Some background: for those of you who haven’t played Castle Panic, it’s a (mainly) cooperative board game which sees players fight to keep a hoard of monsters away from their castle walls until they’ve all been vanquished or their castle has been destroyed.
It’s a fast-paced, enjoyable game capable of creating some genuine moments of tension as your best-laid plans go awry thanks to a badly timed monster card affecting the game in ways you weren’t planning for.
I reviewed the game some time ago, here.
Unboxing, don’t let the bold, cartoony visuals, bright colours, and the 3D features of the game fool you into thinking it will be easy. It’s a genuinely thought-provoking game.
Real cooperation is required to beat Castle Panic, often forcing players to think several moves ahead.
What is Castle Panic – The Wizard’s Tower expansion?
It was the first expansion to the game (there has since been one more, The Dark Titan, which I will review another time, and a third has just been announced, Engines of War), that added extra depth (and length) to the game with plenty of new features and abilities.
Theme-wise, the story goes that your castle has allied with a friendly wizard, who helps out against the attacking monsters, bringing powerful spells to the game along with a nice shiny new tower for your board.
It also introduced very powerful enemies and crafty rules which can flood the game with monsters before you know it.
As with all the best expansion, it adds new ways of playing the game, while building on what fans of Castle Panic loved in the first place.
As with many expansions, some of the new monster tokens replace some of the old ones, there are new castle cards (the main deck), new wizard cards and a cool draw bag to pull tokens from as you play.
Of the new monster tokens, some are trickier than others. The Phoenix, for example, can fly – something which makes a difference once in play.
Then there are the mega-bosses. There are six in total, including the Warlock and Basilisk, which have extra health points and special abilities (and a the dragon, which doesn’t advance in a straight line, for instance, he moves left and right as well).
Flame tokens also add to the mix, allowing monsters and castle walls alike to be lit on fire.
Understanding many of the new tokens and cards meant referencing the rulebook regularly, but after a few playthroughs we were beginning to remember the various abilities and effects.
Is it any good?
Castle Panic is one of my go-to-games. As a fairly casual gamer who can’t always get a large group together, I can always enjoy it. It’s a fantastic gateway game, but can still offer any level of player a real challenge.
The expansion feels like significant thought has gone into making the game better, breathing new life into it and adding some real challenges. I’m glad it’s on my shelf.
Check out the expansion’s official page here.
There’s also a guide to setting the game up here.
And of course Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop played through the original Castle Panic here.