If you've played the likes of Tiny Tower and Lil' Kingdom, then there's much that will be familiar in Castle Champions. Your role is to build a magnificent tower, carefully balancing the expansion so as to accommodate residential and service needs, while shuffling new residents around so that they can enjoy their preferred jobs and - consequently - bring a little more profit to the table so that you can keep your castle rising ever higher. Rinse and repeat.
To add a little spice to the proceedings through, you have to deal with combat in a handful of forms. First, your castle will come under attack from time to time, and you'll have to dispatch one of your heroic warriors to deal with the threat, with cash being awarded for besting the beastie. Then there's the hands-off multiplayer component - compulsory, and on a timer.
When that timer expires, you'll be whisked off to an automated combat screen where the formation of your strongest warriors faces off against that of a random real-world opponent's. We say it's automated, but you do get to mash a special ability on cooldown, although this seems like a rather superfluous addition. The challenge here, then, is in creating an optimal formation - ranged to the rear, proud warriors upfront - but the interface for moving people around in the tactics menu is worthy of screen-smashing frustration as you try to add and remove units from the army, while also moving them along a horizontal formation line before the match stars.
There's a questing system too, and again the game's poor tutorial and fussy interface make this a bit of a chore for the most part. In the early days, you'll send out your warriors on automatic, timer-based quests to complete an objective and get some much needed expansion cash and gems. Soon though, you're tasked with sending specific character classes out on missions, and despite possessing the class required, we were unable to commence the quest. Whether due to bugs, or simply insufficient explanation in the quest, we can't know - but we found our progress through this section of the game roadblocked quickly nevertheless.
There's a spark of something brilliant in Castle Champions, but between a clumsy and frustrating interface and a lackluster tutorial, we suspect many will give up before coming close to unearthing its charms. If you've played and exhausted other, purely single-player tower-building games, and fancy getting stuck into something with a little more competitive meat, then you'll be well served here. Everyone else should start with one of the more polished and engaging games in the genre.
What's Hot:The competitive angle makes for a neat addition to the genre, and the tower-building component is solid enough
What's Not:The formations interface is very frustrating, and you're left to your own devices too much when it comes to the innovative elements of the game.