Every child needs something to do during downtime.
Castle building games encourage players to think critically and strategize as they plan long-term goals for success.
As such, this genre is more desirable than some of the other gaming content that is available.
What are the best castle building games? The best castle building games are those which allow players to plan, lead, manage and grow whole cities, villages, and towns. At its core should be an invitation to not just explore your artistic talents but also to tap into your architectural and geopolitical ambitions. Castle building games are generally acknowledged to be the outlets for that kind of expression.
Here is a comprehensive list of the best building games – both old and new – and some information on what it is that makes them tick.
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
Developer: Keen Software House
An aspect of building towns and cities often taken for granted, especially by the laymen among us, is that construction is continually evolving but the basic principles generally remain the same.
The growth and management strategies that are required to deliver on a city or town building mandate do not vary that much, regardless of the age in which that construction is taking place.
However, for the purposes of this blog-post, we shall center our attention on the games which feature historical settings because that is when most castles were built – in the very distant past.
There is compelling evidence to suggest that those games of a historical nature are as popular now as they were back in the late sixties when the Sumer Game was first rolled out.
The focus of the 2017 digital reboot is the same as the original board game, simulate the experiences and exploits of early rulers.
Developer: Keen Software House
Medieval Engineers is a sandbox-style open-world game that allows players to be engineers, construct, and maintain their architectural designs.
Players can build castles, mine underground, and create mechanical devices that help them further their goals.
This game really focuses on the construction element of gaming, encouraging players to use their creativity to engineer castles, fortifications, and defenses.
Features of the game include:
– Building with Structural Integrity
– Fully Interactive Virtual World
– Voxel Terraforming
– Limitless Exploration
The game attempts to be as authentic as possible, using real medieval technology and methods of construction for the period.
It is still under early access, giving the player the opportunity to offer feedback as it’s development is finalized.
Platforms: PC, MAC
Developer: Firefly Studios
Stronghold is a mission-driven castle sim game that allows players to design, build, and destroy historical castles.
There are 21 missions in all with four Lords to defeat along the way. Player activity can be shaped by full campaigns or smaller missions.
Campaigns can be either military or economic. Missions will call for breaking sieges, capturing, enemy castles, raising gold, and holding off enemy attacks.
Key features include the ability to:
– Design and build your own castle, complete with a working economy
– Build a dream castle in a combat-free economic campaign
– View the entire battlefield on a single screen
That went on to be called Hamurabi – loosely based on the exploits of the ancient Babylonian King.
– Steam Cloud support
Remember, the games on this list are for varying age groups. You will need to decide what you think is the best purchase for your child.
Parental Advice: This is definitely for older kids, some parents may decide it’s not appropriate for their home at all. Do your due diligence.
Developer: Monte Cristo Multimedia
The slogan for this game is build, defend, expand. That sums up what this game is all about.
Medieval Lords places an emphasis on the castle building and city building element of the game.
It’s not all about gearing up for war. More emphasis is placed on problem-solving within the limitations of space and time.
In doing so, interdependencies are given their due in a well thought out manner.
When one problem is solved, another one pops up. The game allows players to customize their experience through map design.
Some of the rules in the campaigns can also be changed in minor ways and to make missions easier or more challenging.
Developer: Shining Rock Software
Banished is a very popular city-building strategy game. The player controls a group of exiled travelers who have to begin their lives anew in a different place.
They have few supplies, and their peers are their primary resource to survive and prosper.
Their success or failure will be based on the player’s ability to appropriately manage the group’s resources and mitigate the risks with which they are posed.
Each town built will be different and there are over 20 different occupations that people in the city can perform.
Therefore, no single strategy will succeed in every map. With a castle mode available, this game can be a lot of fun for someone seeking a castle building game.
This received a series of mixed reviews from critics around the world.
The game has been declared suitable for anybody who is fifteen years or older. That is to say, teenagers and adults.
Young children should not be exposed to social unrest and resultant violence that feature prominently in this game.
While there is never really a bad time for children to learn about the complexities and strategies that come with governance and people management, it is hard to say if any of that will be lost on young children who try to play this game – although we would advise against it anyway.
