Monday, December 5, 2011

Hands On Impressions: Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower

When you think of Castle Panic by Fireside Games, you probably think of a fun cooperative game for the whole family.  With the addition of the new Wizard's Tower Expansion, the game transforms from a straight forward family game to a more challenging gamer game.  Don't get me wrong, it still plays very much the same as the original, but the expansion adds new layers that provide more depth and excitement for the typical gamer.

The Wizard's Tower Expansion adds several New Monsters (including 6 Bosses), Powerful Wizard cards, nifty little Flame tokens (for when monsters and the tower catch fire - Totally Cool!), a nice token bag to hold all the monster tokens, and of course the Wizard's Tower.

The 6 new Boss tokens include a Chimera, Dragon, Necromancer, Baslisk, Hydra, and Warlock, all with interesting new abilities. For example, on our first play,  we encountered the Necromancer who puts 2 monsters from the discard pile back into the draw, but who dies on contact with the wall.  He also adds monsters back to the draw for each life he has left. We also ran into the Warlock and the Hydra.

Our first game was quite fun.  We had several moments where we thought all hope was lost, but we battled back and ended up victorious (even if it was by the skin of our teeth).  In the end we only had the Wizard's Tower and the wall in front of it left!  Imps are so annoying, and its best not to catch the tower on fire!!!

I have to say that this version of the game requires a lot more discussion and team work to succeed, and it seems to run a little longer than the original.  Also, due to all the new monsters, your first few games will require more visits to the rule book.  It's not a bad thing, just something to be aware of when you pick it up for the first time.  One thing's for sure, you definitely want to protect that Wizard's Tower.  We lost it at one point and we thought we were done for.  Luckily we were able to build it again and regain our ground with an epic play that took out two bosses and a climbing troll in one fell swoop!

So, if you are a fan of the base game, but were hoping for a little more substance or just a little more variety, definitely give the expansion a try.  You won't regret it!