I treated myself to a impulse buy before the holidays and picked up Castle Panic. I had watched the Tabletop show on Castle Panic and I am always looking for another coop game to play so thought it was worth a shot. Well, we finally got to play it the other night and here are my impressions of the game.
First, the game is very simple to play and easy to teach to people. We opened the box, I went through the rules and we were playing in no time. The concept is to protect your castle from the siege of goblins, orcs, and trolls. You loose if your six towers are destroyed. All the players are trying to protect the castle, not just you, so this is where the coop part comes. The castle has various rings around it and these rings determine who in the army can attack the oncoming horde. You draw cards which are part of your army and you play them to defeat the attackers. Example, the archer card can attack an enemy in the archer ring, pretty simple.
But before you attack, you can trade one card to a fellow player and this is where the strategy comes in. Because, the horde moves up one ring at the end of each players turn and you then add two more attackers by a blind draw. You have to take this into account as you play because the next person must be able to do damage during their turn. There are other things in the draw like bosses that have powers you have to perform or sometimes a big boulder comes rolling at the castle. These elements really add to the fun and surprise of the game. Once you defeat all the horde and you still have towers standing, you won the game. Then each player totals the number of monsters killed based on the point system and whoever scores the most is the Master Slayer (yes we all chuckled with that name)
So, what did I think? Well, I usually use Forbidden Island as an intro coop game for people, but I am going to have to switch to Castle Panic. I like the challenge of the game and the excitement it brings with the blind draw of the next set of attackers. I also like that everyone has the equal participation unlike in Pandemic where it seems the person that draws the Medic becomes the go to player that saves the day. Don't get me wrong, love Pandemic, but it can also cause some analysis paralysis by players and doubt this game can do this. It is fast paced and a blast to play.
So if you are looking for a coop entry game with either the family or friends that aren't the board game connoisseur that you are, give Castle Panic a try.