Castle Invasion Review—Serving Up Arrows and Spears

CastleInvasionTitle

Castle Invasion from Imperative Games is a very simple arcade-style shooting game, and the price reflects that, costing only 49 cents. Although I call it it a shooter, and you do indeed shoot things, it actually reminds me more of the game Tapper than anything else. In that game, you controlled a bartender moving up and down the right side of the screen, serving up beer by sliding glasses of it down bars at waiting customers.

Here you control a little guy on top of a castle wall at the left of the screen, moving him up and down, who’s armed with a bow (and later spears) that you can fire at approaching invaders who appear at the opposite end of the screen. There are basically three types of invaders: heavy guys that take several hits with an arrow to kill (each one has a health bar so you know a general idea of when he’s going to die), small guys that move fast but only take one shot, and finally siege equipment, which take a lot of shoots to kill.

Olmecs, anyone?

Olmecs, anyone?

These invaders more or less attack in the same lanes (there seem to be six of them), so you are moving the guy around and shooting/throwing from the same spots, thus the Tapper comparison. That they come in lanes is especially important when you get spears, as they are more powerful than arrows and can go through opponents after killing them. In levels with limited ammo, you need to use your spears wisely to take out whole lines of enemies.

It uses either touch controls or buttons. If you use the D-pad or left stick to move him up and down, he moves very slowly and with inertia. A lot of inertia, actually. He’s a chubby little dude, so I guess it’s appropriate. But when you use touch, your little guy teleports to where on the castle wall you touch. So, it’s much easier to move around by touching, as you can move quickly by just sliding your thumb up and down. He’s actually micro-teleporting, I guess, but it gives the illusion he’s moving smoothly (Flick Hockey also did this).

Some stages, you have limited ammo.

Some stages, you have limited ammo.

The game has 30 levels, and it doesn’t really start to get hard until level 10. Most take about a minute or two to complete, and you move onto the next one if you survive. If you don’t, there is a level select screen and you can continue from there, though you’ll want to start from the beginning to get a higher score. There doesn’t seem to be any bonus for starting higher. No online high score, though, so probably doesn’t matter.

It’s a very simple game graphically, with all the people looking like simply the heads of Lego people. But there are a few nice details, like the castle wall displaying cracks as it takes more and more damage, and little arrows showing which lane the enemies are coming from.

They get funnier.

They get funnier.

Castle Invasion is a fun enough time waster, and I enjoyed it. There really isn’t much to it, but there also isn’t much to the price. It’s not something that you would play constantly, but as an occasional time waster, it’s solid, and the first time through, it’s good for some laughs. The level titles are funny, especially if you like puns and silly jokes, and some of the enemies can be surprising.

About my only real complaint is that it crashed once and that sometimes it seemed like the “Game Over” screen was stuck (there’s no explanation of how to exit it, either).

6.5/10

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Comments

2 Responses to “Castle Invasion Review—Serving Up Arrows and Spears”
  1. JeremyR says:

    My memory was fuzzy, but at least part of the time in the Atari 2600 version of Tapper, which is the one I played the most, you were on the left side of the screen like this. Though the arcade you were on the right, I guess (I don’t remember playing it).

    No dancing girls between levels, either, in this.

  2. onmode-ky says:

    Huh, it seems the arcade version doesn’t have you always on the right side, either. I never advanced far enough in the game to know, I guess (I was young and terrible).

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