Age of Empires: Castle Siege (Win 10)

On its way out, but fun while it lasted

For those who may not know, Age of Empires: Castle Siege is scheduled for a server shutdown on May 13, 2019. While it's not impossible to grind out all 20 achievements in the time remaining until then, I guarantee you, it will be very tough, and I don't recommend going for it now if you haven't already.

That being said, Castle Siege was a fun distraction while it lasted. If you've played Clash of Clans, you already know what you're in for here. There are some fun differences (and some not so fun differences), but ultimately, don't expect something substantially different. Since there are probably hundreds of reviews out there talking about Clash, I'll say to just head to one of those, which are probably MUCH better written than anything I have to say, if you want a general sense of what you're in for or whether you'll like it. I'll focus on differences (Note that I haven't played Clash in almost 2 years, so my apologies if my references are outdated).

Pros:
*You can direct your troops. Unlike in Clash, where you drop your troops and just hope they do what you want from there, Castle Siege allows you to drop your troops where you want, and then drag an arrow from their current position to a new position or to attack a specific building. This is helpful for targeting specific resources or defenses, and it opens up other strategies as well, such as using troops to trace a pattern around the perimeter of the field to distract defending troops.
*Lots of heroes to choose from. While Clash offers you a Barb King and Archer Queen, Castle Siege offers you 18 different heroes to choose from, each of whom has their own very unique, and often very helpful, abilities. This allows you to really mix up your play style.
*Graphics. It's a small thing, but troops/units/buildings undergo visual icon changes and even name changes as they progress. It's very small, but it's a nice touch.
*Daily bonus events. Each day, there is a special bonus event. Some days this is the "Combat Hour" (still not actually sure what that one does), and other days it's the "Smashdown" (super easy base with lots of resources that's very easy to crush). Again, a small thing, but something to keep it fresh.

Cons:
*Base building is VERY clunky. You do not have the option to pick up all of your buildings and walls at once and then build a base from scratch. Each piece must be moved one-at-a-time if you wish to rearrange your base. Not such a big deal at earlier stages, but once you're in the latter half of the ages (equivalent to CC town hall levels), you're basically married to one base design. While you're free to change it any time you want, it's such a labor intensive process that you really won't do much beyond minor tweaks and expansions.
*Limited clan involvement. While CC has fun events like wars that you can participate in with your clan, Castle Siege alliances are less involved. There are wonders which provide boosts to clan members, and you can contribute resources to them, but there are no opportunities to really feel like you're going into battle with your alliance mates. If you're not looking for that, no big deal, but it's definitely something Castle Siege would have benefited from on the whole.

Overall, I'm sad to see it go, but the game is quite dead at this point, which really limits how much fun it is anyway. It was a worthy CC clone, and I'll remember my time with it fondly.
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