Crush the Castle is initially a sweet and appealing thing, much like a Cadbury creme egg. The oozing, sugary concoctions are a rite of passage during Easter, but after three or four (or in my case, a dozen), you realize why they are confined to a single two-month portion of the candy calendar.
Likewise, Crush the Castle is all great fun for its initial stages. By using two clicks of your mouse, you try to catapult boulders at a faraway castle to destroy its walls and the inhabitants inside, hence the name of the game.
The first click starts the catapult, while the second releases the stone or stones in your bucket, with their flight path determined by the angle you release them at. This adds some strategy - Crush the Castle's physics are pretty good, as direct shots as the bucket is in the 12:00 to 3:00 range have greater force, but shots from 9:00 to 12:00 have a better chance of knocking a structure off at its top and causing a chain reaction to kill all the castle denizens. You have five shots in each stage to kill anywhere from three to 30 castle members.
Later stages add some new assault items, such as three boulders and larger sizes, but the physics seem to be about the same for all of them. This presents a problem, as the similar method for every stage - click, click, see what you killed or broke down, click click, repeat until all castle members are dead or try again - makes things get repetitive quickly. In about 90 minutes, I was able to mow through all 24 stages.
The graphics and sound are somewhat minimalist as well. All of the action is confined to about two screens, and while the visuals are clear, they aren't exceptional. The "coolest" effect is a bloody splash as you hit your enemies in the head with boulders. Except for some trumpets signifying the defeat of your enemies or your own defeat, the death shrieks of your enemies and an opening theme, there is no sound to speak of.
There are a few things to extend the gameplay, like the ability to create your own levels, but the basic combat is unfortunately the same. As a result, I can't enthusiastically recommend Crush the Castle. While it is a nice enough taste for an hour or two, like a Cadbury egg, overexposure can quickly lead to a sick tummy.
- Easy to pick-up and play; initially fun to launch boulders at castle and to destroy structures
- After an hour, very repetitive gameplay; not much change from level to level; lackluster visuals and sounds