot of control over them as they are mostly autonomous. There are over 20 traps and minions to choose from, meaning that there is a huge potential for diversity in terms of play style.

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This diversity is one of Castle Doombad’s strongest elements. A lot of TD games offer tower options but levels are designed with a specific strategy in mind. With Doombad, it really does feel like you can employ a wide variety of strategies and still pass a mission. Sure, some techniques work better than others, but having a multitude of viable tactics go a long way towards replayability. Another high points is the enemy variety, which offers equal parts hilarity (the Sexy Knight is my fave) and strategy;.

Another thing that Castle Doombad nails is its progression curve. If you know what you're doing you can easily play through each mission one after another, using the currency earned for strategic upgrades. However, if you're looking to expand your horizons, replaying levels provide a generous amount of currency that can be used to unlock or upgrade traps. Premium currency exists for in-game power-ups (which I didn’t find necessary) but it can be earned via a quest system. IAP exists in the form of currency buys (along with a doubler) but I really never felt a need to even consider purchasing it.

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This might be due to the fact that Castle Doombad is simply a blast to play. Even while replaying old levels, I never got tired of the enemies, traps, and general hilarity that the game offers. The art style is amazing, the puns and little bits of writing are top-notch, and there are plenty of quests to attempt while replaying previous missions. Losing a match never felt cheap and while most of the stages are relatively easy, ‘Master Stages’ and bonus levels offer a decent challenge above and beyond the normal levels.

If it seems like there’s very little wrong with Castle Doombad, that’s because it’s true. Maybe one can make some superficial gripes about the lack of backdrop settings, but there’s more than enough variety in the actual gameplay to make up for that. Developer Grumpyface Studios does nearly everything right in making a highly enjoyable TD game in Castle Doombad, and you owe it to yourself to check it out.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Amenbrother

    Awesome game but anyone else having issues with Game Center achievements not working? In game ones work fine though.

    • Grumpyface Studios

      Hi Amenbrother -- we are currently looking into this issue, and it seems to be something that isn't affecting all users. Either way, we should be able to provide a fix soon-- sorry for the inconvenience!

      • Amenbrother

        Thats customer service right there! But really not a huge problem as I am loving this game.

      • Donny K76

        Thank you for looking into this...Not sure whether to play it on the Air or Ipad 3. Already purchased last night!

      • TTotully

        Wow! Wish every dev team had that kind of customer support! No better feedback than the gamers who buy the game, obviously. But so few devs take the time to check the forums and if they do even less reply to constructive comments about bugs, glitches, etc. That's all we want, the best gaming experience possible, thanks guys and ladies!

      • Dirty Pancakes

        enemies get stuck outside on the regular in endless and stop your progression because you can't kill them. A game breaking bug.

  • Nycteris

    Ok, purchased it on the strength of this review. And also, because I've always wants an evil tower full of minions.

    • ste86uk

      I don't regret buying it

    • melvincholy2010

      You definitely won't regret it

  • loophole

    Definitely gonna check this one out. You guys should do a review for battle supremacy it looks really interesting!

  • DannyTheElite

    can you review joe danger infinity?

  • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

    This reminds me of a 2D version of Dungeon Keeper.

  • Cilo

    Would TA please get in the habit of putting the forum link in articles? It gets really annoying to have to search every portion of an article looking for that link to sometimes find it and other times not. It's really inconsistent when browsing TA posts from a computer.

    • bilboad

      I agree that would be nice. There is an easy and consistent way to find the forum thread from a review though. At the end of the review, click or tap on the name of the game, to the left of the price button, and it will take you to TA's main page about that game. That page always has a link to the forum thread, as well as links to all the app activity including articles.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        This is how you do it^

    • araczynski

      ditto, its coming across as "screw you guys and your opinions, our word is the last word". :)

      • dariusjr98

        That's definitely exaggerating.

