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Game review: 'Castle Dash' provides a fun family board-game experience

By Cody Carlson

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8 2012 2:05 p.m. MDT

Storming castles and stealing treasure is at the heart of 5th Street Games' new family board game, “Castle Dash."

In “Castle Dash,” three to six players defend their castles and assault enemies in an attempt to scale their opponents' walls.

Players take turns positioning their soldiers for battle against their neighbors, or claiming armory cards to give them added bonuses in battle. After thinning out the enemy with cannonballs, each player rolls a four-sided die. Results are added to the number of each player's soldiers on the board and the highest number wins.

Victory allows players to scale their opponents' walls. As soon as you have three soldiers on the enemy's walls you can loot them and steal their treasure. The first player to take three treasures from their enemies wins the game.

With its small, unpretentious box and cartoon theme, “Castle Dash” is a deceptively simple game that nevertheless requires strategy and the ability to manage resources. Players must decide if they want to throw soldiers into battle or sacrifice them for the advantages of the armory cards. Also, deciding where to place soldiers can be key to victory and forces players to make tough choices.

Unfortunately, this game's simplicity is also its weakness. The brief rulebook contains some ambiguous rules that could use some clarification. When playing “Castle Dash” my friends and I had to come up with a few house rules in order to clarify a few points. Additionally, for three- and five-player games a central castle is added in the center of the board. This mechanic is a little clunky, and takes away from the fun of directly challenging your opponents.

Still, despite its faults, designer Trevor Clifford has created a fun, fast-paced game that is family-friendly and is suitable for players 8 years and older.

Cody K. Carlson holds a master's degree in history from the University of Utah and currently teaches at Salt Lake Community College. He is also the codeveloper of the History Challenge iPhone/iPad apps. Email: ckcarlson76@gmail.com

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