Windows Phone Age of Empires Castle Siege review, is it pay to win?

Age of Empires Castle Siege is finally available for the windows phone and we totally love it of two reasons. First is the fact that it is totally free and secondly you really do not have to buy in-game stuff to win the game.

Many of us were shocked when Microsoft acquired the acclaimed franchise. Some of you skeptical. Many disgusted at the lack of wololo in Microsoft latest cash cow, “Castle Siege” under the Age of Empires name. A Clash of Clans clone for the Clash of Clans-less, nothing more than a rip-off.

Right? Not exactly.

I too was skeptical when it came out, but soon I was hooked as well. It’s an interesting gameplay experience that utilizes more strategic fibre than you may have initially thought. Before I go into details, most of you are probably wondering already.

Is it pay-to-win?

It is a resounding “no”. In-game cash does not net you better troops or defenses, and also do not provide any “shield” preventing you from being attacked like the original CoC. It is “pay-to-accelerate”, and the matchmaking system does great work to ensure that you aren’t attacked by totally beyond-league players. Paying just gets you to the endgame meta faster.

What is “Castle Siege”?

It is, by usual definition, a “Clash of Clans” clone with a few different mechanics here and there. You build a castle and various resources, protect it tower-defense style, and attack other players’ castles to gain rank and resources.

What’s different?

For one thing, you can control your units in battle. That’s right, strategy actually plays a huge role in the success of your attack. Go in with a full-out zergrush or take out towers with meticulously placed siege units, the choice is yours. As you climb up the ladder and encounter higher-leveled castles, blind zerging is largely ineffective and careful planning is required to take as much resources without running out of troops. Microing units is a must if you want to win the attack.

With that out of the way, let’s get to it. Again, look past the gilded glasses of “Age of Empires” and see “Castle Siege” as its own game. Microsoft has done a great job replicating the CoC-style mechanics into medieval warfare, further adding elements of heavy strategy for more experienced players. Every battle is face-paced yet fragile with every move; a single slip could result in total downfall.

Yes, there is waiting time. Buildings take time, upgrades take time, even replenishing troops take time. The “time” aspect creeps extremely fast; a successful troop in Age 2 takes about a minute to complete while a relatively deadly one in Age 5 takes almost half an hour. This game is not meant to be played in bulk sessions, it is meant to be played in bursts, attacking when troops are ready and upgrading whenever possible. Time is a profit tool and a balance tool for the game.

The gameplay is addictive and you find yourself feeling a sense of accomplishment whenever your castle fends off an enemy or when you take down a particularly hard one. Be warned, cheese strats do exist at lower levels (notably infantry zerging) but can be partially mediated with proper wall defenses.

Verdict of Age of Empires Castle Siege for Windows Phone

Admittedly not for everyone (CoC mechanics) but at least worth a try. Definitely not P2W at time of writing.

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