Jul 7, 2014
Heroes and Castles is a new Action RPG/strategy game where chopping though a huge undead horde is just another day at the office.
Players can pick from one of a well-known cast of RPG favorites. Thereâ€™s the stealthy assassin, the healing paladin and the tough knight, among others. Each is very different and provides a different style of gameplay.
Heroes and Castles mixes RPG gameplay with a pinch of strategy. While the player moves and fights much like any other button mashing action RPG, the game is set up so they cannot survive alone.
Troops can be recruited to aid in holding back the shambling undead before they beat their way into Hinton castleâ€™s strangely wooden walls. Quite a few troops from weak archers to armor clad, pike welding badasses can be recruited to both serve as a distraction and kill enemies in their own right. Using troops well is the key to success.
A few buildings can be constructed as well. The most common one are gold mines that generate money to train new soldiers, but arrow towers and a few others can be built. After each battle gems are earned that can be used to boost skills and learn new ones.
Lamentably, some really interesting gameplay ideas are undone by the incredibly high difficulty of Heroes and Castles. The first few levels are simple enough, but from about level 4 onwards the game becomes a whole different ballgame. Enemies arrive in droves. The introduction of armored enemies who both dish out and take a lot of damage makes the game much more difficult. Their armor makes them nearly immune to attacks from nearly every troop type, including the player. The only troops that can counter armored enemies are very expensive pikemen that cost more than an arrow tower each.
Rarely can the player afford enough pikemen to have much chance of winning and it is obvious that Heroes and Castles is steering the player towards purchasing in app purchases which boost abilities and make the game slightly easier. There is a lot of in app purchases in Heroes and Castles. This would be more acceptable if the base game did not already cost money.
Graphically, Heroes and Castles is quite simple, but with the large amount of characters on screen during a major battle this is understandable. The game would just not have a stable frame rate otherwise. The sound is similarly second rate. Combat sounds more like banging forks together and voice acting is very poor. A strange omission is the lack of death cries for both enemies and allies. This makes it difficult to tell if troops are holding if the player cannot see them. The music gets the job done, but it is a much better idea to turn it off to better keep track of battle.
Heroes and Castles delivers a unique experience for mobile and some interesting gameplay. Unfortunately it then shoots itself in the foot with in-app purchases, poor presentation and very high difficulty. Only rich strategy fans should apply.