All The King’s Horses and All the King’s Men
By Brett Wolfe
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on October 11th, 2016 on Xbox One and PS4, also available on PC and PS Vita
Developer: Cat Trap Studios Publisher: Cat Trap Studios
Here Ye! Here Ye! The King has just announced his first royal decree. Castle Invasion: Throne Out has arrived in the local Ye Olde Market. He gives his praise and implores all commoners to give it a try. Castle Invasion: Throne Out is a 2D tower defense game that was developed and published by Cat Trap Studios. It is similar to the style portrayed in Plants Vs Zombies, where the player defends a building from waves of incoming enemy types.
This title differs from others in this genre since the player only controls one character with various attacks. You take the role of an archer that just purchased the brand new castle of his dreams. The King comes and demands that you hand over the castle for his amusement, but you refuse. Thus, he sends his massive army to pilfer your land. The game provides fifty different levels of the retaliation against the King’s forces. Some of the stages take place during the day, while others will take place during the night. The only difference between these cycles (besides what enemies you fight) is the addition of torches that need to be kept ignited if you wish to see the field that the units are advancing on. Each stage has three different challenges that can be done to obtain stars. One of the challenges will always be to beat the level, while the other two differ from kill ‘X' amount of enemies or to keep the castle above ‘X’ amount of health. There is a boss fight every ten levels that will incorporate any obstacles that you have faced over the previous levels.
Before the King comes, your character is having a conversation with the Blacksmith, which serves as the store in the game. Throughout the levels, the enemies will drop gold that you can pick up. The gold is used at the blacksmith to upgrade your weaponry and character. These upgrades are very useful in getting three stars on some of the levels as they allow you to move around the castle faster or cause your weapons to do more damage. Your arsenal includes the following weapons: a bow , a spear, a crossbow, and a slingshot. The bow is the starting weapon of the game and it is a medium range weapon that fires a single arrow semi-automatically. The spear is a slow moving, hard hitting projectile that travels a long distance and can stagger enemies upon impact. The crossbow fires extremely fast, automatic arrows that do minuscule damage and has similar range to the bow and arrow. The final weapon that is added to your collection is the slingshot. This is my favorite weapon, as it throws a wide, short-range projectile that does a massive amount of damage to a group of enemies. The slingshot has the ability to stagger adversaries as well.
The King’s military includes a large variety of combatants. All the units have their own special attack pattern and personality. The few of the units that you will face during the assault that I find interesting are the mages, drunks, and the ninjas. The mages shoot projectiles when close to the base and can teleport after attacking or taking a large amount of damage. The drunks, being my favorite adversary, have abilities different than every other enemy in the game. They will not deal any damage to the base as long as you do not do damage to them. If they are hit by anything, their cups will fly at the base and deal a large amount of damage to the castle. However, if you just leave them be, they will fall over once they get close to the base and die. Finally, the ninja throws a projectile and dodges in an angle, even when approaching the castle, he will be jumping in the angle pattern.
I was reminded of a mobile game while playing this title; however, not in a bad way. I saw this game as a simplistic title that could be played on almost any platform, but that didn’t mean that this game did not shine. The visuals were simple and cartoony in nature and I felt that was great. The dialogue was hilarious and the game’s sound paired perfectly with the medieval theme and the simplistic nature. The game is full of puns and nonsensical discussion that puts it over the top.
My experience with Castle Invasion: Throne Out far surpassed my expectation. I was excited going into the title after seeing it in the marketplace and thinking that it was going to be a fun little title. It was that and much more. I constantly found myself laughing at the narration and just having fun overall. The game was pretty easy to get through, even with going for three stars on all the levels. The upgrades pair perfectly with the progression of the game and I found myself rarely having to replay levels to get money or to achieve all of the stars. The story is straightforward and the dialogue paired with the cartoon style of graphics makes this game perfect for the whole family.
I was nothing but impressed with this title and I would love to see more games of this style come out. The game is priced at $5 USD and I feel that is a great price for this title. I would recommend buying this game regardless of your gaming preference, you will not be disappointed. Here comes the King, let’s fight!
Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purpose of this review.
Final Score: 8.5/10
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