Castle Panic: A good children’s co-op game

I’m honestly not sure what I was expecting when I set down to play Castle Panic.  I had been told that it was a “simple” co-op game, but simple is really a relative term.  For example, I think Forbidden Island is a simple co-op game.  It has many of the same elements as Pandemic, but is much more stream lined.  It’s simple.  Castle Panic was far more simple then that, and with a lot more “random” thrown in.  Now, I’m not saying this is a bad game.  It’s solid.  It has many elements of polish.  However, there is no denying that this game is not designed for hard core gamers; it’s designed for children, or very casual gamers.

A top view of the board.  Here you can see the three different colored pie pieces of the board, as well as the different concentric circles for each fighter.

A top view of the board. Here you can see the three different colored pie pieces of the board, as well as the different concentric circles for each fighter.

Castle Panic is a castle defense game.  You must defend the castle against an onslaught of orcs, trolls, and goblins who stampede towards it from the forest, closing in on all sides.  You defend against this with the aid of archers, knights, and swordsman, each who are designated to fight within certain areas of the castle, and at certain ranges.   That may sound really complicated, but it was actually done very eloquently.  The board is divided into three large pie pieces:  blue, red, and green.   These pie pieces are bisected by concentric rings, and each ring is designated for a given type of fighter card:  Archer, Knight, and Swordsman.   Whenever a monster enters one of the regions named for a fighter, that color and rank of fighter may attack them, should you have a card for them in your hand.

A look at the cards from Castle Panic.

A look at the cards from Castle Panic.

Your use and manipulation of the cards are the heart and soul of this game.  Each player draws up to a hand of five cards on their turn.  If they would like, they can discard one of them and redraw, that way it’s a little harder to get stuck with a really lousy hand.  You may also trade one card each turn with one of the other players.  Through this means of discarding and trading you can influence your ability and general readiness in regards to fighting the onslaught of monsters.

Combat is extremely simple.  Every card you play against a monster does one point of damage.  Each monster has between one and three hit points, and denoting how much damage they have taken simply requires a rotation of the piece.  There is one card that will kill a monster on a single shot, Barbarian, but there is only one of him, so don’t get too cozy with that idea.

At the end of each players turn, two nasty things are going to happen.  Firstly, each of the monsters are going to move one step closer to your castle, or if they are already outside your castle, they are going to breach your wall!  Secondly, the player will flip over two tiles from a pool of tiles (kinda like the “bone yard” in a game of dominoes), to add more baddies to the board.  Most likely the tile you flip will be a monster, in which case you roll a six sided die to determine where it starts out on the board.  There are also other special tiles are in the mix.

A look at some of the monster tiles and special tiles in the game.

A look at some of the monster tiles and special tiles in the game.

Special tiles are a pain in the tookus.  Some special tiles plague your troops, causing all of a particular type to die.  Some make all the monsters rotate clockwise or counter clockwise.  Some advance the monsters another space.  Some force you to draw additional tiles.  And then, there is the giant rolling boulders.

A giant rolling boulder is what did my game in.  The boulder starts on one section of the board and rolls straight across, taking out everything in it’s path:  monsters, walls, towers, you name it.  The boulder smashes all!  These nasty little devices insure that your castle will not end a game untouched.  For our players, if the giant boulder had started rolling across in any other quadrant, we would have won!  But nooooo… it had to start rolling in the only quadrant that still had a tower left!

Our board at the end of the game.  You can see there are some monsters on the board, but nothing we couldnt handle.  But take a look at the position of the boulder at the bottom of the image.  The nasty thing started rolling from there and goes straight across, through both of our towers!  Blast!

Our board at the end of the game. You can see there are some monsters on the board, but nothing we couldn't handle. Take a look at the position of the boulder at the bottom of the image. The nasty thing started rolling from there and goes straight across, through both of our towers! Blast!