      • araczynski

        i'm not saying its intentional, but that's how i'm seeing it. it USED to be different, could be a glaring omission with the redesign, or could be more. inquiring minds want to know :)

      • jontas

        Yea.. That's quite an insane theory. If you were right, why would they bother having forums at all? Or is that part of the nefarious plan??

      • araczynski

        :) forums exist solely to build a community/user base that will keep coming back, and consuming ads on the home page :) but of course they're never the main point of a website, that always has to be whatever is deemed to be on the front.

  • ste86uk

    Love it the only thing with me is I'd like it if tower levels were all aligned and not off to the side a bit, I know it's just the style : ) but I'm a little OCD like that

  • Bloodangel

    Sounds like a 2d cross of dungeon keeper and spy v spy :)

  • makitango

    Awesome, finally again a standard-priced quality game from adult swim. Instabuy! :D

  • Hero Killer Id

    Having a lot of fun with this at work yay!

  • thelistener

    "With every new genre the developer takes on, "
    Publisher. They hire different developers, but they (Adult Swim) are a publisher.

  • http://bearandwalrus.bandcamp.com/ thesimplicity

    How does this compare to the 2009 Final Fantasy TD game My Life As A Darklord? Seems like an identical premise.

  • TTotully

    Great game, I am having a blast with it! Much rather pay a little up front and get a full experience without having to use iap than to have a FTP where iap are almost mandatory to get any enjoyment out of the game. I am very happy to pay for such a quality game and I hope enough people discover this gem and support the devs for their hard work and so we can get regular updates! I recommend this game to all ios gamers regardless of genre preference. I am not a huge fan of TD games but I am loving this one!

  • Jake7905

    Lately I've been getting bored of tower defense games, and decided to stop playing them. Then Adult Swim releases this gem, and all I can say is.....just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Which is why I ain't buying it just yet.
      But ... it's sure tempting.

  • Fedorov

    Agree, prefer to pay more up-front for a quality game, tired of IAP, timers etc. amazingly good game this.

  • ConraDargo

    Ah, this looks a lot like My Life as a Dark Lors on the Wii! And that's exactly why I wanna purchase it now ^_^b

  • ConraDargo

    Ah, this looks a lot like My Life as a Dark Lord for the Wii (WiiWare)! And that's exactly why I wanna try it out now ^_^b

  • Foghorn Irrascible

    Paid AND IAPs, tho... I know everyone reviewing says you don't ever need to touch them but if that's the case why have them?

    I just can't help feeling any game with expendable currency IAPs, no matter how easy it is to avoid them, will have had some aspect of its gameplay designed to at some point make you consider them instead of grinding. I find it hard to enjoy any game that has Grind Or Pay
    hanging over it.

    • SeveredJoke

      That was exactly the problem with My Life as a Darklord.

    • http://rekzkarz.com/ REkzkaRZ

      Think of it this way -- if they make a game w/o IAP's, that's like leaving money on the table. Someone somewhere is ready to drop $100 to have "item X" or whatever.
      You don't have to IAP, so don't do it.
      I didn't think people caved so easily, but a coworker dropped $20 on Plants vs Zombies 2 and a lot more on a really stupid game that had IAP's.
      So dev's can't really afford NOT to have IAP's on their games, I think. It's that easy money...

  • Diaboliq

    I was a little hesitant when I saw 2 currencies, but wow I'm glad I bought this!! This game is top, top notch! Awesome job! Any chance for new traps and levels in the future? Keep up the good work guys. This the favorite game of 2014 :)

    • Grumpyface Studios

      Yes, we've got a content update on the way soon with many new goodies :) Glad you've enjoyed the game!

      • http://www.dylanmenges.com/ Dylster

        Hurry. I need more Castle Doombad

  • Foghorn Irrascible

    I put my fears about IAPs aside and which I hadn't. I just can't stand playing games that reward you with coins to buy upgrades but also offer a way to get coins faster if you pay more money. It absolutely kills any enjoyment stone dead.

    Also I got tired of the identical gameplay by the end of the first castle. Sorry, I guess I'm just growing out of casual games like this.

Castle Doombad Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 5