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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 30-60 minutes 2-5

Designer(s): Bruno Faidutti, Serge Laget

Publisher(s): Eurogames Descartes USA

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Product Description

The Castle is small, and there is not enough room for everyone. You must try to place all of your characters in the castle before your opponents do. In order to accomplish this you will have to plan carefully, and place your characters intilligently. When properly used your characters can pave the way for more of your characters to enter the castle, while keeping your opponents out. However, your opponents have characters that are just as powerful as yours. Some can even eject and return to your hand those which you have already placed.

Product Information


  • 56 character cards
  • 4 castle wall pieces
  • 115 tokens
  • 1 rules booklet
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.2 in 10 reviews

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Castle: A Quick Review
May 23, 2006


Castle is a quick, light though intelligent card placement game by Serge Laget and Bruno Faidutti. This clever little game plays well with between two and five players, requires only a moderate amount of space, is quick to learn and fun to play.

Faidutti (Citadels, Fist of Dragonstones and many more) and Laget (Shadows over Camelot, Mare Nostrum and many more) designed this game together and it was released as a part of a set called ‘Blue Games’ – all designed to be simple to learn and fun to play.

In Castle players are competing to be the first to have no cards, the catch is that every card played will have some form of effect on the cards around it, usually sending one or more back to the people who own them. As usual for Faidutti, the game sings with theme, the game is about the occupants of a Fantasy castle jostling for position in the courtyard, on the walls and outside the walls.

What makes the game so much fun, and so tantalising, is that every turn you are struck by the desire to play cards (get rid of them) and hold on to cards to play later (each card has an effect on certain types of other cards). This game can be tense, fast paced, intelligent, tactical and challenging, and it benefits from a very simple game system and a well integrated theme.

Some people have complained about the randomness found in many of Faidutti’s games, and how it can prevent the sort of long term planning required in other games, but what many people don’t realise is that these games, Castle included, are not based around strategic planning, but rather swiftness of thought. You will not be witnessing grand plans reach fruition in this game, but you will be having to make the most of what you have given the situation at the time – often this ‘on your feet’ thinking can be extremely rewarding, and it is certainly fun.

Castle, in short, is a great game. If you are looking for a fun filled game for between two and five people that plays in around half an hour, has a great theme and is always a laugh look no further than Castle.

A great game for two players, but also fun for five!
September 15, 2003

One of my favorite projects as a child was building a castle for all my troops to fight over. Castles have always been intriguing for me, and even though real life castles were dank, depressing, and unsanitary, they seem the pinnacle of fantasy fun. So a game called Castle just naturally sounded good to me, especially when I saw that it was co-designed by my favorite game designer, Bruno Faidutti (along with Serge Laget). It is one of Descartes Eurogames Blue Box series, produced in 2000. (2-5 players)

So is Castle any good? The short answer is that it is a fun multi-player game, and an excellent strategic two-player game. Let me explain in more detail...

First, an explanation of game play

A game board is set up in the middle of the table to represent the castle. This board consists of four cardboard walls that are placed connecting to each other to form the castle. Each wall is divided into four spaces forming a rampart, with another space as a tower in each corner. Inside the walls, an imaginary 16 square grid forms the courtyard. Each player takes all the tokens in one of five colors, placing them in front of them. A deck of cards is shuffled, and each player is dealt two piles of cards (the amount of cards in each pile is determined by how many players are playing.) One pile forms the players hand, while the other forms a draw pile exclusively for that player. All the rest of the cards are shuffled, and form a common draw pile called the Exchange. One player takes their turn, then each player follows in a clockwise order.

On a players turn, they have two actions. There are three things a player may do, and they may do the same thing twice per turn. A player may draw a card from their deck, may play a card from their hand, or exchange a card from their hand with one in the Exchange. A players goal is to get rid of all the cards from their hand and deck playing them in the castle.

