Version Reviewed: 1.3
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
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In the land of action adventures and casual game treats, Creatures and Castles tries to do a whole lot with very little. Pegging it down to a single genre, Creatures and Castles is a retro-feeling casual game with fantasy dungeon elements. There are heroes, monsters, bombs, weapons, and of course, treasure.
The object of Creatures and Castles is not to kill everything on the screen, or anything at all, but to get the treasure to the escape in as few steps as possible without touching anything. You start each level on one side of the screen and the treasure and escape typically as far from you as possible. In your path are all sorts of obstacles, but most involve increasing amounts of enemy troops that walk pre-determined paths around the screen. All you have to do is make your path by dragging your finger around the screen and then tapping on your hero to start moving. The trick is to take as few steps as possible, and to stop for nothing because stopping lowers your level score. Unlike other adventure games, you are playing for a hugh score, not to rescue a princess, and the less steps/stops you make the better score you get.
Most of the levels in the game are not all that difficult, but when you complete them you'll find that the easy/obvious path only gets you 0-1 out of 3 shields. You'll have to use all sorts of cunning and planning to really juice out a high score in this one, and if that's the path you take, Creatures and Castles will be a monster challenge. With the fun graphics and epically awesome sound, you won't find yourself disliking the quest, but I'm not really sure if the payoff is worth it.
Unlike Angry Birds, the gold standard of casual gaming, getting three stars is almost too hard. After you finish the majority of the levels in Creatures in Castles, you aren't left with the feeling that you could've done better, you leave feeling that you are done and are on to the next one. For example, level one has you taking a simple right turn after the treasure to the exit so all you have to do is draw an 'L' and you win. Two straight lines, and I still only managed to get two stars. I guess I can try to curve the line a bit, but shaking off a step in an arbitrary step sequence just seems tedious, not fun.
Regardless of my issues with the scoring system, Creatures and Castles is a nicely made casual game that will please most fans of the genre. It doesn't have the sparkly sheen or replayability of Angry Birds, but what does? Once you've 3-starred every level in the Rovio classic, don't hesitate to make your way over to Creatures and Castles for some line drawing casual fun. I think you'll like it.