Have you ever had one of those days when you buy a new castle and then have to single-handedly defend it from a neighbouring king that wants to take it from you? I’m guessing not. That’s the set up for Castle Invasion: Throne out from Cat Trap Studios. You control a lone warrior as he uses a variety of weapons to repel the evil king’s vast army.
The story is pretty simplistic as is the gameplay. You move the warrior up and down the battlements of your castle and hit X to throw a weapon at the attacking forces. You can use the touch screen to control the player but I found the button controls more comfortable. You start off with a pretty weak bow and arrow, and as you progress in the game you unlock 3 additional weapons. As you kill enemies you get gold that can be used to buy weapon upgrades. The upgrades are essential for completing some of the trickier levels.
Each level has a 3 star rating with stars unlocked for completing challenges like finish a level within a certain time limit or complete the level only using a certain amount of arrows. They add some challenge and replayability to the game. I found some stars just could not be obtained no matter how hard I tried without first unlocking some key upgrades. With the right upgrades, most levels could be beaten without too much difficulty.
Each level takes around 1-3 minutes to complete and there are 50 levels. Every 10 levels you have to fight a boss. The first 2 bosses in particular I found quite difficult. I had to go back to previous levels grind for gold to upgrade my weapons before I could beat them. Normally I would find being forced to replay levels and grind annoying but the levels are short and the game is generous with gold so it was never too onerous.
There are a variety of enemies from small, fast dwarves, to knights that can only be hurt using a spear and enemies that dig under the ground that can only be hurt when they pop their heads out. The game introduces new enemies at a steady pace and it keeps the game interesting by forcing you to try out the different weapons and change your tactics for the different waves of enemies. The game also varies between day and night, with night levels adding to the challenge by limiting visibility.
The art is cartoony which I think is fine for the type of game. The music though felt out-of-place at times. It went from tunes similar to a kids cartoon to epic battle music. The music just didn’t suit the game in my opinion. I also found the music seemed to change when different enemies are on-screen or depending on how close the enemies got to the castle. However due to the speed of the attacking enemies and the speed at which you kill them, I found the music would change far too frequently and occasionally it glitched and just stopped entirely.
Castle Invasion: Throne out is not particularly difficult. I finished the game with all-stars after around 4-5 hours. If you’re looking for a deep, immersive, long game then this isn’t it. Personally I think that’s ok. Having a game to play for a couple of minutes while waiting for a bus is fine with me. Just go in with the right mindset that this is a casual, simplistic and fun game rather than the next Uncharted.
I found Castle Invasion: Throne out fun and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the game but it felt like a temporary distraction rather than a game that I would want to keep on my vita and sink loads of hours into. On the plus side at £4.49 it’s not that expensive. So for a relatively cheap price you’ll have a charming, fun little game that’s good for when you have a couple of minutes to spare.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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