Over the last year, the castle defense genre has become popular on the iPhone platform largely thanks to the efforts of smaller developers. Now iPhone gaming giant Gameloft jumps into the fray with Castle Frenzy. Sporting 3D graphics, great animations and numerous ways to dispatch the ensuing hordes, Castle Frenzy is a beautiful and addictive title.
Castle Frenzy’s formula is familiar: the goal is to destroy incoming enemies before they breach your castle gates. Castle Frenzy has ten different enemy types ranging from warlocks and trolls to skeletons and goblins. Each enemy has different abilities and requires different tactics to destroy. The lowly goblins can be handled with a simple flick of the finger, sending them flying through the air while others have to be smashed into the ground. There are goblins who ride in on wild boars that, once freed, will trample any enemy in their way. Meanwhile, skeletons are resistant to temperature attacks and dark elves attack your magical upgrades. With all the enemy types and different tactics you must employ to kill them, Castle Frenzy is a little deeper than the average castle defense game.
Aside from just flicking enemies to dispatch them, there are 18 upgrades you can purchase. The hydra devourers enemies and collects their souls, the fire ball explodes, the ice ball freezes, and the griffin smashes. You can also upgrade your castle gate or draw shapes on the screen to summon lightning, tornadoes, boulders, and even an undead army.
Castle Frenzy has two modes of play—Survival and Campaign. There are ten campaigns to play through, each with a certain number of days you must survive. At the end of each day you can purchase upgrades using gold earned and souls collected. Survival mode is played just like the Campaigns except your castle isn’t repaired at the beginning of each day. Instead you just keep going until your gates are breached. Purchasing the right upgrades at the right time is the key to getting far in Survival mode.
The graphics are just what you would expect from Gameloft—excellent. The characters are all detailed and the castle is rendered in 3D with a moat and nice background. I was especially a fan of the game’s destructive animations like the fireball explosions that sent enemies flying in all directions, the awesome tornado that swirled them up into the air, the hydra gobbling them up and the huge fountains of blood that erupts from enemies smashed into the ground. All of these animations have great sound effect as well, and there’s a rousing soundtrack that sounds like something out of Conan The Barbarian.
Gameloft has done a great job with Castle Frenzy. There are tons of different ways to kill enemies, lots of cool upgrades, very nice graphics and animations, great sound effects, and lots of overall polish. There are 23 achievements to earn, and you can compare these with your friends via Gameloft Live. Couple that with the Survival mode and Castle Frenzy has quite a bit of replay value. If you like castle defense games this is one you’ll want to own and it’s only $2.
[Tim Mercer is a technology enthusiast, graphic designer, and blogger, whose blog, digital-artist-toolbox.com, offers free resources to the digital artist and graphic designer.]