Age of Empires: Castle Siege
Age of Empires: Castle Siege is a mobile tower defense game taking place in the Middle Ages.
- Multiple factions each with their own aesthetic designs and unique units
- Asynchronous multiplayer gameplay
- A wide variety of buildings to improve the efficiency of your virtual city
- Offers a diversity of upgrade options that allow you to distinguish your army from those of your opponents
- Strong multiplayer functionality encourages social interaction
- Game design makes it a great choice for short spurts of engagement
- Mimics a well worn formula in an overcrowded app market
- Prevalence of paid currency necessitates engagement to truly excel
Age of Empires might not seem like a natural fit for the world of mobile gaming. It's long been a leader in the world of real time strategy games, marrying the real world historical simulation of the Civilization series to the addictive macro level combat of games like Warcraft and Starcraft. There's no doubt that Castle Siege is the odd duck in the Age of Empires series. It trades in the high level strategy and historical accuracy of its mother series in favor of a simpler castle defense game abundant with free to play features and asynchronous multiplayer components. It's not a formula that works terribly well, and the end result suffers from the awkward application of a well known brand to a product that doesn't particularly suit it. That's not to say that Castle Siege utterly eschews the formulas that made Age of Empires such a popular series. Creating and upgrading your city is still the integral core part of the experience, but the end result is something that falls more squarely into the pay to win mobile formula than in a mobile version of the Age of Empires experience. Your kingdom is a persistent environment driven by real time timers. Progress is made through the acquisition of wood, stone, and food, which fuel the development of new technologies and the building of new structures and the creation of troops. A third currency, gold, can be purchased with real money and either converted to other resources or used to speed up the construction timers. Building a kingdom that reflects your personality is a fun, if not particularly complex, diversion, but it mostly serves as a vessel for combat. The focus here is on asynchronous multiplayer combat. Players are encouraged to amass troops they can use to attack the fortresses of other players. Success provides you with more resources to bolster your own kingdom, a necessity given that you'll be forced to contend with assaults from other players. Four types of units are available, and developing a balanced army is the key to breaking through your opponent's defenses. These units certainly don't have the range or differentiation of the combat types from the core Age of Empires series, but there's a simple rock, paper, scissors dynamic at play that better suits the demands of an on the go gaming experience. You don't engage your opponents directly. Instead, your units are dropped onto their map and given six minutes to loot whatever they can from the enemy's coffers. Some variation is added through the inclusion of heroes who bring with them strengthened defensive and offensive abilities and their own unique powers. Player on player interactions aren't solely relegated to faceless combat against other forces. Alliances can be formed with other players, and these offer a host of advantages. These include the ability to strengthen your own forces with troops borrowed from your allies.