This is a lovely, tactile game that is very reminiscent of the old “boxes” game you would play with a sheet of squared/graph paper before proper games were invented. The concept is to place interconnecting pieces representing walls and turrets to build a castle. Winning is based on created enclosed areas with the more turrets involved, the better. So if you place a square of walls with a turret at each corner, you score 4 points; if an extra turret is in the middle of one of the walls then the square scores 5 instead; and so on. A hand of cards restricts what combination of walls and turrets are available in your turn. So it’s a very simple game to pick up but one that allows for some interesting game-play as you design more complicated and so higher-scoring castles.
One minor niggle – there is a double-point option you can choose to play which I feel doesn’t fit well in the otherwise smooth rules. When you put an ownership marker in a courtyard, you can choose to put two in for double points (once per game). Just seems an arbitrary way of boosting the score. If someone creates a high-scoring area, they can double the score and make them even harder to catch. Of course, there is a lot of thought to be put into when to double up as you only get once chance but I see it as unnecessary.
The game is not out yet – give it a few weeks – as the Ogre Kickstarter got in the way. The crowd-sourcing project was so successful that resources had to be redirected from Castellan to Ogre.