CastleStorm (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 14.07.2019

Review for CastleStorm on Nintendo Switch

Best known for their FX and Zen range of Pinball games, Hungarian Publisher Zen Studios has quietly dabbled into other genres, including first-person shooter The Punisher: No Mercy, and the spook-sucking Nintendo DS Ghostbusters title, both released in 2009. Four years after those two, Zen took a crack at the tower defence genre with CastleStorm; a popular game on Xbox Live Arcade that would subsequently get ported to all other formats - and now it's the turn of Nintendo's hybrid wonder to receive its own version of it. How well does the Knights and Vikings mashup fare on the Switch?

Straight away after booting up CastleStorm, the jolly loading screen music sets the tone that will endure and endear throughout the entire game. That, coupled with the colourful and buoyant character designs and expressions, enforce this take on light-hearted warfare, with step one of the main campaign mode sees players in control of Sir Gerald as he defends his kingdom's castle and other important level structures from pesky invading Vikings. The narrative spans four main chapters full of set scenarios, often bookended with witty and interesting character speeches and interactions, and what initially starts as a basic plotline to recover a stolen jewel, brings in other races and adversaries to keep things interesting.

Playing CastleStorm can be described, at the basic structural level at least, as a medieval Angry Birds, since the aiming and firing of projectiles is very similar. The idea is taken a lot further however, with the necessity of home base protection from advancing enemies, as well as taking down their own structure in the process.

Beginning with basic throwing spears and advancing to boulders, ground troops, ranged archers, dragons, and even exploding sheep, this does a masterful job of introducing each new element with tutorials when needed, and allows a great deal of aiming flexibility with stick sensitivity options. Said shooting accuracy is important, but timing is equally so, as many powerful weapons have a recharge time, and deciding when to use the main playable hero of the level as a ground troop, each with their own arms and magic spells can potentially decide a win or loss.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Nintendo Switch

Leading on from that is the Castle Editor mode, which not only allows for completely custom structure design, but also decides the weapons and troop varieties that'll be available. Each castle template only allows for a certain number of specialised rooms and/or wall enforcements, so not all Ammunition and Squad choices will be available at once, which necessitates forward things and priorities. New parts are unlocked for use immediately after their Campaign introduction, and though button control for this mode is rather clunky, the Touch Screen interface for the Switch's Handheld mode fares much better.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Nintendo Switch

Speaking of it, Zen Studios' transition to of CastleStorm to the Switch clearly shows the time and consideration in doing so. From the aforementioned Touch editing of the Castle Building that also extends to even more precise aiming in actual levels, to the excellent HD Rumble support, which has a changeable intensity meter option. Motion Control is also here in a sense, as the zooming in and out of the levels can be adjusted by tilting the unit or controllers forward and back; not quite the expected aiming aid for the ballista, but likely a better option given the twitch sensitivity of such. One minor complaint for this adaptation would be the somewhat tiny text and smaller details in Handheld mode, though the zoom control helps mitigate this issue somewhat.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Nintendo Switch

The main single player Campaign mode of CastleStorm is quite meaty, and provides a lot of replay value based on the difficulty options and Medal ranks alone, but coming with the game are extensive multiplayer options, both local and online. The former allows for Two players on the same Switch in frenzied Tower Defence Action, and the latter gives Ranked and Quick versus options against the entire world, complete with Leaderboards for the results. Though the game may not break new ground for the genre, CastleStorm is endlessly entertaining and enjoyable to newcomers and veterans alike, and fits its latest host hardware to a tee.

Screenshot for CastleStorm on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Swords, Sorcery, and Whimsy unite, in this fun feudal take on the Tower Defence Genre. Solid mechanics backed by exceptional use of the hardware's unique properties, and extensive content for the solo player as well as the many, make CastleStorm a worthy acquisition to adorn any Switch home screen.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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


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