What you won’t like

The real-time strategy gets in the way

As I said above, the most fun CastleStorm has to offer is in the physics-driven destruction of buildings. So it’s a drag at times when you have to decide between taking out that wall or killing the little buggers who are trying to make off with your flag. Obviously, you have to deal with the flag issue first, but it’s disheartening when you were all ready to make things explode and you realize that you have to use that bomb to quickly take out the enemy troops.

The RTS bit isn’t completely unwelcome; it gives you something to do while you’re waiting for your ballista projectiles to cool down so you can use them again. But at its worst, the strategy element is something you have to do instead of causing massive damage with your awesome giant crossbow, and I’m not sure why anyone would want to interfere with that.

More repetitive voice clips


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I leveled this same complaint in my review for Star Wars Pinball, but the endlessly looping voice clips are back. Each class has maybe two things they say when you spawn them (those who can form words, anyway; the Gryphons just make a noise like an eagle). Likewise, you have one sound clip each for every time you destroy a room in the opposing castle and when your opponent takes out one of yours.

To put this into perspective: My most complicated castle had 21 rooms. I played a 10-minute match and lost my entire building, which means that on average, I was hearing that same sample once every 28-and-a-half seconds. But it took the A.I. about three minutes to bust through my protective structural bits, so once I started losing rooms, it was more like once every 20 seconds. And it got old really quickly. You get a bit of a break when you move to a different area and get a new character to say the same things over and over, but it’s only a temporary relief.


CastleStorm is a game that nobody asked for from a studio from which we would have gladly continued to accept nothing but awesome pinball tables. It’s also a funny, entertaining, and deeply satisfying experience well worth the $10 price. Zen Studios has proved that it has more to offer than pinball, and gamers who enjoy building and destroying in equal measure owe it to themselves to check it out.

Score: 83/100

CastleStorm comes out today on Xbox Live Arcade. The developer provided GamesBeat a free download code for this review.

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