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CastleStorm (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for CastleStorm on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

CastleStorm was developed by Zen Studios, which is best known for its series of pinball games. After previously being released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Steam, it recently arrived on the Wii U eShop with some additional features specific to this version. How does the game hold up and is it one worth considering for eShop fans? Read on to find out…

The kingdom of knights is attacked by the Vikings and it's up to the hero Sir Gareth and his troops to repel them. Without giving anything away, the story is presented well and in a very humorous way. Plenty of little cut-scenes between missions show some silly moments and lines by all the characters involved, adding a little extra incentive to keep playing just one more level as they are very amusing to watch.

The main gameplay consists of destroying the opposing castle by attacking it with various projectiles shot with a ballista, all while sending troops out to fend off the opposition and prevent them from taking the player's flag and ending the level. While there are also several spells to cast, the hero can take a more active role, too, and jump into the battlefield to help out in a pinch. The latter style of 2D hack and slash gameplay wouldn't hold up on its own but in this case it's a nice change of pace compared to managing troops and attacking from afar with a ballista.

The game can be controlled with either the Wii U GamePad or a Wii U Pro controller. The traditional set-up using the analogue sticks and buttons takes a while to get used to but it works quite well. Those longing for a bit more precision should opt for the GamePad Touch Screen controls to aim instead. Both methods are well implemented and the control choice is up to the preference of the player. Additionally, local multiplayer supports one person using the GamePad screen while the other one uses the TV and a Wii U Pro controller.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Each level has up to five stars that can be earned, split into two for accuracy of long-range attacks, another two for the chosen difficulty setting and the last one for a bonus objective such as clearing the level in a certain amount of time or having no more than a certain number of rooms of one's own castle destroyed. Playing some levels again to earn the best possible rank can be quite addictive and extra gold earned from playing well will also come in handy for affording additional upgrades.

While new projectiles, spells, troops and castle rooms are unlocked throughout the game, their usefulness is limited if they aren't upgraded. Everything can eventually be maxed out but the amount of available gold without playing stages again means it's necessary to make wise choices on how to shape one's arsenal.

That said, the campaign isn't overly challenging with the exception of a few levels. Playing well is rewarded, however, with a special frenzy mode that activates if a kill streak of five enemies is reached by using only the ballista. This shooting frenzy allows projectiles to be fired with no cool-downs for a short period of time, allowing the player to cause major damage to the enemy.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

The main gameplay consists of attacking the opposing castle with a variety of projectiles, spells and troops while simultaneously defending against incoming attacks to protect one's own. The amount of possible upgrades that are unlocked over time and a multitude of different mission goals keep things fresh and fun to play all the way through the campaign.

Graphics

The graphics are very vibrant with some lovely details and a silly charm that supports the type of humour that the numerous cut-scenes in the game are going for.

Sound

The music is outstanding and feels very medieval, perfectly setting the mood for all the different moments in the game. Only a few, major story cut-scenes are fully voiced by a narrator while the rest of the game uses often hilarious voice snippets, such as a golem saying "Rock 'n' Roll" in a deep, grumpy voice when it's called to battle.

Value

The campaign takes about eight to ten hours to finish depending on how many of the optional side quests are tackled. As for replay value, each level of the main game has five stars that can be obtained and there are a variety of additional modes such as survival modes and competitive as well as co-operative multiplayer modes that can be played both locally and online. There's also a castle editor for players to put together their own castles with the available troops and upgrades instead of using pre-set ones.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

CastleStorm succeeds at blending together the tower defence and 2D physics-based destruction genres to create a unique and very fun game that doesn't shy away from being a goofy, good time for the player with its dry sense of humour. It's currently uncertain whether the two pieces of DLC available on other platforms will be added in the future but the main game features enough content to make it worth picking up at the reasonable price of £7.99 on the eShop, particularly for fans of the popular tower defence genre.

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12.01.2014

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Developer

Zen Studios

Publisher

Zen Studios

Genre

Strategy

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Heard quite a bit about CastleStorm from Zen - haven't played it yet though - sounds like it could be a solid contender for Worms!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I didn't know they did anything other than pinball titles...so this is a pleasant surprise! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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