Blackhawk wrote:This is the first time, though, that an episode has had me remove a game from my wish list. Castle Panic didn't look particularly entertaining.
Ack! Base Castle Panic is, in my opinion, an OK, light-hearted cooperative game that isn't too difficult to win... "a good game to play with the kids" is a frequent comment about it. Castle Panic + Wizards Tower expansion is a much, much, much more difficult to win game, with plenty of "oh crap" moments. I still think it's a good family game with the expansion, provided the younger players don't mind playing a game that's going to be a tough win.
Deep down the game is still essentially the same with the expansion, playing cards from your hand and hoping to maximize the damage you can deal out to the approaching monsters each turn, and reacting to potential breakthroughs. The differences are that instead of fairly bland 1-3 HP monsters you get a variety of monsters with special abilities that set them apart. You also get 2 decks of cards, the usual deck and the Wizard deck. Each turn you can discard a card to draw from the Wizard deck (provided the Wizard tower is still up) and those cards are generally much more useful, but you only get one per turn. To me, there's a lot more decision-making to be done in terms of what cards to discard and when to use them opposed to the base game. There's a fair amount of cards that involve moving monsters around, and you can setup combos by clumping up monsters and then playing other new cards that affect targets in the same space like Chain Lightning, Hypnotize and so on.
The Wizard cards are generally very powerful, and at a quick glance almost too powerful... but you really, really need them to compensate for the added difficulty of the much tougher monsters, bosses, and the new mega-bosses introduced in the expansion. I'm tempted to say this was a case of a game that "should have" been sold as one unit as the expansion really does add that much to the game. Looking at my online game shop of choice Castle Panic is $23, Wizard Tower is $17. That's a fair price in my opinion.