Defend Your Castle

September 26, 2010

Defend Your Castle is a castle defense game from XGen Studios that started life as a Flash game in 2003 before making the jump to WiiWare in 2008. With the massive growth in the iOS market, XGen did the smart thing and built an updated version of DYC for the iPhone and iPad.

The game is quite simple: your goal is to defend your castle from hordes of invaders. You start out with a basic castle, and your only means of defense is to flick the invaders into the air and let gravity do the rest. Points are awarded for each kill and at the end of the round you can spend those points to repair your castle, upgrade your castle’s health, or purchase additional abilities. Available abilities include spellcrafting, archery, demolitions, and craftsmen to repair your castle.

The game has 5 types of enemies that do varying degrees of damage to your castle: plain invaders, rammer invaders, exploding invaders, colossus invaders, and catapult invaders. The basic types of invaders can all be killed with the flick of a finger, but colossus and catapult invaders cannot be flicked into the air and require multiple hits to take them out.

In addition to killing invaders, they can also be converted to allies. This is accomplished by dropping them into the Pit of Conversion or by spraying them with the conversion spell. Once allies, they can be allocated as archers, mages, craftsmen, or demolition experts. Demolition experts are sent out on to the battle field to detonate enemies around them while the remaining unit types remain in your castle. The larger number of units allocated to each ability/class, the more arrows or the quicker your spells recharge.

As the game progresses, the enemies get faster, come in larger groups, and the rounds last longer. For a castle with all of the abilities upgraded, this doesn’t mean a whole lot because the levels are still pretty easy. For many, the game will reach a plateau and stop being fun once you’ve maxed out your castle. For others, the inclusion of achievements will keep you playing for quite some time. We’d like to see XGen update the title with some new abilities, enemies, or trophies to keep the game fresh.

I was initially attracted to Defend Your Castle because of the stick figure artwork, but the gameplay was enough to pull me away from Angry Birds for a few weeks. At 99 cents this would be a no brainer, but XGen Studios has this one priced at three bucks. Defend Your Castle is definitely one of the better games I’ve played on my iPhone.

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.