In the end, we had fun.  It was a silly co-op game.  It wasn’t super challenging, but it still made us have to talk and work together.  Anyone looking for a pandemic like experience though is going to be disappointed.  That level of strategic thinking just simply isn’t required in this game.  Whether you win or lose is as much about luck as anything else. This would make a great introduction game for non-gamers, or for little gamers to play with mom and dad.  The box states this game is for 10+, but I can easily see a thoughtful 6 or 8 year old being perfectly capable of playing with mom and dad.  This would also make a nice family game because you aren’t playing against your kids, you’re playing with your kids.  For the most part it’s a group effort, so in the end, everyone gets to feel good about the victory.

This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 at 7:31 am and is filed under Board Game Reviews, Co-op Games, Resource Management Games, War Games . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


  1. Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to give it a look.
    I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and
    will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and brilliant design and style.

  2. Itamar Serp says:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and
    was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a
    blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure.
    Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  3. When someone writes an piece of writing he/she maintains the plan of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it.
    Therefore that’s why this paragraph is outstdanding.


  4. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided
    bright clear concept

  5. Rolland says:

    Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve
    had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform.

    I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  6. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog
    and wished to mention that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog
    posts. After all I will be subscribing in your
    rss feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

  7. 667147 217376Companion, this web web site will be fabolous, i merely like it 167217

  8. 966669 305285This is a good topic to speak about. Sometimes I fav stuff like this on Redit. This write-up probably wont do nicely with that crowd. I is going to be confident to submit something else though. 549259

  9. 867928 792248The electronic cigarette uses a battery and a small heating factor the vaporize the e-liquid. This vapor can then be inhaled and exhaled 124756

  10. 606937 728648Enjoyed reading this, really great stuff, thankyou . 970932

  11. 523297 913896Wow, incredible weblog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look straightforward. The overall look of your internet site is wonderful, as properly as the content material! xrumer 823379

  12. 558062 177928This really is the sort of information Ive long been in search of. Thanks for posting this information. 788673

  13. 516650 508092Some truly wonderful content material on this internet internet site , appreciate it for contribution. 181085

  14. Mt ea says:

    632131 748641Significant other, this superb website is fabolous, i merely adore it 711272

  15. 832669 683758Visiting begin a business venture about the internet typically means exposing your products or services moreover provider not only to some individuals inside your town, but but to a great deal of future prospects who might be more than the internet a lot of times. simple internet business 756448

  16. 165461 400738Wow, incredible weblog structure! How long have you been running a weblog for? you made running a weblog look straightforward. The complete look of your site is magnificent, neatly as the content material! 932347

  17. 146969 581128Thank you for your fantastic post! It has long been incredibly helpful. I hope which you will proceed sharing your wisdom with us. 338637

  18. These two better settle their score now before everything ends up burnt!

  19. h32ome11 says:

    572446 978244Of course like your site but you require to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling difficulties and I locate it quite bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless Ill undoubtedly come back once again. 549558

  20. 629734 207016It can be tough to write about this topic. I believe you did an excellent job though! Thanks for this! 639160

  21. 391962 221731This web site is my inspiration , really outstanding layout and perfect topic matter. 231102

  22. DMPK says:

    879885 251579What a lovely blog page. I will certainly be back once again. Please maintain writing! 306989

  23. 751499 662650Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything in this way before. So nice to uncover somebody with some original suggestions on this subject. realy appreciate starting this up. this outstanding site is something that is required more than the internet, a person if we do originality. valuable function for bringing something new towards the internet! 339287

  24. cash advance says:

    957613 15343Its superb as your other posts : D, regards for posting . 225550

  25. Devora Gums says:

    You sure know what you’re talking about. Everyone is going to soon be visiting your site.

  26. hoverboard says:

    305944 193950extremely good put up, i actually adore this web website, keep on it 361193

  27. Banja Luka says:

    990139 984607Only a smiling visitant here to share the really like (:, btw wonderful style and style . 765973

Leave a Reply