Game: Storm the Castle!
Playtime(setup/play/clean-up): 120 minutes
Set Ending: Yes
TL;DR-A “Fun” game that fall just short of being fun-52.5%
How You Play: Players take the role of different factions trying to invade a castle full of good, heroic people. You play as zombies, dark wizards, orcs, or dark elves. Each round the players get gold and draw a card. Then players do a blind bid to be the overlord. As the overlord you get to choose two options on when to play and draw a special overload card. Then play goes round robin with each player taking turns moving pieces, attacking the castle, and trying to defend the castle. The game ends when a player invades the castle center or after a set number of rounds.
Theme: The theme and theme/mechanics mix of the game are well done in as far as the mechanics are well done. This game is semi-“co-opetitive” games where players fight one another, but can’t spend all their time messing with one another or they are guaranteed to lose. Each race gets its own deck of cards that show who they are, and these decks really give each race a flavor. Some races even get different mechanics of the game like zombies and wizards getting magic, orcs getting some sappers, and elves having archers. This aspect makes the game feel interesting and enjoyable. 5/5
Mechanics: Here is were the games flat out fails. There is no internal balance. When I played, I pretty much dominated the game as the overlord once I got it. You get extra gold as the overlord and you spend gold to be the overlord, so I just built in that gold to the bid! Also, there is not enough ways to mess with other players, hence the runaway victor problem. The final straw in this is the dice. All events in the game are based on six sided dice, but the dice only hit 1/3 times with the first die having a critical chance where you hit and roll extra dice. This is not “horrible” but more often than not you end up rolling four dice with zero hits! When this happens once, its ok, but in the game I played we had whole rounds where attacks and defenders didn’t touch each other. This makes the game feel less like a pitched battle and more like a game of two children in the back seat of a car screaming at each other playing the “I’m not touching you!” game. It makes the game grind to a halt and not fun. 0/5
Instructions: Here is where things are worse. The instructions are full of problems and the game needs errata to be playable. Even worse the game’s errata doesn’t cover all the problems we faced in the simple version of the game. Even then the games rules are too long for a simple game. 2.5/5
Art/Components: Its good art. The components need some work. The tokens have two sides for ready and used. Some of the used sides are hard to see. Also the turn markers are two sided, but they have different values on the different sides….WHY?! This makes giving out random turn orders very hard. DON’T DO THIS GAME DESIGNERS! 3/5
Final Thoughts: Despite my ravings about this game, I didn’t hate it….I see so much potential in this game. A bit more work and this game would be AWESOME. I love the races and their differences. The defenders are great and have personalities. What kills this game is the crappy dice, the poor instructions and some component trouble. 10.5/20-52.5%
One second game fix-Take the dice you get with the game and throw them away in the garbage. take a bunch of six side yatzhee dice and use them. 1-3 you miss, 4-5 you hit, and 6 your crit (but only one die that you color). DONE! Now you get a fifty-fifty miss chance that will make your game that much more fun and feel like a battle!