Castle Champions by Gamenauts icon

Castle Champions (Free) by Gamenauts is a freemium-based tower building and RPG hybrid game. Think of Tiny Tower, but with a little RPG action thrown into the mix.

I remember when I was addicted to the chore-like Tiny Tower a while back — this game instantly reminded me of it. The tower building gameplay was great back then, but nowadays, it isn’t really my cup of tea. However, if you like the genre, then this game is worth a look.

Castle Champions by Gamenauts screenshot

The visuals in Castle Champions are not bad. In fact, it’s the best thing about the game for me. It has that medieval look to it, and the graphics are sharp on Retina iDevices. The music also fits the overall RPG feel of the game, so that’s a plus.

I’m not too impressed with the gameplay itself. The game will have step-by-step guides for getting you started, but if you have played games like this before, then it should all be very familiar to you. There’s basically a lot of tapping involved — tap on something to select it and bring up a menu, then tap on the choice you want. Pretty simple. You will be building up your castle from a few floors to an unlimited amount of floors, once you get the money to do so. Each floor will have two shops on it, and citizens will show up at the bottom and request to be taken up to a certain floor with the elevator. This all feels very Tiny Tower-like.

The RPG element comes in to play through the form of quests, battles with invading enemies, and tournaments with other castles. In the beginning, you are asked to select one hero, and this will be the hero that is sent into battles, and will become part of your army. You will also find other heroes that you can recruit into your armada as well.

I wanted to like the game, but I couldn’t really get into it. I was expecting more control of my heroes in battle, but it seems to be randomized, with you only being able to use the special attack when it’s available. I also feel that the game is set up to make you lose a lot in order to tempt you to purchase upgrades with real cash (this is how most freemium games work, anyway).

Castle Champions by Gamenauts screenshot

There’s also the whole time restriction thing that I dislike. Every action will require a bit of time, from building new floors to battles. Of course, you can always skip the timers, but you will need enough of the premium currency to do so — if not, you’ll need to buy more.

I really wanted to like the game, was immediately put off by the freemium scheme, where you have to pay crystals to do, well, pretty much anything. I also got tired of Tiny Tower after a while, and don’t really have the interest in playing games that are similar in nature to it as well. However, if these types of games are what you like, then you may want to give it a try to see if it is something you’ll enjoy (especially the RPG element).

You can get Castle Champions in the App Store as a universal download for free.