Users, who have reacted most positively to the game highlighted the graphics of this latest offering in the series as being among its more compelling features – an element which maybe sets it apart from other games in the genre, a genre which remains as competitive as ever.
It is hard for graphics to stand out in a game building genre where historical content is still king.
People still love castles, for the mystical element that they bring and the architectural genius that often comes with the territory.
So, even if you are primarily interested in castles, it would probably be prudent for you to at the very least dabble in Tropico 6, just for a different yet compelling perspective.
The opportunity to build on islands is also a compelling and prominent feature of this game and is possibly what sets it apart from others.
The archipelago theme is one that never really gets old and does not require that much innovation, or so it is felt by some.
Look this one over carefully to decide if it’s right for you.
Clans to Kingdoms
Developer: Clans to Kingdoms
This is definitely for older kids, some parents may decide it’s not appropriate for their home at all. Do your due diligence.
This game is produced by a small group of enthusiasts who share the name of the game. At its heart, is the construction and development of ancient settlements.
Historically, there have been several small, seemingly insignificant clans that have developed into extraordinary empires that created legacies that are still commented on today – most of them celebrated for their exploits.
Formally establishing an empire is no longer a popular geopolitical option around the world, although some leaders try to defy the norms.
This idea of growing and expanding a Kingdom still lives in the hearts and souls of many though and this game provides the ideal platform on which to turn those desires into a reality.
The establishment of Kingdoms often – almost always – encourages warfare and requires armies with which to realize those objectives.
The game comes in single and multiplayer modes and is, in essence, a turn-based strategy and highly cerebral game.
There is not a whole lot of information out there on how well the game has been received.
Nor is there any meaningful detail on the level of the violence there is and whether it is age-appropriate.
However, we would suggest you conduct some meaningful research of your own before making this purchase.
Developer: Blue Byte
The latest in a series of seven, this game has been met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction.
The Industrial Revolution is generally accepted as one of the most defining periods in modern history.
Some countries missed that revolution completely, while others thrived because of it.
There were liberators, there were conquerors, there were exploiters and there were genuine innovators – people who do not always receive the limelight they deserve for their contribution to mankind during this period.
This game offers you a glorious opportunity to be a part of that history and to write your own script.
Those in the know are calling this the best game of the series, by a country mile primarily because it manages to strike the perfect balance between complexity and simplicity.
That is to say, it remains compelling enough for more experienced campaigners to remain interested and straightforward enough for newcomers to wholeheartedly embrace the franchise.
Whether it be castles, palaces, factories or just forts, this game offers an opportunity for the player to produce an architectural masterpiece.
Dawn of Man
Platforms: PC, Mac
Developer: Madruga Works
One man’s home is another man’s castle. This particular game is not strictly about castles, by any stretch of the imagination really.
It is about more than that. It is about building a city and building and developing the art of survival.
However, it does have a historical context and that is important. The setting for this game is the Paleolithic to the Iron Age period.
A major component of building a home or a city is ensuring that there is a constant supply of food and water and that adequate defensive mechanisms are in place to protect against the elements and potential raiders.
That is essentially what castles have always been set out to do – protect the inhabitants of the city or even village.
Those core principles of national security are just as relevant in this game as they are in any other game that involves the actual building of castles. It is just not as glamorous.
The reviews for that game have been good, from critics and users alike.
The two overarching themes when reading through those reviews are the notion that this game does present a meaningful challenge and more importantly it is probably for those who have a genuine love for civilization.
Castles, whatever we might think of them now in the 21st century, are at the very core of what civilization is all about.
There is also the sentiment that this game is genuine value for your buck.
Since the start of the decade this city and community building genre had been dominated by Sci-Fi and Contemporary gaming, with some historical work in between all of that.
However, a consistently top performer during the early years of this decade was the genre within a genre called Fantasy Gaming.
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom
Platforms: PC, Mac
Developer: Blue Byte
This game was among the more compelling games for this genre during that period. Released in 2010, the game garnered critical acclaim and even received a series of awards for its efforts.
For the experts, this game just ticked so many of the critical boxes.
Anybody who has tried to start and maintain a franchise of any kind will tell you that it is an enormous, sometimes even back-breaking undertaking.
