There are many mobile games that seem to take the world by storm – for one moment, that game is the only thing everyone and their dog is playing… only to be gone and forgotten within the next month or so. “Hustle Castle: Fantasy Kingdom” developed by Studio Nord and released in November last year seems to be one of the few exceptions to this rule.
The main hook to this game is rather simple – go to battles to get gold, use that gold to upgrade your castle and your armies, and get more resources to prepare for the next battle against your opponents or some fantasy monsters. Nothing more, nothing less.
When playing PVP, you are almost guaranteed to lose against the opponents who has a higher Power Level than you. The only things that can turn the tide to your advantage are spells. Use them wisely and you might take down an enemy with a much higher Power Level than yours. Use them too soon or too late, and you could turn a certain win into a loss.
The PVE portion of the game is roughly the same, mechanics–wise. The only difference here comes from the story aspect, as your goal here is to chase after many evil creatures that are trying to get away with your, say it with me now, Princess who has been kidnapped. The story portion is one of the highlights of the game: once you make enough progress in the game, the heroes and villains begin communicating via a medieval Twitter clone, and the way they interact is one of truly amusing parts of the game. Oh, and, needless to say, the Princess is in another castle. Always.
As for castle building… You’ve heard of a little game called “Fallout: Shelter”, right? Gather people, pay attention to their talents, build rooms in the castle that suit their talents to gain the most from them, fulfill smaller objectives to gather resources needed to maintain your shelt… I mean, the castle? Yes, it is pretty much the same.
And now for the bad part – microtransactions. Every time you beat a boss, the game prompts you to pay real money in order to keep their armor, and that is not the only time in the game where you get a strong sense that “Hustle Castle: Fantasy Kingdom” is pushing its “pay to win” agenda hard. However, the game’s writing is really good and funny, and if you can push yourself to put in some elbow grease and do some good old-fashioned grinding, there is a pretty good game in there, hidden underneath all the not-so-subtle money-grabbing.
The game is available for both Android and iOS, and the first few levels should be enough for you to decide if “Hustle Caste” is worth your time and/or money.