Imagine yourself a guard of the watch, patrolling the fortified walls of a medieval castle. All is quiet as you make your rounds, your thoughts drifting to the mug of ale that awaits you at shifts end. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a ferocious roar from the forest snaps you back to attention. Trolls burst forth from the southern treeline surrounding the castle! You begin to raise the alarm but are cut short by the cries of your fellow guards! "Orcs to the West!" one yells! "Goblins to the North!" screams another. You peer out over the wall, the fields teeming with the hideous monsters! They're everywhere! And they just keep coming! Is there no end to this onslaught?

Only by steeling your resolve and working together can you ever hope to repel this vicious hoard. Maybe, with luck, we'll be able to hold the wall and protect the castle. Maybe, with luck, we'll be able to drive them back. Maybe, just maybe, you'll live long enough to taste that mug of ale. That is, of course, as long as no one panics....

  • Players: 1 - 6
  • Duration: 45 - 60 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Type: Board Game
  • Cooperative
Castle Panic Intro

The Gameplay



While I may have over dramatized a bit, that's actually the basic gist of the game. In Castle Panic, the players cooperate, trade cards, and plan strategies as a group to defend the castle and prevent the monsters from destroying their towers. These towers are your lifeblood. You start with six, and as long as one still stands by games end you can still claim victory. Lucky for you, each tower is protected by a wall. But beware, each monster that finds its way to a wall will destroy it, opening up the tower to attack from the next monster in line. While walls can be rebuilt with brick and mortar cards, towers can not. Once a tower is gone, it's gone.

Good thing you have an army at your command. One filled with archers, knights, swordsmen, and heroes to protect the realm. Each one capable in their own way of defending the castle from the invading horde. Archers are your first line of defense and can hit monsters in the archer ring closest to the forest, Knights in the mid-range knight ring, and Swordsmen in the swordsmen ring for the close combat just outside the walls. Heroes are your all purpose defenders, capable of hitting a monster anywhere outside the castle. However, if a monster manages to make it inside the walls, there's only one defender capable of hitting it, and that's the fearsome Barbarian. He, and only he, is capable of slaying any monster anywhere, including the castle. Use caution though and use him wisely. While there are many other defenders, there is only one Barbarian. Behind towering walls of stone and protectors like these, who would be afraid of a few monsters?

Well, I may have failed to mention one little thing. There are a lot of monsters. 49 of them in fact. And all of them want nothing more than to see those towers fall. Among the lowly goblins, vicious orcs, and brutal trolls you'll also find 4 formidable boss monsters, each with its own nasty surprise. Also amid the monsters you'll find devastating plagues that cut through your ranks or immense boulders that destroy friend and foe alike. Every monster draw of every turn only strengthens the overwhelming force that threatens your walls.

Can you somehow find a way to overcome them before they overrun you? Can you protect your towers and save the day? To do so, you'll have to fight your way through all 49 monster tokens and have at least one tower still standing tall. Can you come together, destroy the monsters and defend your realm? Or will your castle fall, crushed beneath the relentless swarm? Win or lose, it's up to you.

Well, up to you and your friends that is. You're not in this alone..

The Grub

Goat Cheese Stuffed Fireballs

Dragons Milk Stout

The Barbarian

For the tonight's accompanying snack we opted for some goat cheese stuffed pappedew peppers with a drizzled balsamic glaze. Katie lovingly calls them Fireballs. What would be more fitting when fending off a ravaging gang of orcs and trolls than having a few fireballs to keep them at bay? And what better to go with fireballs than some Dragons Milk stout? It's a bourbon barrel stout that goes down smooth with hints of chocolate and coffee. As a beer guy, it's one of my favorite stouts. Since we have fireballs and dragons how could we forget The Barbarian? Our mixed drink of the day blends blackberry brandy with root beer and makes for a simple and sweet drink that as easy to drink as it is to make.

The Reviews

Dave's Review:

I'm going to be honest here. I'm probably a bit biased since I've got a special place in my heart for Castle Panic. Not only is it a an extremely fun game but it's the very first cooperative game that Katie and I purchased together after we were married. Sure, it's a bit sappy but finding someone who revels in standing side by side with you to defend your castle is something pretty special. Love you lots Duckie..

But back to game. It's incredibly easy to pick up and play. The rules are clear and concise and the cooperative element works really well. Part of the fun of the game is working with other players to figure out the best strategy to best knock out the attacking monsters. Most of this actually happens when it's not even your turn so there's very little downtime that you might experience in other turn-based games.

As a whole, it's one of my favorite games and I always look forward to playing it and introducing it to new players. Everyone I've played with has enjoyed it and we've even given it as a gift. I highly recommend checking this out if you're a fan of easy to learn cooperative games.

I give Castle Panic 8 of 10 Gibbering Goblins

*On a side note, if you enjoy Castle Panic, for an added challenge I really suggest checking out the Wizard's Tower expansion. It adds a wizards tower, a deck of powerful wizard cards, as well as some new boss monsters to contend with.

Katie's Review:

Orcs, Trolls and Goblins, Oh My! This is one of my favorite games and that is why I insisted that it was the first game that we reviewed here. I love the fact that it's a cooperative game. I don’t always want to be competitive and it can be frustrating when you have lost your third game of the night. You either win together or lose together and no one has to sleep on the couch that night. We're always on the lookout for two player games but it's nice that we can play with more if the family or friends come and visit. The game play is easy but I recommend keeping the rule book handy when the monsters start getting close to the castle ring as it can get a little confusing sometimes. I have some favorite cards like Missing and Barbarian that are great to hang on to for when you start getting overrun with monsters. Overall, it’s a super fun game and nobody has any hurt feelings at the end.

I give Castle Panic 9 of 10 Obstinate Orcs

Looking to pick up Castle Panic?

Castle Panic can be purchased at Amazon or at your local game store. Our's is the Wandering Dragon out in Plainfield, IL. If you're local check 'em out. It's an incredible place run by some incredible people. You won't regret it!