Monster Castle is a Windows Phone where you play the role of the monster, defending your castle from an invasion of heroes and taking the fight to the hero's castles. The game is part tower defense, part city builder and part social game. You play the role of an exiled chief of monsters who has to rebuild an abandoned castle, raise an army of orcs, goblins and other ghastly creatures, defend the homestead and seek out heroes throughout the country.
Available for low-memory devices, Monster Castle does require a data connection to play. After playing this anti-hero Windows Phone game for the past few days, Monster Castle comes across as a fun time waster of a game well worth trying.
When you first launch Monster Castle, the game will walk you through an extensive tutorial on game play. The tutorial will cover defending your castle while under attack, recruiting armies, building up your defenses and attacking the good guys' castles.
Once the tutorial is complete, the game will launch to your castle view with lays out as follows.
- In the upper left corner your player profile information is displayed that includes your current gaming level, medals, etc. You also have a Quest button to pull up any pending missions/tasks (collect x amount of gold, build something, and so on).
- Halfway down the left side is a pull out menu for the social aspects of Monster Castle. You can message other players and create alliances. These features become available once you reach level four.
- In the bottom, left corner is your message inbox, alliance button and access to the game's settings. Settings cover sound/music levels along with turning on/off notifications and battle effects. You can also customize your player name, send feedback to developer and access the online help section.
- In the upper right corner of your gaming screen, you will find your gaming resources (gold, wine, crystals and gems) that will be used to recruit/train monsters, build defenses and castle features.
- In the lower right corner, you will find buttons to access the game's leaderboard, map and gaming store.
The game flow has you building up your castle defenses and economy while recruiting monsters and invading regions of the map. You begin the game with a five-story castle with a gold mine and wine plant already in place, which will generate the raw materials you need to buy, upgrade and train monsters.
The castle also includes a palace that is more or less the castle thrown. Should an invading army destroy the palace, you'll lose the battle. You can upgrade and re-position many of the fixtures in the castle, including the staircases, defensive units and worker quarters (these creatures repair and upgrade your items).
To take the game on the road, just tap the map button in the bottom right corner of the castle view screen. You will have a host of levels scattered across the map view where you will invade a hero's castle or defend your castle against a hero's invasion. You can also search the network for another player's castle to invade.
Defending your castle is a case of having crossbows, cannons and other defensive units scattered throughout your castle to defeat the invading hero. Personally, I found keeping your palace located in the highest level the best and space your staircases out to spread out the invading army a little. No need to make it easy on the invaders by giving them a straight route to your palace.
Attacking a castle reverses the roles. Icons will run across the bottom of the screen for your monster army. Just tap on which army faction you wish to deploy and tap on the green glowing spot on the game screen. This will launch your soldiers who will attack the enemy castle. You win the battle when your monster forces destroy the enemy castle's palace.
The more battles you win and invasions you turn away, the more experience you earn. As you earn experience, your player will move up in level, your castle will grow in size and more items become available from the gaming store. You will also find that your enemies will become stronger and harder to defend against and defeat.
Monster Castle isn't a complicated Windows Phone game to pick up but there is a lot to this game. In many respects, Between the quests, main missions and managing your castle Monster Castle delivers a good amount of gaming to keep you busy and the game from growing stale too quickly. Monster Castle is very similar to games like Age of Empires: Castle Siege but played from a two dimensional view.
I like how Monster Castle offers a variety of gaming modes that keeps things fresh. One minute your attacking a castle, the next defending yours and if the mood hits you there is always the option to attack another player's castle or create an alliance.
The only downside I experienced with Monster Castle is that when on a weak LTE connection, the game froze every few seconds as if it needed buffering. Played on Wi-Fi or a solid five-bar signal, Monster Castle did not skip a beat. I've played a lot of city builder type games over the past few weeks and this was the first one to stutter. Hopefully this is an issue that can be easily fixed under the hood.
Overall, graphics are well drawn up, game play challenging and the social gaming aspect is a nice touch. If empire building games are your cup of tea or you are in the mood to play the monster, Monster Castle is worth a try.