Game Review

Mania Grade: D-

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  • Platform: PC
  • ESRB: Teen
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Players: 1-2
  • Online: Yes
  • Developer: Magic Lantern
  • Publisher: Infogrames
  • Suggested Retail: $19.99
  • Graphics: F
  • Sound: C
  • Gameplay: D-
  • Replay: F
  • Fun Factor: F
  • Reviewer's Wild Card: D-


If only someone would catapult this away

By Troy Roberts     May 08, 2003

For those who have known me or read any of my reviews for the last six years or so, you'll know that I love a good strategy game. A lot of my favorite games of all time are Real-Time Strategy games, including COMMAND AND CONQUER, WARCRAFT II, DARK REIGN, and the most recent being WARCRAFT III. And I've always enjoyed games like RISK and RAMPART also. So when I first received CASTLES AND CATAPULTS, I was expecting a little fun out of the game. Unfortunately, I was wrong - extremely wrong.

To be perfectly honest, this is probably one of the worst games I have ever played in my life. While I was attempting to play this game, the thought that kept going through my head is "how am I going to start my review of this?" I never really came up with much of an answer so I'm basically shooting from the hip here.

We'll start off with the storyline of the game. Oh wait a minute, there really isn't one unless you count that crap about being in the Middle Ages and purging the world of the evildoers. There is a bit of a story at the beginning of each mission, but it is told in one long paragraph and reading it is almost as tiresome as playing this game.

I guess I need to move onto the gameplay. CASTLES AND CATAPULTS plays like a normal strategy game, but fought over in rounds. At the beginning of each round, you pick your forces from six slots that each has units within. Also at the beginning of each round you are given a certain amount of points to spend on units. Every time a unit is picked, another one will take its place. If you don't like the units that are available, you can try to give them up to the computer and hope for something better. Besides the infantry you can purchase, you can get castle walls and healing potions. But as long as you balance out your troops, there should be no way for you to lose this game because, while the computer AI may be a bit different at time, the computer's strategies are way too brainless.

Once you have picked all of your units, walls and whatever else, you can set up to three armies on the field at once. When the battle finally starts, the groups will work together so be sure to place your units sensibly. You can also build castle walls and stuff onto them.

After destroying all of the enemy units, which isn't very hard, you get to basically repeat the whole process. The variety of units lacks extremely, with only a few units of each type available (there are only 12 total units in the game anyway). This makes for some very non-strategic battles.

How this game suffers from the occasional slowdown I am not sure. CASTLES AND CATAPULTS is pretty ugly and bland to say the least, with nothing really standing out, but the game still has some slowdown in the middle of battles. Go figure. Also, the game has online support, but for one, I don't think you'd want to play this online, and second of all, convincing a friend to buy this might be a bit hard.

There is no point in sweetening this up, CASTLES AND CATAPULTS is horrible. While I wasn't expecting much from this game, I was expecting at least something from the game. If you buy this game, don't complain and say I didn't warn you.


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