Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Midnight Snack: Castle Corp

That's one of your knights flying like a human bullet. To be honest, I had a hard time not writing about Nitrome’s Twin Shot 2: Good & Evil.  But I’d be doing you a disservice having already gushed about the original (and TW2 is more of the same – in the good way).  So today I’ll recommend another of Nitrome’s gems: Castle Corp.

As is the case with a lot of browser titles, the story’s a little sketchy.  You operate some sort of castle corporation (duh), and a competitor has ousted you, capturing some of your workers (knights) and booby-trapping your castle.  You must use your limited crew of knights to defeat the enemies and restore profitability (seriously, many of the level’s start with your boss feeding you goofy corporate jargon).

Castle Corp mixes elements of the puzzle genre with real-time action.  You place your knights one at a time on predetermined spawn points, which sets them marching along the two-dimensional path.  If they run into an enemy knight, they’ll hack at each other until one falls.  The main mechanic, however, is aiming your knights Bust-a-Move-style with the mouse and sending them flying, taking out any in their path.  They’ll ricochet off pipes and collect money along the way, so precision aiming is often required.

There are weapon upgrades, of course, which can get you out of a jam by making your knights tougher or arming them with crossbows.  New enemies are introduced at regular intervals, spicing up the already varied level design.  The game doesn’t move quickly, however, so replaying failed levels can be a chore (I got stuck on Level 14 and had to take a break). 

What else can I say?  It’s a fun, unique game that stretches both the puzzle- and reflex-oriented parts of your brain.  And there’s a gun that shoots swords.  Do I need to say that twice? (In case I do: there’s a gun that shoots swords.)