Red Diamond here again with another indie game review. What we have this time is a casual, yet intense, strategy game developed by Domo Games and published by Sedoc LLC. Castle Woodwarf 2. Interestingly, what we have this time is a sequel to a free flash game by Armor Games that has found itself released on Steam. What does this Dwarf & Dragon title hold? Click "read more" and let's take a look.
This games story is only explained in the games description, but the long and short of it is, protect your dragon and your city of Woodwarf by commanding Dwarfs. That's it. The only dialogue are the repeated one-liners said by every dwarf that is spawned in. Obviously, this is not a story driven game, but a simple setup is all it needs.
The game play is very easy to understand as it is basically tower defense. Except, instead of a tower the player is guarding a dragon with Dwarfs.
|Dragon still an egg|
The player does not take direct control of any of the Dwarfs but just summons them in to either defend the dragon from monsters on the lower level or gather food and money on the upper level. Money is needed to spawn in more Dwarfs and food keeps them alive. There are a large variety of different types of Dwarfs to summon in and over time the Dragon can grow enough to fight back. These different classes are introduced after completing specific levels and each one fulfills different roles.
Defeat comes when all of the dragon hearts are lost. These hearts will drain either from monsters attacking the dragon or, if the player runs out of food the hearts will slowly drop. Every class is very self explanatory as to what they do which helps keep the game easy to follow when the difficulty ramps up in the later levels.
There are 17 levels in total, each with 3 difficult settings and a second challenge is unlocked on each stage after completing them. In between levels, the player can visit the shop to either buy items that can help in the levels, or buy upgrades. These upgrades arrange from increasing the total number of Dwarfs that can be spawn at once, to starting the dragon at a later stage in its growth, or reducing cool down times. Basically, slowly removing limitations and slow starts in levels.
As a whole, the game play is a very simple concept that gets deeper and deeper as the game progresses.
The music in this game has medieval feeling to it which is very appropriate for the setting of warriors defending there home. As far as voice acting goes, every type of Dwarf says 1 of 3 catchphrases they all have whenever spawned. These catchphrases are a little funny at first, but given how frequently Dwarfs are spawned on later stages, they quickly become tiring to hear over and over again. However, volume controls can disable that problem is it is not critical.
Castle Woodwarf 2 has some simple yet appealing 2D graphics reminiscent of old online flash games for the sprites and a nicely drawn background. Unfortunately, one complaint would be that every stage looks almost the exact same. The only difference is the time of night and more details appear the more level ups you invest.
However, it really would not have taken much to give the levels some identity so this repetitive background is disappointing.
As a whole, Castle Woodwarf 2 is a great little title to pick up, especially for the small $5 asking price. Given that the first game is still free, there is a bit of salt one has to take when buying this title. Also, this specific genre of games is not one for mixing up game play very much so expect to have some repetitive challenges along with reused level designs. Despite that, I still had genuine fun with this title and can give it a strong recommendation to anyone who is a fan of these old school strategy style of games.
Writing - 6/10
Game play - 8/10
Audio - 3/5
Presentation - 4/5
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