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Castle Clout 3D
Release Date: 01/30/2014
I’m not sure anyone remembers the original Castle Clout, which was released as a flash game in 2008 or 2009, but if you’ve been wondering where it’s been, wonder no more: Teyon and Selectsoft have created a version of the game for the 3DS. It was a fairly popular game “back in the day,” but has since been replaced by titles like Angry Birds and Boom Blox. If you’ve played either of those two games, you know exactly how this game is going to go: aim and fire several types of ammo from some object (trebuchets and ballistas) on one side of the screen at some target (castles) at the other side of the screen in order to kill bad guys (enemy soldiers). In this case, sometimes, you’ll also have to prevent some captives from your side from being killed as well, increasing the difficulty. Different types of ammo are strong against different fortifications, which is nice, but still feels a bit simplistic. Depending on how you score (based on how many turns it takes you to defeat all your enemies), you can earn bronze, silver, or gold trophies.
After the arguably longer-than-necessary tutorial, you are launched into the game proper. The controls are simple enough. You can either use the touch screen or the D-pad to adjust your angle and move the ballista/trebuchet, but be warned that there is no way to zoom out or anything, meaning you have to be a bit more aware of angles and velocity than most games of this type. In that sense, this game is fairly intuitive, and anyone who has a very basic understanding of trigonometry/physics should be able to handle the game, though it is annoying that you can’t see everything at once. At the very least, this game does actually get harder as you go on, making it more enjoyable than most games in this genre, though there are points where the progression in difficulty is a bit steeper than expected. There are definitely enough levels to keep you busy for a while, though, at 150 or so in total.
Graphically, the game looks like the vast majority of mobile-type games (which is neither a good nor bad thing in my opinion) and the 3D effect doesn’t do much in the long run. However, it worth noting that the backgrounds are fairly more detailed and pleasant than most mobile games. The music is mostly forgettable, but what isn’t forgettable is the sound effects. As enemies die, they make this ridiculous sound that kind of sounds like screaming. At first, it was pretty funny and I laughed. After playing 10-15 levels in one sitting, however, it got a bit annoying and I had to turn the sound off, and yes, you can use the castles you’ve created.
One interesting addition in Castle Clout 3D is the ability to create your own castles. By playing the game, you unlock various types of materials that you can use to build castles. The interface for this mode is incredibly user friendly and can be pretty amusing. Additionally, there is a multiplayer option, but only if you have (up to 3) local friends or want to use AI players. The multiplayer is exactly how you’d imagine it: your goal is to destroy the other person’s castle before they crush yours.
Though I’m personally getting a bit tired of Angry Birds and the like, there was some nostalgia in playing this game, and I could see myself dropping a few dollars on this, easily. In all honesty, $5 isn’t bad at all for over 150 levels with some interesting twists on what has kind of become a stale genre. So if you have a few minutes and bucks to spare, this is definitely not the worst title you could pick out of the Nintendo eShop, and might end up being a title you spend more time with than you expected.
Short Attention Span Summary
The resurrection of Castle Clout is coming perhaps too late–while it was revolutionary and fun in its heyday over a half decade ago, it comes across as a cheaper Angry Birds now. Still, the game is enjoyable enough and offers a few new things for those familiar with the genre. The game is great for those who want to pass a little bit of time and like to relax, but those who are tired of these types of titles won’t find anything particularly new to peak their interest, with, perhaps, the exception of a larger set of ammunition to choose from and more difficult levels as you progress through the game. For fans, however, the appeal is definitely there and the extras, like the castle creator, will be a bonus for those interested in doing something new.