Castles is a cute Match 3 action-puzzle game, where you control a little builder who hops over and pushes blocks together to create a row of 3+ matches in order to build the King's castle higher. Each floor gives a new order to fulfill - sometimes you'll need a specific block color, but other times you'll need to match the tool's symbol instead. As new blocks drop from the sky, you'll soon find yourself panicking as you run out of room to rearrange blocks! You'll have to be quick, because if the board fills up it's game over!
Missed the trailer? Check it out below!
Three Different Gameplay Modes!
Match 3 games often only have one or two different gameplay modes, so it's very refreshing to see that there are three offered to us! Of the three, two can be played in single-player, and all of them can be played with a friend via local co-op!
Story Mode tells the story of the ambitious King Harold, whose greatest achievement will be the tower you're constructing. As the tower grows taller, more challenges will arise with it, including unpredictable weather, and King Harold's nemesis, King Edmund.
The story mode was a welcomed addition, and you can finish it in about 2-3 hours. Playing through the story with a friend will either increase or decrease (more than likely, the former) your playtime, largely depending on your team-working skills and how well you can communicate in high pressure situations.
- Endless Mode is about what you'd expect to see in a Match 3 game, and is exactly as the title implies. In this mode, you will be matching tiles and making the tower grow as high as you can until the board completely fills up and you can't make any more moves. You will be timed, and your score will be listed on a local high score page.
Competitive Mode will allow you to challenge your opponent to a death match. Side by side, you will be trying to clear matches as fast as you can in order to send blocks to your opponent's board. If co-operative play wasn't a relationship tester, competitive play most certainly will be!
It is worth noting that there is no difficulty option for Castles. That said, I found the game's difficulty to be pretty well balanced. It wasn't so easy that it made me feel like it didn't require any effort, while it also wasn't overly challenging to the point of making me not want to ever play again. That said, the difficulty becomes harder as you progress due to new tile types.
Which Is Better? Single-Player or Multiplayer?
Typically, when games offer multiplayer, you expect it to excel over single-player. With Castles in particular, I expected the game to be easier with another player, as we would be able to divide our focus. Although that was true, we pretty much just got in the way of each other's plans since we both had a different thought process.
Because of this, I feel like the co-op isn't a strong point of Castles. However, the competitive mode is great fun, and definitely feels like it was how the multiplayer was meant to be handled! Since you don't have a teammate, you won't have to worry about accidentally shoving or killing them (sorry, Player 2), and you can still have a blast with a friend! It's a win/win scenario in my books.
And for those of you who don't own a spare controller, you'll be happy to hear that Player 2 can play on the same keyboard! One player will use W, A, S, D, and the other player will use the arrow keys.
If you enjoy casual games, or just want a break from a sprawling epic, give Castles a try! Its story mode may be on the short side, but it provides good, hectic fun with another player! The game left me in a constant state of panic - something that most Match 3's can't do. Castles is currently available on Steam, and for you console folks out there, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U versions are currently under development!