Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Adult Swim Games returns to the land of paid games with Castle Doombad, developed by Grumpyface Studios, who have developed quite a few games for the two-headed network monster of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.
This is a tower defense esque game where players operate the defenses of the titular Castle Doombad. Heroes keep trying to come in uninvited, because Dr. Lord Evilstein has kidnapped the princess and is using her screams to power his castle. To fend off these heroes who will come in through the front door and the windows as necessary, players must lay down traps that spring automatically, ones that can be manually triggered, and summon minions to vulnerable spots. At a certain point it’s worth asking if perhaps overthrowing the monarchy and establishing a republic instead would be more prudent, but hey, such questions are folly.
Overall, Castle Doombad is not dissimilar from Tiny Heroes’ overall concept from plot to gameplay, but with the difference of the game playing with length and height axis. As well, the use of screams as the currency to buy new units mid-round, with the ability to create units that generate them, and the whole interplay of which units players roll out with, all screams Plants vs. Zombies. Even the vertical nature of the game recalls the Defender Chronicles series.
However, all these disparate familiar elements come together to work as their own package. Creatively, traps can use the ceiling, floor, and empty vertical spaces for maximum effectiveness based on where they are placed. The varied floor plans each represent separate challenges to how units must be placed, especially as the composition of the levels change when new floors are added mid-round. Suddenly, a protected scream generator is out in the open because the enemies’ path has changed, or a well-placed acid drip is useless because no enemies are coming by there. There’s a lot of enemies on screen at times, and the game does require regular scrolling, so keeping track of everything and its effectiveness is tricky at times. Embrace the entropy.
Like other Grumpyface games, the game is an absolute joy to behold in motion: they have a handle on animation that most other mobile game studios fail to come close to. The game also thankfully doesn’t use a three-stars system: crowns are earned for keeping the princess from being moved at all, and these unlock more levels. Mid-game boosts can be used, and coins earned for good performance go toward upgrading and unlocking new units.
While the individual elements of Castle Doombad are familiar, the combination is a rather creative one, and the production values are top-notch. Those not sick of defense games should check this out.