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Castlot Hands-on Preview

Sara Lau
Oct 31,2011  10:10 by

My mind is severely baffled after a short tour in Castlot because of its grinding progress, lousy animations and thoughtless interface. It is really hard for me to figure out why some players get addicted to it and even invest real money in it.

Anyway, this browser-based game is easily accessible since you can finish your registration within only a few clicks. All you need is an email address and a password. Then you choose your side from two mutually hostile factions, that is, Bright and Dark. When it comes to character creation, you will have several options. But I am a bit disappointed because the character is only presented in a miniature. It would have been more appealing if the avatar could freely move around in the fantasy world.

Shortly after, you will be greeted by a ferocious dragon that explains a complicated yet cliché storyline to you. What’s worse, the awkward translation in this session really leaves much to be desired. As far as I can see, the story has nothing to do with the main quests, so I won’t bother you with it. And I also strongly recommend you to skip this grinding and meaningless introduction.

In the wake of the introduction, you will be located in a shabby city which is surrounded by grey low walls in all directions. At first, you have three buildings under your control, including an Arena, a Senate and a Hero Hall, each of which has its unique functions. To be specific, you can challenge other players in the Arena. The duel will only last for a few seconds, and the winner will soon emerge after three hacks. To my mind, the combat is terribly pointless apart from earning a limited number of points. And the Hero Hall is where you join in training, employ epic heroes and boost up your attributes, including stamina, strength, intellect and agility. But the advancement is neither easy nor smooth because you have to meet certain requirements before you can hire your favorite heroes. And the training will take a staggering amount of time, namely, 2 hours or 8 hours. How tormenting it is! The Senate is clearly the most magnificent building among the three. It serves as your headquarters where you change tax rate, appoint the Castellan and take care of resource production.

The goal suggests that I can set up some buildings in this chapter, but it takes me quite a while before I find out where to start. Seen in this light, the general layout of the interface is surely unfriendly to users. Besides, the yellow and brown setting also looks lifeless and hideous.

When you have nothing better to do in your city, you can explore the outside world. The world seems boundless, but the sceneries are lack of variety because there are only hills, lakes and forests in addition to other players’ cities. The only animations in this part are a cluster of floating clouds. How pathetic!

Last but not least, the developer’s greediness also greatly diminishes our gaming pleasure. You are required to invest a lot of money to unlock its interesting features; otherwise, you have to wait for a long time so as to accumulate enough points. During my short exploration, I was frequently stopped by some annoying messages, like “Insufficient Gold” and “Insufficient Diamond”. It was really a frustrating experience.

Why can’t the developer give more consideration to players’ benefits instead of giving top priority to its own profits? If Castlot go stubbornly in this way, the majority of players will get bored of the game and eventually give it up for good.

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