Today I will be doing a board game review of Castle Panic by Fireside Games. This was a game that we picked up at our local gaming store Comic Store West. We were standing there looking at a whole bunch of different board games and this one jumped out at me for one particular reason, Cooperative Play.
Castle Panic – By Fireside Games
- Ages – 10+
- Players – 1-6 Cooperative Play
- Play Time – Medium, 30-60 minutes
- Dice Rolling
- Card Play
- Risk & Reward
- Piece Movement
- Tile Play
- Resource Management
- Cooperative Play
How to Play
The basic idea of the game is to protect your newly built caste in the center of the board from a monstrous horde. Players work together to protect the castle through card play and strategy. At the end of each player’s turn they draw more monster tiles and bring them into play. If you can keep your castle standing and clear through all of the monster tiles you win the game!
The board is set up using concentric circles with your castle in the middle. The next three rings out are the swordsmen ring, knight ring, & archer ring, and are all surrounded by a forest ring.
Monsters start in the safety of the forest and then work their way into the castle. Players can play cards representing the three rings to damage and defeat the monsters before they get to the castle.
On each players turn they follow a set Order of Play as follows:
- Draw Up
- Discard 1 Card & Draw 1 Card (Optional)
- Trade Cards (Optional)
- Play Cards
- Move Monsters
- Draw 2 New Monsters
Each turn you can play as many cards as you want to and are able too. At the beginning of your next turn you get to Draw Up and go back to the maximum hand size. While protecting the castle is the main priority, if you are the one to defeat the monster you get to keep them as a trophy. When the players win the game the player with the most monsters is the Master Slayer!
Not every monster tile has a monster on it. There are tiles that effect monsters movement, draw more monster tiles, giant boulders, & boss monsters. Just enough to keep you on your toes and provide an interesting twist to game play.
There are also other variations of game play including:
- Solo Play
- Overlord Play: Many players versus one player
The biggest positive for me is the reason why I purchased the game, the cooperative play. After the first game play I was completely satisfied with how that aspect of the game played out. It was a nice change of pace from competing against each other and really allowed for a lot of opportunity to share strategy with each other.
The age suggestion of 10+ may be a bit high as my 7 year old just absolutely loves the game and picked up very quickly on how to play it. He was spitting out strategies before I could even say them and I was thoroughly happy with that. Almost every day now he is asking to play Castle Panic with me.
Lastly, the rules are fairly simple and the game design caters to learning how to play it. They give you extra Order of Play cards for each player and each corner of the board spells out the more tricky parts.
The biggest challenge I found to the game is learning some of the basic strategies and knowing that the monster cards will try to undo the best laid plans. It took us several plays until we were able to defeat all the monsters and win the game. There is a certain amount of luck, both good and bad, that can effect the game.
The only other challenge we experienced was making sure not to shake or otherwise disturb the board while the game is being played. The monster tiles slide very easily across the board and one good shake is all it takes.
I have been very pleased with this game purchase and would highly recommend it. I thought that it was easy enough to pick up and play as it was designed very well.
If you are looking for a good cooperative game with strategy and fun, this is the game for you. Just be careful as the monsters have a way of keeping things interesting. For Example, I apparently am the king of drawing multiple “draw more monster tiles” on a turn.
Lastly, just watching the wheels turn in my kids heads as we play this game is very rewarding in itself. I think that with the strategy that the game uses along with the cooperative play, allows for a lot of great teaching points as you go.
If you have any questions about the game or how it is played please feel free to ask below and I will make sure to answer them promptly. I do provide a check box if you wish to be notified of any responses to your comment. Also, if you have played the game and have your own feedback to share please do so in the comments as well!
I have provided a link to purchase Castle Panic at Amazon for your convenience. We appreciate your support if you decide to purchase there.