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Castle simulation games have been around for quite some time. These games involve running a castle, and that means keeping up with building and defense as well as maintaining armies, peasants, and more. This genre has been around for many years, and here are what I consider the top five very best castle simulators.
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Rampart was a really fun castle building and defense game that was simple to learn and hard to master. You had an overhead view of a map and you had a limited time to build your castle using wall sections shaped like Tetris pieces, but you didn’t know what size piece it would give you next. After you enclosed the castle, you could place cannons inside and then engage in a battle with naval warships. When the battle was over, you had a limited time to rebuild before the fighting started again. There is a version of Rampart for the PS3, but don’t waste your money on it because the controls barely work.
For more information on Rampart, visit MobyGames.com.
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The two Castles games were among the first full castle simulators, and they were released during the DOS days when games came on floppy disks instead of CD or DVD. What you did in these games was design and build your own castle, then raise an army to defend it. You could also attack neighboring castles, and the ultimate goal of the game was to conquer the land. Both Castles I and II were good games, but I always liked the first one better.
For more information on Castles I and II, read my review.
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Defender of the Crown
Defender of the Crown holds a special place in my heart because it reminds of the days when I first started getting into computer gaming back when everyone else was playing Nintendo. For the record, an NES version of this game was made, but it wasn’t quite the same as the original PC version. Although you don’t actually build castles in this game, you do get to lay siege to them with catapults, plus there’s a bunch of other medieval stuff you can do like joust and raid a keep. It’s kind of a simple game, but still lots of fun. A remake was released a couple of years ago and it had updated graphics, but preserved the original gameplay along with adding some new features.
For more information on Defender of the Crown, visit Cinemaware.com.
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Lords of the Realm II
I never played the original Lords of the Realm game, so I can’t comment on how good it was. However, I loved the sequel and spent way too many hours playing it while at college. Although you could not customize the look of them, this game allows you to build castles and defend them. It had a lot to do with resource management up until it came time to fight, then it turned into a really cool castle siege simulator. This is an incredibly fun game that provided me many hours of entertainment. There was also a Lord of the Realms III, but I understand it had completely different gameplay mechanics.
For more information on the Lords of the Realm series, visit MobyGames.com.
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Stronghold took the basic idea set forth by the Castles games and majorly updated it with new graphics, features, and more. Just look at the screenshot and you’ll see what I mean. It represents the way technology has enhanced video games and the difference a few years can make in terms of what can be included in a good game. Since its release, there have been several Stronghold sequels released from Firefly Studios, but I am going with this original as the best because it helped kickstart such a great series of RTS games. It was recently announced that Stronghold Kingdoms, a new MMO based on this series, will soon be released.
For more information on Stronghold, visit the Firefly Studios website.