Why are those two knights fighting? Oh, they have different shields.
Castle Keep is another game from Gamewright, who make a pretty impressive range of games for kids/families which are often available in high street toy shops, which has to be a good thing. This one has been on my radar for a while, but we have only just got hold of a copy and played it.
So the game is about trying to lay tiles to complete construction of a castle in a 3-by-3 grid, with towers in the corners, walls connecting the towers, and a keep in the middle. The trick is that tiles come in three colours, and the walls and towers are each in one of three shapes, and you have to match adjacent colours and shapes to each other. You can also knock down sections of an opponent’s castle by playing a matching tile onto them.
Miss B is not generally a fan of direct conflict in games, so we played a game where we were just racing to build a castle. It took a couple of turns to fully get to grips with the shape matching (round towers match with wavy walls, diamond towers to zigzag walls, and square towers to straight walls) but then we were off in full flow with Miss B winning, before insisting that I took some extra turns to make sure I could finish my own castle.
We discussed introducing the attack rules for a second game and Miss B decided to keep them out. Then a few turns in, she spotted that she could knock half of my castle down in one go, developed a twinkle in her eye and announced that she had changed her mind and that it would be OK to do attacks.
The verdict from Miss B (aged nearly 6): “I won two games of Castle Keep. It was really fun and we took a few photos. In the first game we didn’t do attacking. In the second game we played a bit and then we decided that we’d do attacking. The best bet about the game was doing the attacking and building the walls. And I would really like to play it again.”
The game: Castle Keep (Gamewright), 2 to 4 players aged 8+.