Version 1.2
A Wargame by Mark Damon Hughes


Castles is about the last stand of civilization against barbarism. A hundred barbarians are charging towards your castle. A handful of barricades, a wall, and a small band of heroes must hold the barbarians back.

Difficulty Level

There are three difficulty levels in Castles: Easy, Challenge, and Nightmare. Until you have completed a game and got a score on the scoreboard, it will start in Easy; once you've scored, it will start in Challenge. At any time, you can hit Reset and choose a different difficulty level.

You'll have more money, more walls in the field, and fewer enemies. You won't score as highly, but Easy is a good tutorial and practice setting.
Challenge is intended to be hard; I'm of the firm opinion that games these days are too easy. As in arcade games, victory is not assured. In Challenge, you have to carefully plan your advance and reinforcements to survive. If you're smart and lucky, you can win; if you're good, you can get a score in the 50s or 60s.
Nightmare is difficult, bordering on impossible. You will have fewer walls, little starting cash, and you get less money every turn. If Challenge gets easy for you, try Nightmare. You should be able to get a score over 100 if you beat Nightmare.

Rules Of Play

Castles is played in turns, broken up into three phases: Reinforcement, Movement, and Final.

Reinforcement Phase

At the start of the game, you will receive 20 gold. Every turn after the first, you will earn an amount of gold equal to half the number of rows forward that you occupy. With this cash, you can hire Pikemen, Knights, and Archers to defend you.

P Pikemen are mediocre at attack and defense. Each Pikeman costs 2 gold.

K Knights are strong at attack, and mediocre in defense. Each Knight costs 5 gold.

A Archers are very weak at attack and defense, but at the end of every turn they will automatically shoot at one Barbarian up to 2 squares away (any in the diagram below), usually killing it. Each Archer costs 7 gold.


As you purchase units, they will appear in the bottom row behind the castle wall.

Tactical Tip: Start by purchasing a Knight, an Archer, and 4 Pikemen. This gives you a balanced starting force.

When you are done purchasing, press "Continue".

Movement Phase

Every turn, you start with 1 Movement Point (MP) per unit on the map. You may move every unit once, or one unit many times, or any combination.

To move a unit, tap it to get the yellow focus ring, and press the arrow button to move. Every square horizontal or vertical costs 1 MP, with the exception of a Knight moving into an empty space, which costs 0.5 MP.

If you move a unit into a Barbarian (which always costs 1 MP), you will attack it. This can result in killing the Barbarian, a draw (nobody dies or moves), or your unit dying.

Tactical Tip: Use Pikeman to block Barbarians, but do not attack with them unless desperate.

Tactical Tip: Place a Pikeman near a Barbarian to draw the Barbarian away from other forces.

Tactical Tip: Never attack with Archers; they're more effective surviving to the Final Phase.

Tactical Tip: Use Knights to sweep up large numbers of Barbarians.

Tactical Tip: Do not leave Knights and Archers where Barbarians can reach them!

When you are done moving, press "Continue".

Final Phase

Every Archer remaining on the map will pick a Barbarian in range and attack; there is a 50% chance to kill.

If there are any Barbarians left in the original 100-man horde, 5 of them will enter from the top of the map.

B Every Barbarian will move. If a castle unit is in sight, they will charge. If they are adjacent to a castle unit, they attack. Otherwise they move downwards. If blocked by a wall, they have a 10% chance of destroying the wall; eventually they will get through all walls.

At the end of the turn, if there are any Barbarians in the bottom row, behind the castle wall, YOU LOSE. If there are no Barbarians left, YOU WIN! Otherwise, the next turn's Reinforcement Phase starts.


Every turn, your score is computed again. You get 100 points, minus 1 per Barbarian still alive, minus 1 per turn, and minus 20 if you lost.

Your score will be remembered on the top-10 list.

A score of 50 or higher is very good; 60 or higher is excellent.

Web Site

Click on the "Web" button below to open Safari to the Castles web site, and find my other games.


Copyright © 2008 by Mark Damon Hughes. All Rights Reserved.