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Subject: Cardboard Mountain Review - Castle Panic rss

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Andrew Verticchio
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River Forest
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Castle Panic is a cooperative game where the players work together to defend the castle from wave after wave of goblins, orcs, and trolls.

What You Get:

Castle Panic comes with a well-illustrated game board that is divided into three colored arcs (Green, Red, and Blue). Each arc is then subdivided into four zones (Forest, Archer, Knight, and Swordsmen). The monsters are represented on Monster Tokens that range from the mighty Troll Mage to the pathetic Goblin. The players use the Castle Cards to attack the approaching monsters. Finally, there is the Castle itself, made up of six walls and six towers. All of the components are high quality, built to last, and well designed.

Playing the Game:

What you have here is tower defense game. But unlike most tower defense games, Castle Panic is cooperative. All players will share the victory or anguish in defeat.

In each game round the active player draws cards, can trade a card with another player (thus making each player more effective at defending the castle), and then plays their Castle Cards on the approaching monsters. In this manner the player can deal damage and defeat the monsters. All defeated monsters are removed from the game.

However, any monster left standing after a player’s turn will advance one zone forward and get closer to the castle. At the end of each and every player turn two more monster tokens are added to the board. This causes more panic for the defenders. If the monsters are able to knock down all six of the castle towers, the players loose. If the players manage to defeat all of the monster tokens, then they have beaten the game and reign victorious.

The Good:

Coop – This is my favorite part of the game and the reason why I like it so much, either all the players win or all the players loose. There are few board games that bring the player together to defeat a common foe. Caslte Panic is one of these rare gems and the sensation of defeating the game with your team mates is great.

Real Castle Walls and Towers – This may seem silly but having a real, standing, castle to defend adds a lot to the game. It feels horrible when as you watch your towers fall to the ground and feels great to be able to rebuild walls at critical moments.

Hold the Line! – Because more monsters are added each and every turn there is a real sense of urgency during the game. It certainly seems like the monsters will never stop rushing out of the Forest and there is a consent sense of dread looming over the players. Of course this feeling only makes victory all the greater.

Once More, With Me! – Castle Panic will beat you time and time again. But, because the game is so fast to play and victory always seems possible, you will never want to walk away from this game defeated. After a tough lose you will look around the table at your teammates and decide immediately to reset, retool, and try again. And this time, those damn orcs and trolls will not destroy our home!

More Ways to Play – The rule book includes extra rules for either an easier or more difficult experience. One such rules has the players begin the game with no castle walls (good luck with that one). Also there are rules for Overlord play where one player takes control of the monster horde and faces off against a team of defenders. This tends to heighten the tension, knowing there is a method behind the monster invasion instead of just random waves of enemies.

The Bad:

Limited Replay – This is a big one. Eventhough Castle Panic is a joy to play, once you have tasted victory it is simply not as fun or excited the next time. Each successful defense of the Castle results in a smaller desire to play again. Luckily, the game is difficult, very difficult and it will require many attempts before you achieve the elusive win.

Worth It?

Yes. The game’s ability to pull you back in for another go is extraordinary. The high quality components ensure the game will last through many sessions and the game's unique cooperative gameplay allows for the glory of a shared victory. This is a must buy for fans of coop games. Castle Panic is...WORTH IT!

Info:
Players: 1-6
Ages: 10+
Playtime: 30-45 Min.
Publisher: Fireside Games (2010)

Take a look at the full review (with pictures) at Cardboard Mountain
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Tom Flatt
Canada
Whitecourt
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Great game! It should be mentioned that The Wizard's Tower expansion does an amazing job of increasing the difficulty level and the replayability of this game!
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Kevin Riddle

Oklahoma
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agreed, just protect that wizard tower so you don't lose the spells ...
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Loose Cannon
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Ypsilanti
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Any one else have a problem of the expansion cards not matching the originals, causing shuffling problems?
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Alexander Montgomery
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West Haven
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Great Review. I'll second that the expansion helps with the re-playability issue. So does having 7 year old that asks to play it quite frequently.

SlimJim wrote:
Any one else have a problem of the expansion cards not matching the originals, causing shuffling problems?


I have noticed a difference in the back of the cards being different for the castle deck, but It hasn't caused to many "shuffling problems".

I do love the wizard tower and the most of the wizard spells, I will say I'm not a fan of most of the wizard castle cards. I've been in situations where I have had a full hand, most of the card were anything but hit cards and I cant hit a single monster. Frustrating.
 
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Andrew Verticchio
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Thanks for the feedback. I have picked up Wizard's Tower but I have not yet had the chance to play it. I've only heard good things though!

Do any of you have any specific feedback for the review? I am trying to get started reviewing games and Ill take any criticism you have!
 
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Alexander Montgomery
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DoctorDH wrote:
Thanks for the feedback. I have picked up Wizard's Tower but I have not yet had the chance to play it. I've only heard good things though!

Do any of you have any specific feedback for the review? I am trying to get started reviewing games and Ill take any criticism you have!


I liked the format with the Headers especially Good, Bad, Worth it. I also really liked the pictures you took of the game. The colors were spectacular.
 
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Andrew Verticchio
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xandercm wrote:
I liked the format with the Headers especially Good, Bad, Worth it. I also really liked the pictures you took of the game. The colors were spectacular.


Thanks for checking out the blog and the great feedback! I really appreciate it.
 
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Dean Petters
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The Wizards Tower really does add to the replayability. By having 3 of the 6 boss monsters, randomly chosen, in any game, you never know which of those horrendous beasts will be showing up. And timing is everything. Having a flaming boulder miss all the monsters (and if you're really unlucky, take out your tower) can result in a really, really bad day.

 
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