This review is a little lengthy, so if you just want a quick summary of why I recommend CastleStorm skip to Results and read from there.
Zen Studies hits gold with Castlestorm the epic 2D strategy game. Castlestorm offers a brilliant game that combines strategy, hack ‘n slash, castle design, and action. This brilliant game offers DLC packs which add two additional campaigns. Story:
The two Teardrop Gems, blue for the knights and red for the Vikings, offer each army protection and have created peace across the land. Out of nowhere the terms of alliance have shifted as the princess has been kidnapped. It is the job of Sir Gareth, a knight for the Kingskeep, who must fight the forces of evil who kidnapped the kings beautiful daughter. With obvious plot twists and simple but amusing dialogue CastleStorm really offers a beautifully playful story. As you work with Friar Vic, Lord Rufus (who everyone hates), and eventually the heroine Freia you fight your way across the land to defeat the Viking lord and restore peace to the land. Gameplay:
CastleStorm is similar to a 2D tower defense game where you control the tower; although, CastleStorm has the added twist where you can jump in as a hero and turn the game into a 2D hack ‘n slash game. With a total of nine weapons, nine spells, nine troops, and nine special rooms you get the option to outfit your army to your own unique play style. You can choose a total of five weapons, five spells, and five troops each battle although you can outfit your castle with as many rooms as you can fit. There are unlockable castle layouts you can get by beating missions. But, in all honesty the unlocked castle designs are completely useless as you will find you can build your own that allow you to better utilize the optimal layout (allowing you to get all the special rooms and troops you desire). Campaign:
The original game includes two campaigns: Kingdom Quest and Welcome to Vikingland. Kingdom quest includes ten levels each averaging about four missions. Each mission allows for new unlocks, obtaining gold, and garnishing new information from the story. In Kingdom Quest you play as the Knights army and you fight against the Vikings. Welcome to Vikingland includes four levels each averaging about six missions. In this part of the campaign you switch sides and play as the Vikings, but you also fight against Vikings and occasionally on bonus missions you fight the evil knights. This completes the campaign to CastleStorm, with about 1/3 of the missions being bonus missions gives a great amount of variety and twists to the campaign. Each DLC pack adds an additional campaign with two semi-new teams.From Outcast to Savior:
The story picks up where it left off as you play Sir Gavin, son of the traitor Sir Gareth. You take up the job as head of security for the kings’ guard in order to restore your fathers honor. The campaign totals six levels averaging about three missions per level. As you fight your way through the depths of evil you must defeat the evil villain who started this whole crisis. From Outcast to Savior runs hand in hand with The Warrior Queen in that the final mission is essentially the same in both campaigns but rather is how it would play out if Sir Gavin fought instead of Freia.The Warrior Queen:
The story picks up where it left off as you play Freia, daughter of the great Viking rebellions leader. It is your job as Freia to free the Vikings and reunite the Viking rebellion to thwart the evil that had claimed the land. As you fight your way through seven fun packed levels averaging three missions per level you unveil to story of how it all began. The Warrior Queen runs hand in hand with From Outcast to Savior in that the final mission is essentially the same in both campaigns but rather is how it would play out if Freia fought instead of Sir Gavin. Results:
CastleStorm is a fantastic game, which even at full price is not a bad buy. Although, CastleStorm does go on sale often and if you can get it for over 60% off then I wouldn’t hesitate for a second. If you are a fan of 2D tower defenses, where you control the tower, then this is CastleStorm is the game for you. If you like to 2D hack n’ slash games then this is the game for you. CastleStorm offers many features: designing your own castle, building an army, upgrading fortifications, manning defenses, and running around as a hero slaying the armies ahead. This game has a lot to offer and with two DLC expansions CastleStorm offers a story that doesn’t quit, keeping you laughing and wanting to see what happens next.
+Castle builder, which lets you customize your own castle and test out if it would stand an onslaught.
+Simple, non-offensive campaign that offers good laughs and cute story.
+Two DLC packs which offer two additional campaigns.
+Versus mode (although I never tried it so it may be terrible).
+Unit upgrades which make you focus resources and keep you playing.
+Summoning hero to battlefield which lets you play as a hero and destroy the enemies ahead.
+Decent graphics, not too much detail but enough to make it look clean.
+Decent video settings allowing windowed mode with various resolutions.
-To get perfect 5-star ratings you need to grind your castle, there is no way you could do it without spending time grinding up your castle a little bit.
-The earned castle layouts seem almost worthless as you will find yourself almost always using custom layouts because you will want an efficient castle rather than a good looking castle.