The fact that the developers of this game produced nine in the series is jaw-dropping stuff.
The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom is the ninth game in that series. It is a series about building kingdoms and developing the right strategy to realize that objective.
Part and parcel of building Kingdoms, especially in old Europe, was building fortresses. Many of those fortresses were castles and there are many of those in this game.
Castles are at the heart of the cultural identity which defines this game series.
Sacking castles in the pursuit of that empire is also a fun component of the game in question.
You will probably find that the general overview about castles, wherever they might be, has to do with pictures. Well, it is the graphics of this set that make the game stand out more than most.
An overwhelming number of critics and users who reviewed this particular game will tell you as much.
Building sandcastles can be fun but kicking them over can be equally as compelling. Some say, there is just something so addictive about building a colony.
A World of Keflings
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Wii U
Developer: Ninja Bee
Another game that made a tremendous splash in 2010, which also has city and kingdom building at the heart of it.
The ratings for this game were favorable, to say the least, where the player’s primary role is to help small people build up and beautify their kingdom.
There is a certain level of ego massage that comes with the territory there and that is not entirely misplaced.
At the end of it all, the big prize is to build a Kefling Castle. The giants in this game are known to build the best of these structures.
The user and critic consensus appears to be that World of Keflings is a vast improvement on the original game (A Kingdom for Keflings), and is thus more compelling and more addictive, whether you be on your Xbox, Windows or even Wii.
Three separate kingdoms are at the heart of this adventure and they include the Ice Kingdom, the Forest Kingdom, and the Desert Kingdom.
All of them require a different skillset and motivation to help realize some of the more pressing castle-building challenges.
This is where you will get a firmer handle on just how extensive your creative capacity actually is. Are you dynamic? Because you will need to be in this game.
Parental Advice: Children should be able to play this game without parents having too many qualms about it. However, parents should review it first to confirm.
Platforms: PC, Mac
Developer: Impressions Games
If anything, the Roman Empire was an example of colossal human achievement, which came to be defined by its architectural brilliance. That legacy lives on today.
It is often said that Rome wasn’t built in a day, well no empire ever was.
However, would it not be grand to at the very least imagine what it was like to build something so grand? This game offers up that opportunity and much more.
Caesar III, as a game, had just as significant an impact on users and critics alike.
Anything which follows this subject matter is bound to succeed, whether it be a television series, movie or game. It is exceedingly difficult to get this kind of project wrong.
This is a game that should be reviewed carefully before considering if it is right for your home.
Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, and others
Honorable mention for one of the all-time classics.
Rebuilding was a common theme during the final decade of the last century, whether that be through the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1991, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990 or indeed the introduction of the SimCity franchise in 1989.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was a cultural revolution of epic proportions. Upon its release, the game was available on single-player and multiplayer platforms.
The game became the best-selling Maxis title on PC, until the eventual release of the series spin-off The Sims in 2000.
It is hard to find a more compelling story of commercial success in gaming history. Even if there have been better commercial successes, you cannot deny the profound legacy that the developers of the game have left behind.
The basic principles of the game are simple, yet complicated.
Ask any City Mayor alive and they will tell you that being elected the new Mayor was always going to be the easy part and that delivering on that mandate was always going to be the nightmare.
When you function as a Mayor (Player) in SimCity, your primary mandate is to build a city, develop basic transit links, generate power and deliver basic services.
These are things that all politicians assure you they can provide.
Very few of them ever deliver in this regard. You will find, when you start playing any version of Sims, there is a clear distinction between making a promise and subsequently delivering on that promise.
There is absolutely nothing stopping you from building a castle in that city either.
The game allows your imagination to run wild. It was entertainment but it also provided immense educational value.
It was certainly the best computer strategy game of its time and its legacy has been secured for the long term.
That legacy includes – but is not limited to – SimEarth, SimFarm, SimTown, Streets of SimCity, SimCopter, SimAnt, SimLife, SimIsle, SimTower, SimPark, SimSafari, and The Sims, in addition to the unreleased SimsVille and SimMars.
Parental Guidance: The general consensus is that any child above ten should be able to and allowed to play this game.
You should do your own due diligence before allowing any form of media into your home, including video games.