Playing time: 45 minutes
Castle Panic is a co-operative game. It’s pretty straightforward, and if you haven’t played many boardgames then it would be a good place to start.
The idea is that you are holed up in a tower in the middle of the forest, being attacked by orcs and goblins and trolls. If they get too close to the tower then they start knocking over walls, and if all the walls fall down then you lose. Your task, therefore, is to defeat the attackers before they get too close. It’s harder than it seems.
The board is arranged as a series of rings around your central castle. Each turn, the orcs and goblins and trolls move one ring closer, and the player whose turn it is uses cards to kill or drive back the attackers. Part of the skill lies in swapping cards so that each player will have the right cards for where the monsters are in their turn.
The fact that it’s cooperative means that someone can easily miss a go without ruining the game. I rather like the fact that the castle is made out of little cardboard walls which actually stand up. These need to be kept out of the reach of small people, but there aren’t many other pieces to present a choking hazard.
Summary: as long as you prevent the baby from eating the castle, Castle Panic is definitely worth a try.