So tell me why do we build castles in the sky….? I will tell you. It is stop people from nicking all your hard earned plunder.
Up until recently this game was in closed alpha and beta testing, but now joy of joy’s it is available to all of us to play….and it is free (to a point).
I was first interested in this game following the amusing marketing videos that i had seen on Steam and YouTube.
Needless to say that once you have logged in to the application that familiar feel returns with snarky commentary from a shady and dodgy dealer called Cornelius Richling.
The Premise of this game is to amass wealth by breaking and entering into other people’s castles and rummaging through the knicker draw for spare change.
As you can imagine the occupants are not overly thrilled with having the worldly belongings pilfered by some bastard (I have been robbed before so i am just having a kind of rage inducing flashback).
At the same time as you are attacking castles to bring back more loot, you also have a castle of your own to maintain…..but I shall come on to that later.
This game is a diablo style dungeon crawler minions, traps and expansive castles that are to be raided.
There are 3 main character classes with a 4th available for purchase (well they have to make their money somehow). Standard classes of Mage, for ranged magic and area effects. The Knight for tanking and in your face quips and ass-kickery. Lastly there is the stealthy Archer with his trusty crossbow and Kestrel/ Raven/ Bird of Death.
Each character has skills that they unlock and can have 4 attached to themselves as well as your main auto attack. Skills are progressively unlocked and upgraded as you level up.
The other side of the game is the ability to create and maintain your own castle, which is why in other comments / reviews is has been compared to Dungeon Keeper. You can fill it with minions and traps of your own with the specific intention of keeping people away from your precious loot. Overtime and A LOT of ingame raiding you build up “gold” and “life-force” which are the two main currencies in the game.
Gold is used to buy and upgrade structures, including your workshops, research lab etc. It is also used to add new rooms to your castle and here is where the fun lies as you can create and build totally unique castles.
Lifeforce is used to summon minions and traps to do your bidding and are your main source of defence.
Once you have finished upgrading/ changing your castle you are required to validate it. Meaning that you have to run the gauntlet and complete it in the fastest time. While this is a good idea it does have a fundamentally annoying problem. Say for example you have dropped one new minion in to the fray after previously validating it, you then have to go all the way through it again.
You also have to kill all your minions because if you do not after the validation period should an attacker come in those defences will be asleep rendering them both catatonic and useless while some is rifling through your possession’s.
I do like the solo PVP element that is formed from you attacking another in-game user’s castle and taking all their stuff. There is a 3 star system for defeating another castle owner. 1 star for killing all the minions, 1 star for beating the owner’s time to complete the castle and a 3rd for getting to the treasure room. Originally I was expecting something like Eribor for the Hobbit sans Dragon but ahh well can’t have everything we want.
The only criticism I would have so far is that the game feels very grindy, I am acutely aware that this is only the Beta however there are very few different castle feels in terms of graphical look probably because of the price in the Micro Transaction area. Oh yes there is also micro transactions but when isn’t there in a free to play game. Jimmy the designer isn’t going to be able to put food on the table if we get everything for nothing is he?!
User content in the early levels is samey due to the fact they have to unlock and upgrade there castle meaning that for the first 10 levels of the game you are pretty much playing your own castle with a different layout over and over again. I mean even when you do get through a castle the XP rewards are pretty small so levelling takes even more time.
To summarise for now at least, this game has tonnes of (mart with love this) POTENTIAL. In time with higher levels, more in game content and more varied castle beautification this game could be brilliant for people that want to dungeon crawl but also want to be the dungeon keeper and think up fiendish ways to keep people from there hard earned booty <insert prison shower joke here>.
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