A fun uncomplicated game of middle age warfare
The game is very easy to learn and play. The interface is pretty intuitive, and the game focuses on simplicity. You should definitly turn Plots on because they add a few fun little twists to the game. The main selling point of the game though is it's simplicity and ease of use.
The Castles really are not important from a military stand point. They make it harder to defend in my opinion (although maybe if you turned battles off and just had the computer simulate them it would help.) The castles are basically only useful in stopping revolutions and helping the economy.
I would also like them to make up there minds for the settings. They say it is the fictional land of "Brittania", yet all the names of provinces and opponents are from France. Why not just say it happened France?
The Bottom Line
In my review for the game "HyperBlade" I made a food analogy, with Hyperblade as a snack and games like "SimCity 2000" as a full course meal. If I was to continue this analogy I would call "Castles II: Seige and Conquest" a light dinner. That is really the games main strength and weakness.
It is a strenth because everybody can play. You don't have to get bogged down with statistics or complicated moves. There are only so many opions and only so many tasks availible. The warfare only has three main units and seige weapons (which you can only have one of each). This makes the game simple, not easy mind you, but simple.
This is a weakness only if you really want something a little more complicated. It also kind of limits your attention. I have played this game for hours, but usually I play it a lot then stopped for several months before coming back. The replay value is limited I think by the simplistic nature of the game.
The graphics are decent. The audio is very good. The little videos are actually pretty amazing. They are a nice touch, and a good reference. It is amazing that they can run really well on a very low powered 486 (25 mHz, 8 meg RAM).
This game is fun and enjoyable. At the dirt cheap prices it is available for now, (It is also in the Interplay 15th anniversary Anthology) I would reccommend picking up a copy.