Glory goes to the victor in battle, and now it is time for the glory to be yours. It is time to summon your army, wizards among your land, and dragons from their keeps, and SLAP your way to become the victor of Card Castle!
About the Game
Card Castle from SHEL Games is a quick slapping game for 2-8 players in which players reveal cards from their deck, trying to slap certain cards so they may grow their deck. The player to have all of the playable cards in their “army” wins Card Castle. The game consists of a deck of cards made up of seven different types, four of the seven types of cards make up each player’s army: Swordswomen, archers, knights, and shield cards. These army cards are used “attack” your opponent. There are also two card types which you are trying to slap: doors, and wizards. Finally, there is a dragon card, which messes with the cards armies will win when attacking.
The game begins with the deck divided evenly among players. Players shuffle their decks and place them face down, without looking. Then, the first player flips a card from their deck. If it is an army card, it will have a numerical value attached to it. This is the highest attacking value. The next player must flip enough cards from their army to at least tie with the starting attack value. This continues on until a player slaps the deck when appropriate. This appropriate time occurs when either a flipped card matches the number on the card directly below it, a wizard card is revealed, or a door card is revealed. Whoever slaps the card takes all those cards in the stack, places them into his reinforcement, or discard, pile and then the game continues on. Once a player runs out of cards to use, they shuffle their reinforcement deck, and begin with a new army deck. If a player has no cards to shuffle from their reinforcement deck because…Well, they have no reinforcements, they are out of the game.
The first player to have all the cards in their army is the winner.
Card Castle is very simple to play. All a player must do is flip a card, slap a card, or shuffle their reinforcement discards. The game involves primarily player elimination, and if you are keeping track of what cards have been played like you were playing poker, memory.
The rules were fine, I originally received an old rendition of the rules in the game itself, but was sent an updated version. The updated version is much easier to read through and follow along with, and helped to remove ambiguities I found in the review copy.
The art was fine, but a little too simple for my taste. Simple white cards with a single character in the center. The back of the card is a castle presumably built with cards, but the cards face inward, so you can’t quite tell that they are cards and not stone, since there is a crack in one of the stone/cards that make up the castle. Overall it was just ok.
The product quality was very nice. Simple tuck box which keeps together well. A lot of tuck boxes fall apart because the adhesive wears. but this one has a lot of folds to keep it from coming apart. The cards themselves were nice quality as well, a sturdy cardstock.
Is It Fun?
It is fun, but I don’t think it is an every day game for me. It reminds me of the classic game Slapjack, in which you’re trying to slap and collect cards. I played this game all the time growing up with my mom and loved it, and can imagine Card Castle to bring the same memories. It doesn’t require heavy mechanics or strategy, is portable, and most adults and children can recognize the fantasy theme. Card Castle has primarily female characters with the exception of the unknown-gendered Knight, which is refreshing to see from the normal. Because I prefer games with a little more complexity, I can’t see myself playing this game all the time, but if I had children or played with those who weren’t familiar with modern games, I would probably play this quite frequently.