I am truly a masochist for deciding to write about Defend Your Castle. I mean, who on earth would willingly subject themselves to the task of typing an article, when their fingers and wrists have been mangled beyond repair in just five minutes spent reacclimating to this diabolical browser-based Flash game? This harbinger of repetitive strain injuries? This annihilator of tendons and ligaments and souls?
I now realise there was a reason I hadn’t played Defend Your Castle in about 15 years.
It seems completely harmless, and — dare I say it — even enjoyable at first sight. Defend Your Castle is a browser game all about, well, defending your castle from endless legions of stick-figure invaders. There are all sorts of weapons and upgrades you can unlock that help you to deal with the ever-increasing tide of enemies, but your primary weapon will always be to pick up each invader with your cursor, and toss them into the air so that they come crashing down in a puddle of blood. A bloodle, if you will.
The thing is, this action of clicking and then dragging violently upwards is not a familiar one for most mouse-users. Not when you’re doing it twice a second (and that is very much the pace you’ll need to set once you get past the first few levels). There’s some pretty fun stuff that you can unlock as time goes on; from the Temple, which allows you to convert enemies by dragging them into your castle, to the Mana Pool, which allows you to train these converts as wizards that can rain devastation down from the battlements. But none of it’s worth the agony I’m now feeling.
There’s even a button you can click on between levels that says “Sore Wrist?”, which I assume once opened up a webpage showing off some sort of gel wrist rest, but now if you click on it, you’re just brought to a “Page Not Found”. There’s some sort of message in that, but my fingers are too messed up to type it.
If your joints still enjoy the suppleness and vigour of youth, then maybe you’d like to give Defend Your Castle a go. Or, if you’re flush with cash, you can buy a slightly spiffier version from Steam. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go bathe my hands in some warm water and bath salts.