Game Info:

Castle Conqueror Defender
Developed by: Easytech/Lanan
Published by: Circle Entertainment
Release Date: November 13, 2014
Available on: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Strategy/Tower Defense
Number of Players: Single-Player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood
Price: $4.99

Thank you Circle Entertainment for sending us this game to review!

Castle Conqueror Defender is a 2D tower defense/strategy hybrid that has you building up defenses, but also gives you the ability to move your soldiers around.  Fortress fortifications cannot be moved, but they can be sold or upgraded as needed. 

The knight leader, Arthur, must stay alive and protect the town hall from waves of enemy soldiers.  If either Arthur, or the town hall fall, the level will be lost. Fortunately, it can be retried with all of the starting defenses and gold earned by defeating enemies.  While each level starts you off with basic fortifications and some soldiers,  there is plenty of room for upgrading your forces and defenses if you have the gold to cover the costs.

Castle Conqueror Defender

Strong Points: Can use Nintendo play coins to supplement in-game currency
Weak Points: While the word "nenemies" sounds cool, it's still a typo; dumb AI
Moral Warnings: While the bodies of killed soldiers disappear, the bloodied villager bodies do not; magic use

Gold can be earned by killing enemies, their banner man, or destroying their tents.  You can also trade in your 3DS play coins for in-game currency.  With gold you can upgrade your units, fortress fortifications or buildings within it. Don't spend all of your money on upgrades as you will need it to deploy units and defenses!   

There isn't much of a tutorial so you'll have to read through the digital manual and the upgrade menu to find out what each unit and building does.  As you complete stages in the various campaigns, new units and buildings will become available.     At first the fortresses will be wood based and not very durable.  Later in the game stone fortifications will become available and ones with defense mechanisms after that.  I often would skimp on soldiers and splurge on ballista towers, catapults and spiked traps scattered all around.  

To increase your army size you'll have to place more houses.  Having stables allow your units to move faster while sword workshops increase the attack range of short range forces.  To give your archer units a boost, you should consider adding a bow workshop.  By having a fully upgraded magic tower you can cast healing, freezing, and flame spells.  Those come in handy!

Castle Conqueror Defender
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 4/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 6.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

You'll never know what kind of enemy forces will be  heading your way so it is wise to have a wide variety of defensive units.  Axemen are good for attacking the enemy campsite, but a Royal Guard can do it faster.  Soldiers and Swordsmen can hold their ground pretty well, but their mounted variants are faster and more powerful.  Cavalrymen with their long lances can quickly disarm mounted swordsmen.  Archers are essential for picking off enemy soldiers from a distance, but if you want to get past their armor, you'll need to use crossbowmen instead.

There are three game modes, but in order to unlock the Glory and Crusader Modes, the fifty level Story Mode has to be completed.  Story mode has ten stages with five days/waves each.  A formidable leader must be defeated in the final wave of every stage.  Glory Mode has a harder twenty day campaign.  The Crusader Mode has some religious overtones and you must protect a church and its monks from the crusaders.  While the enemy will target the priests, Arthur and the town hall must remain standing at the end of the day.   There are several stages with eight levels each in Crusader Mode.  

There is plenty to do in Castle Conqueror Defender and it offers a fair amount of gameplay for $5.  It's certainly not the best tower defense game I have played, but it is challenging.  Part of the challenge is working with the dumb AI and limited controls.  It's hard to move my short-range units one at a time out of danger while enemy archers are attacking them (because they are too stupid to move out of harm's way).   

Morally there is violence and some blood as you see villager's bodies laying around.  Bodies of fallen soldiers disappear though.  Magic use is helpful, but not required.  If these issues don't bother you and you enjoy tower defense and strategy games, keep an eye out for Castle Conqueror Defender.

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