Once upon a time there was a brave reviewer, who, having just bashed his way through a rather intense game was given a Puzzler named Castles for his Xbox One to review. He wasted no time, entering the code which would bring him to the first part of his quest, downloading the game and booting it up. While it downloaded with the odious console download cap, he set about researching for his adventure.
His foe was made by Whootgames, based in Gijon, Spain. Whoot have 2 titles and so are still very much a new studio, and perhaps that tells you much about what is to come.
He started the game upon his trusty white Xbox One and at once was greeted by jaunty music (so very… VERY jaunty) and some bright colours. He was undeterred and dove straight for his tutorial. He instantly regretted it. He wondered why a game like this needed a tutorial’ to say it was basic would be doing basic a disservice. This is a puzzle game in the mould of all other puzzle games. Match things to progress. Here you can either match the materials or the symbols of the block that fall onto your grid. You can push them, or drag them using X. I’m not sure a whole section of game and a menu option was needed to let us know that.
Consternation furrowing his Brow, he pressed on to discover his journey had some semblance of a story.
This is a story all about how a king got large up in his town, wanted to build a tower, the biggest in the land, so off went the builders to make up his plans.
To the west of his city though was a king who didn’t like people out doing their thing, he was there scheming, thinking and planning about how stop this tower from happening. He sent in bad guys who were up to no good, try to smash towers in the neighbourhood. They try their best to stop you building up high but you never really truly find out why.
Annnnd that’s part of the problem. The story doesn’t engage and the game is too bloomin’ simple. It really is one you have to struggle to invest time in and I sincerely hope none of the Year of Shame crew have this one in the pile as it will suck the joy out of playing faster than a Dementor trying to chow down on a good memory!
I guess the positive for this one is the competitive multi-player which does a grand job of changing the dynamic. but solo, this game was tough to enjoy.
There’s not a lot I can say about the gameplay. Move blocks to clear lines to progress. It’s 2017, we’ve been here before.
I think this is the first game I’ve reviewed where I can honestly say give this one a wide berth. Maybe if it’s free sometime, otherwise, it’s not worth your pennies.
Midlife Gamer Rating: 3/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / Xbox One Release Date: Out Now
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided with a review copy of Castles for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of five days . For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.