Zynga’s Castleville is a 2D social game on Facebook where players become royal subjects forced to save a kingdom falling into utter despair. An evil incantation has the once beautiful land in an overcast of gloom. In order to undo the spell and bring joy back to the nation gamers must reconstruct their province to its original glory. Similar to other popular titles like CityVille and Frontierville players join their online friends to assist them in this medieval adventure.
Local heroes start out with a small courtyard and one NPC delegating various quests. Most of the gameplay revolves around completing these tasks and exploring gloomed areas. The game plays much like a RPG with some familiar social elements. Quests often implement these aspects by requiring users to plant 20 wheat crops or tend to a neighbor’s livestock. Tasks can vary depending on the NPC which is a rather unique feature in the game. As players progress new NPCs will appear in need of help. To open up an available quest these characters have to be clicked on. It really gives the game a traditional role playing feel. Once completed XP and coins are rewarded.
Almost identical to Frontierville players must clear land by chopping down trees or removing boulders. Creatures known as beasties that come in the form of wolves, giant rats, and goblins will randomly attack. Click to clobber them and earn additional experience. As a player levels up they can unlock gloomed areas to explore which automatically expands their kingdom. Magical crystals are used to explore and dispel gloom. Adventures acquire them through crafting.
Throughout the world as players harvest and clear gloomed domains the materials gathered can be turned into useful items in workshops. There’s a large assortment of items that can be created. Make everything from brick ovens to weaponry like swords. It’s quite impressive. The extensive crafting system is a great way for players to attain hard to acquire objects. Although it can take some of the burden of relying on neighbors for gifts much like CityVille players need a significant amount of friends and their assistance to progress at a decent pace. When visiting neighboring kingdoms users can tend to their crops, livestock, fish, mine, chop, or help clean surrounding cottages. Like other Zynga games the energy system is unbalanced. Every action performed requires energy which is difficult to replenish.
The game’s fairytale fantasy theme and bright vivid 2D graphics makes users feel as if they’ve entered an enchanted full length Disney animated feature. Adorable rabbits frolic through the woods, livestock often roam the courtyard, the fish in the ponds are swimming, and NPCs patrol the town. It’s all very interactive. It’s a nice change from the usual mediocre animations seen in this genre. There are also not a lot of glitches or prompts to refresh the browser. Players can usually play uninterrupted which is always a plus for a Facebook game. The sound effects are what you’d expect. Birds chirping and cows mooing can be heard in the far distant background. Every click resonate a chime, knock, or ring. The main soundtrack plays continuously but for those who like to create their own mood music there’s a convenient shut off switch.
Overall this is a challenging game. Castleville combines role playing, city building, and popular farming aspects for an entertaining experience that keeps gamers coming back. Using a fun fantasy theme players get to build and rule their own kingdom. Complete endless quests, fight off troublesome beasties, explore, and collect materials to create new objects or tools. Help out neighbors by tending to their territory as well. Although the energy system is somewhat unbalanced its still loads of fun. Fans of previous Zynga titles will love the whimsical change of scenery and more advanced crafting system.