There are fifty-six cards, with thirty-seven different types. Each card shows a character (ex: Ambassador, Archer, King). The card is color coded to show where it can be placed. (Yellow cards go on the ramparts, red cards in the courtyard, green cards outside the walls, blue cards in a tower, and purple cards on top of other cards) Each card may also have additional placement requirements (adjacent to the King, etc.) When a player places a character, they put one of their tokens on it. Many cards have text on them, moving other cards, or sending cards back. When a card sends another card back, it returns to the hand of the player whose token is on the card. Some cards, like the Knight protect other cards from being sent back. The protected character can only be moved if the card protecting it is first moved/sent back. When one player gets rids of all the cards from their hand and deck, they win the game!

Some comments on the game:

1). Components: As always, wooden discs are much more enjoyable to use over plastic ones and there are quite a few discs in this game. The colors are nice, but I put the different colors in separate plastic bags for ease of playing. The cards in this game are extremely nice they are square cards with rounded corners, are of good quality. They are easy to read and shuffle, and the colors that differentiate where each character should go are immensely helpful. The artwork on the cards is extremely nice with a definite fantasy feel. The only cheap feel of the components are the cardboard walls of the castle. The square cards fit on them well, and they dont move around much, but Id rather have a board. Of course, a board wouldnt fit into the small, compact Blue Box, so its quite a minor quibble. Lack of a board keeps the price of the game down, and since the rest of the components are such good quality, I feel a purchaser will certainly get their moneys worth.

2). Rules: The rules are printed on four small pages, but in an easy to read format. The rules are quite simple, but many examples and possible combinations are addressed, making a FAQ unnecessary. The game is extremely easy to teach and learn. It may take a little bit for new players to get used to cards returning to their hands, but after a while, they join in with a vengeance.

3). Players: This is the only Blue Box game I would play with 2 players, and its one of the few games that I will gladly play both with a group of five players, or just two of us. The rules state that a two-player game is very tactical, and last longer, while a five player game is more chaotic and is shorter. This is exactly the case, and I really have a hard time deciding which game I prefer. But I think it makes the game worth getting. If I have a game that I can play with my wife, and one that I can bring out when a group of friends are over and they are the same game then that game is a keeper.

4). Fun Factor: The theme is certainly strong in this one, Luke. Certainly its just a tile placement game but its a blast to play. Probably one of the more fun parts of the game is the Siege Engines vs. Soldiers. If four soldiers are placed in the same wall, they send back the Siege Engine facing that wall. If one Siege Engine faces all four walls, however, all the Soldiers on all walls are sent back. Other fun cards include the Fairy, who sends a card from inside the Castle to the outside, and the Ghost, who sends back a card that he lands on in a Tower. Each card has an interesting ability, and coupled with a fascinating picture, invokes a castle type feel.

If I had to pick only one Blue Box game to get, it would be a hard choice. However, I think in the long run my pick would gravitate towards Castle. A good two-player game that couples as a fun 5-player game is a rare find, and coupled with the inexpensive price and mostly good components, makes Castle a game worth getting. Most people I have taught this game to have enjoyed it on the spot, and want to play again. And since getting others to enjoy board gaming is a high priority of mine, Castle will see play, again and again. Bruno and Serge have produced an excellent little game here, and one that should be in your collection.

Tom Vasel

by Nate
Good for two players, can be very complex.
July 07, 2003

My wife and I have enjoyed Castle ever since I ordered it from this most delightful website almost two months ago. (Do you know how hard it is to get good games in Alaska? What would I do without Funagain?)

This game is simply packaged, wonderfully illustrated, and complex enough to keep you happily perplexed for hours. Lady luck does have a hand in the game, but the since you are allowed to trade cards out of your hand into the Exchange the luck component is minimized. I enjoy the strategy in this game because there isn't one sure route to victory, rather your strategy changes according to the interactions of the cards you are dealt. One game you may be trying to get all of your opponent's cards sent back to thier hand, the next you are trying to protect your own under the benficence of a Priest or Captain. The simple 'board' is fine, it really doesn't detract from the game at all. In short, if you are looking for an inexpensive game that is replayable and enjoyable but also realitively simple, Castle is a good bet.

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