Castle Panic Game



I read about Castle Panic over at Stone Soup for Five and immediately knew this was a board game we needed to add to our collection.  So I made the excuse of buying it for Jeff for Father’s Day.

Castle panic a great way to work together and have fun

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I was right, Castle Panic has been a perfect game for our family.


How to Play Castle Panic

Castle panic conceptCastle Panic is a cooperative game, we are all working together to stop the monsters from destroying the castle walls and the towers.  At your turn you, trade, discard, and draw to get the most cards you can play.

Castle Panic turn

Everyone plays with their cards face-up, and on your turn you can trade 1 card, discard and draw another card, and then play any cards you have to do damage to the monsters.  Different types of soldiers are able to hurt monsters at different levels.

There are actually 3 different ways to play Castle Panic:

  1. Everyone together, no points.  In this version you all work together to kill the monsters, and you don’t worry about who got the most points for actually delivering the killing blow.
  2. Everyone together with points.  For this version of Castle Panic, you want to be the person who delivers the killing blow, so you might be less willing to trade and help out other players.  This version would be more difficult because you are trying to both make sure the castle isn’t destroyed, AND you get the most credit for kills.
  3. Everyone against one player.  We haven’t looked at this version at all, but one player controls the monsters and is trying to destroy the castle.  Since neither Jeff, nor I, are fans of all against one games, we haven’t tried this version at all.

Castle Panic for large groups

So far we’ve only played version 1, and even everyone working our best together to win, we’ve almost lost a couple of times because of timing of the monsters.

Castle Panic Strategy

In games like this, there are two different strategies:

  1. Play through cards as rapidly as possible, and plan to discard and use as frequently as you can.  This is usually referred to as “card cycling games.”
  2. Hold special cards and try to play them at “the right time.”

Castle Panic

I’ve never had much luck with the try to time the cards, but card cycling where you play cards as frequently as you can, no matter what works for us.

Specific tips for Castle Panic in light of card cycling:

  1. Use the barbarian often.  There is one in the deck, and he can fight anywhere.  The most effective use of the “dumpster dive” card is digging up the barbarian card.
  2. Unless you specifically see a mortar AND brick out, ditch your mortar or brick card in favor of drawing a different possibly usable NOW card.
  3. Reinforce takes one card, verses rebuilding a wall taking two, always reinforce when that card shows up.
  4. Go for the kill, not wounding.  Spreading your damage around to all of the monsters is a fool’s game.  There are cards that heal, and I’ve noticed you always draw that token right after you’ve damaged, but not killed the monster.
  5. Think strategically.  Trade for where the monsters might be in a few turns.

protect your towers to win Castle Panic

You win Castle Panic if you have AT LEAST 1 tower still standing after you’ve killed all of the monsters.  So far, fingers crossed, in 10 times of playing we’ve never completely lost a game.  We’ve won with 1 tower standing, but it’s been crazy crazy close.

Castle Panic with kids

Buying Castle Panic

I bought our copy of Castle Panic at our local comic store.  I’ve also seen it at Barnes and Noble, and obviously it’s available at Amazon for about $25.  There’s an expansion for it called Castle Panic: The Wizard’s Tower which all 3 of my kids have pointed out to me on a fairly regular basis.  The boys are arguing for us to get Dead Panic, but I’m not a big zombie fan, so they may lose that argument.


10 responses to “Castle Panic Game”

  1. Do you think my older kids would like it as well? They are “okay” with Forbidden Island but I notice that they don’t play it much. Do you think they would like this, or is it mostly for younger kids?

    1. I’d think they would. They would probably enjoy the “Cooperative-Competitive” version where you are trying to get the most monsters killed, which makes the game a bit more hard.
      I really enjoy the game too and so does Tara and Josh (who are thinking about getting their own copy).

  2. I do wish we played more games in our house. Neither Gary or I were brought up with games so it is not a natural option. This one looks great though!

    1. Oh you really should try them, they’re so much fun.

      To be honest, I didn’t play many games as a kid because my brother and I were both too competitive. I remember one particularly painful game of Monopoly ended with the board being thrown across the room. Then he got into Risk and was just miserable to play with.

  3. Hmm I like castle themes but not so much monsters…

    1. But you’re fighting the bad guys!

  4. After playing through our games while packing, I realized we have way to many games that we barely ever play. They’re sort of like science kits – they all look so fabulous in their boxes…I just can’t resist, even though I know they almost never turn out to be as much fun as I hope they will…I just can’t help myself 🙂 If your children like cooperative games, they might like WildCraft from

    1. I’ve been eyeing it ever since you wrote about it on your site. It really does look pretty cool.

      I know what you mean about games, it’s part of why I instituted Friday as game day for our homeschool, so we actually play all of them. But, we need to make some rounds of cutting down on games, our shelves are overflowing.

  5. This looks like something we might like. Would the game be fun to play with 3 people?

    1. Yes, I think as long as you have at least 3 players it could be pretty fun. I’ve occasionally played with just the boys and it worked pretty well.

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