Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Overview: Castle Keep is an excellent game for younger children. The purpose of the game is to be the first to build your 3x3 castle using the cardboard tiles.
Components: 90 tiles
Number of players: 2 - 4 players
Average Game Length: 20 minutes
As far as rules go, this is about as simple of a game I've played, which is why it's great for younger children. They pick up on the gameplay very fast and it's a quick moving game. At the start, each player gets 4 tiles. The rest of the tiles are put in the middle to be the draw stack. On your turn, you draw four tiles and try to build your walls by either matching the color or shape (curved, zig-zagged or straight) of a wall to an adjacent wall. The corners of the castle needs to be towers with wall sections connecting each corner. The center piece is keep and the only restriction is that the color of the keep must match an existing wall. Instead of building walls, you could also affect other players by matching a tile in your hand to one in their castle. By doing so, you destroy that piece of their castle. You could also pass on your turn and at the end of the turn you discard back down to four tiles. The first person to complete the castle wins.
Hardcore Score: 1
What can I say? A game that is great for kids is just not going to hold a hardcore players attention very long. Now this is a great game for hardcore players to use to introduce their kids to strategy gaming. But a group of hardcore players won't give this game a second look.
Wifecore Score: 5
Again, this may be even too easy for the casual gamer. A group of casual games may play this game twice but it won't hold their attention for long.
Kidcore Score: 9
This is where this game shines. Castle Keep can easily be picked up and understood by a 5 or 6 year old. The rules are simple to understand and games go by quick making it easy to hold their attention. In addition, there is some good strategy for younger kids to work through as they play. Constant consideration must be made of the tiles in their hand in trying to determine should matches be made with colors or shapes. In addition, they have to consider whether to go after an opponents castle that may be close to winning in order to give themselves a chance to win.