Castle Panic is the best co-operative board game I’ve yet played, especially in terms of creating the need to work in tandem and creating real tension.
For those who don’t know of the game, it puts the gamers inside a castle trying to withstand an onslaught of monsters bent on its destruction. Through an ingenious system of random monster movement and appearance together with a variety of abilities, there is no easy way for the gamers to survive. In fact, my experience has been that more than half the time they don’t.
Now the tension and the challenge goes up a notch or two, but fortunately so does the tools available to successfully complete the job in the first Castle Panic expansion, The Wizard’s Tower. The original Castle Panic game is required to use The Wizards’ Tower.
In this expansion, a wizard has joined your fight to give the gamers magical options as long as they can keep his tower standing. That’s the good news. The spells are powerful and include the introduction of fire to the game.
The bad news is that you’ll need all of them. There are new monsters who have joined the attack. Some replace the old monsters from the base game and some merely join in as the setup to the game has changed. There are imps, flying creatures like a Phoenix and a climbing Troll. There are also Mega Boss Monsters like a dragon and a necromancer.
Fire can also be used against the defenders of the castle, making the shelter even more vulnerable. Game time can be extended a bit using this expansion, but it does not make the game seem long.
“When we created Castle Panic, we planned on it serving as a gateway game that would be easy for casual or new gamers to learn,” said game creator Justin De Witt of Fireside Gamesx. “Our intention was to build on the game by adding new monsters, cards, and other elements to increase the challenge and complexity of the core game. The Wizard's Tower is the first expansion to Castle Panic, and it does just that.