Defend the castle!

Castle Conflict is a charming little arcade strategy game that has gotten much better since its limited debut.

Castle Conflict is a charming little arcade strategy game that has gotten much better since its limited debut.

Based on a fairly primitive desktop game, Castle Conflict starts with a straightforward premise: two castles fighting against each other, sending out units to do battle and gather resources (i.e., the trees that pop up randomly in the middle of the battlefield). You play the castle on the left, on a small 2D screen, and as you build up resources, you press touchscreen buttons to create new units. You start with a limited palette of units: cheap but fragile peasants to gather wood, and soldiers and more durable knights to damage the opposing castle--and hopefully cut down a few enemy peasants before they can get their resources back home. As you win battles, you get "Tech Points" to buy a wider variety of units (more than 30 in all, divided into Ground, Siege, Air, and Magic), which offer either variations on basic units or unique abilities like the Flying Pirates (for stealing enemy airships) or the Lopiwitch (who can sneak by enemy units in cat form).

The best mix of units depends on whom you're fighting, and this is where Castle Conflict's updates have paid off: the game now has 39 levels (and counting) spread out over a campaign map, and different castles have varying skill levels, resource outputs, and troop compositions. Even better, you can now play local multiplayer with live opponents via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Castle Conflict has lo-fi graphics but high-end gameplay. Simple at first, this game gets more fun (and more challenging) the more time that you put into it.

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