Take the Norman conquest of England in 1066, which was helped immeasurably by King Harold being called away to the North to fend off a bunch of Vikings.
Armor Games and Namco is embarking on a similar bout of mediaeval smash and grab opportunism with Crush the Castle. With the continued absence of Angry Birds from the Android Market, the position of premier Android defence-toppler is up for grabs.
Bringing down the house
Confronted with a series of rudimentary ‘castles’ (in reality nothing more than crude, free-standing constructs made out of planks and girders), your task is to bring each down with as few shots from your trusty trebuchet as possible.
Each castle is populated by a varying number of knights and court officials, and no task is complete until you’ve crushed every last one of them. It’s considerably grimmer than merrily toppling green pigs, that’s for sure.
As the idea is to use as few shots as possible, you’ll need to make use of the game’s physics engine to collapse the structures in on themselves, setting off domino effects and aiming for the weakest points.
Engine of war
The mechanics of firing are pleasingly different to other games of this type. Rather than stretching a piece of elastic and letting go, the trebuchet swings around on a fixed path whenever you touch the screen to set it off.
It’s then up to you to touch the screen again when you want to release the deadly rock(s). Depending on when in the process you ‘let go’, the rock can arc high through the air like a grenade throw (early release), fly flat and hard (mid-swing release), or fly ineffectually into the ground (late release). We’re talking fractions of a second in between each stage, lending the game a welcome extra dose of skill.
Which is fortunate, because there’s not a great deal of variety (outside increasing ammo types) and the game certainly isn’t a looker.