Defending a base by shooting objects at the attackers is always fun, with many video games over the years playing on this aspect over the years. Whenever you are a space ship shooting lasers at invaders or a solder using a gun to defeat waves of foes, the genre is always visually interesting. But when you change the way you defend your base from attacks, that is when things get interesting.
Castle Invasion: Throne Out is one of those games, where instead of using bullets or lasers, you use midevil tools like arrows and javelins to defend your castle. Does the game do enough to stand out from other games of this type?
The plot follows the new owner of a castle who just wants to relax after buying it but a greedy king demands to have control over the castle you just purchased. After some witty banter, a war starts between yourself and the king’s army. While the set up is quite basic and doesn’t really develop much, I did enjoy the charming writing.
Our main character is deadpan and sarcastic, making his dynamics with the kings army and his partner in defending the castle to be quite funny. While the writing ground breaking or anything, it adds context and flavor to the experience. The story really didn’t have to be more then ‘Defend this castle!’, so the fact that the game offers charming writing itself makes it refreshing for this kind of game.
The Design & Gameplay
The core gameplay has you move up and down the castle’s top wall and defending yourself from the invaders. What makes this fun is how each weapon type offers different attack speeds. For example, your bow and arrow is the fastest but needs more hits to kill solders while the javelin is powerful but quite slow.
It makes you careful when switching weapon types, as the game ramps up the difficulty the more you play. The army gets progressive faster and take more hits to defeat. You can fight back with this though, as every time you defeat a foe, you get gold. You use this gold to purchase upgrades for your different weapons, tools and even yourself. This allows a lot of things; faster movement speed, stronger damage output and more. It gives gold importance, making taking out foes quite rewarding.
One goal you have for each level is three stars and each level has different requirements to hit them. It makes replays of levels rewarding outside of trying to get more gold to upgrade yourself. Overall between fun core gameplay, solid upgrade system, and incentive to become better at the game, this simple gameplay and design result in a rewarding experience despite it’s simplicity.
The Lasting Appeal
Each level has three stars to earn across the 50+ levels of the game, giving it a lot of replay value. You also have leader-boards for scoring, giving further incentive to get better at the game. Overall, you get a solid amount of content to play around with in this game.
The game looks very simple, with basic animations and art style but it has a nice charm to the whole picture, making it pop off the Vita screen. Music is quite basic too but it sounds good and fits with the games setting. On the Vita, the game runs great with no frame rate drops and running at a native resolution. Basic presentation but still a nice looking title.
Overall: 3 out of 5
Castle Invasion: Throne Out is a very simple game and in that regard, it likely doesn’t have much to offer for extended play sessions. However, it has a great sense of humor and a lot of heart wrapped around solid gameplay mechanics, decent upgrade tree and a sizable amount of content. If you are looking for a fun little game to play on your Vita or Mobile device, you will have a great time with this title.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita with a review copy provided by the developer.