Castle Wars 2 Review

The long awaited sequel to Castle Wars. Castle wars 2 is a turn-based strategic card game where your goal is to crush your enemy's castle or be the first to build a 100 storey castle. To put it simple it's either crush or be crushed! The game play works like this. You use cards to build, defend, attack or gain resources. Each card/action that you want to do costs resources, and so to win you have to choose your actions with care.

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Unlock cards and raze your enemy's castle to the ground in Castle Wars 2. A sequel to the addictive turn-based strategy title, this game will have you battling both AI and real life opponents as you race to build a hundred floors. If you happen to be a card game buff, then there are countless hours of fun which await you in this clever title. If you're not a fan of the genre, then you may soon be one.

Build a Hundred Floors or Obliterate the Competition in Castle Wars 2

Castle Wars 2 makes use of mouse-based controls. The mechanics are easy to grasp so long as you spend the time to learn about the different sections of the board. The Hand panel shows the contents your deck with dark-colored cards representing items which are currently unavailable. Actions are listed neatly on the right hand corner of the board. Here, you can read additional information about a card through the Card Info button, Discard one or Use it if you have enough resources. Finally, the upper portion of the screen displays a tally of resources and the number of floors built by each player, with your stats on the left half and your opponent's on the right.

The Hand that You Draw

You'll win through either of two means: build more than a hundred floors for your castle or obliterate every single structure the other player has built. To do this, you will need to rely on strategy. As you will have to deal with randomly selected decks, having lady luck on your side wouldn't hurt either. During each turn, you may either put a card in play or opt to discard one. Mostly, you will need to use a myriad of card actions to get the upper hand. There are hands which deal damage against your opponent, allow you to take a look at his Hand or even recover some of your health. In case you find card costs to be too steep, you can even take advantage of special states which let you drain some of the other player's hard earned resources. Sneaky, isn't it?

Learning the Ropes

If all of this sounds daunting, keep in mind that you have the option of going for a Practice match with an AI opponent. After you've gotten a feel for the rules, you can then test your mettle in the game's Campaign mode. Here, you may choose from a number of difficulty levels so you can gradually improve your skills for the real deal. That being said, if you're ready for a challenge, you can take things to the next level and battle actual players from across the globe through the game's Multiplayer mode. As it introduces plenty of unknown factors (such as the skill level of your opponent and his chosen deck), this is certainly the most exciting part of Castle Wars 2 as it allows you to make use of your very own arsenal of cards. All you need to do is to head to the Deck Manager, choose cards to add to your arsenal and you're ready to rumble.

Eyes on the Cards

Castle Wars 2 made a big leap in terms of its visuals where as there are still no real plans for Castle Wars 3. While it has kept the basics intact, gone are the crude graphics reminiscent of colored DOS-era titles. The board and its elements look more sleek. The layout is neater as well, although it is by no means perfect. Having to click and open a separate window to utilize the Card Info function is inefficient. We would have preferred to have it displayed automatically when hovered over so it doesn't take away from the action. Also, we found that the interactive elements aren't always intuitive use. Some buttons are downright tiny while others lack a mouse over state change -- something that would be useful for those who have never played the original title.

All in the Deck

So what's the verdict? Well there's no doubt that Castle Wars 2 is a step above its predecessor in terms of visuals but when it comes to game play, it leaves something to be desired. For starters, the game balance could use some work. Unless you've created a deck yourself, playing an AI opponent requires a massive amount of luck. This is especially true on Hard difficulty as it gives the computer opponent the best starting stats. Also, there are cards which are so underpowered that they are unusable once you start building a deck of your own. After all, why fill your deck with them when you've got so many options? On the other hand, Multiplayer mode is where this castle style game shines as it offers endless replayability for card buffs and strategy game fans alike.

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