CastleStorm preview – apple grenades and flying sheep

Now that Zen Studios has captured the attention of Pinball fans everywhere, they’re looking to expand their portfolio beyond new tables and Marvel superheroes. CastleStorm is one of two recently announced titles and after sitting down with it, we’re happy to say that it’s one of the more unique experiences we’ve had at E3. Set in a charming, colorful, medieval-type countryside, CastleStorm is a mix of real-time strategy combined with physics-based destruction and 2D archery.

Objectives can change, but the goal is to essentially take down your opponent’s castle before yours is completely destroyed. Set on a 2D plane, you can see what kind of troops your opponent is tossing at you, and over time, as you gain food resources, you’ll be able to counter with some troops of your own. Meanwhile, you have full control of a ballista and can take intruders before they get too close. You’ll have access to other goodies as well, like an explosive apple, but each weapon type has its own reload time. Oh, and one important thing: there’s friendly fire.

So while you’re frantically trying to fend off knights marching in your direction and trying not to hit your own troops, you have to also pay attention to what’s going on with your side. Upgrades are available and the coins you pick up from downed soldiers can be used to cast spells. A tower construction editor is also available for anyone who’s interested in building custom castles for battle.

Even though we were thrown into the thick of it during our brief presentation and didn’t last more than 45 seconds, the frantic vibe and light-hearted atmosphere certainly won us over and we’re excited to see more. We’re told that there will be 12 different environments to play in, and a co-op survival mode as well on top of the competitive online multiplayer. Look for CastleStorm to be released on a variety of platforms (console, handheld, mobile, PC) sometime later this year.

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