Castle of the Hills is a decent little defensive siege. Even on tedman333’s recommended setting of hard it tends to be of a slightly easy to beat nature. Overall however, it is a solid piece of work.
Playability 4/5 this is a well-put together map and the AI performs flawlessly. After the siege engines are deployed the AI will move completely around the castle and launch a full-scale assault on the outer defensive wall closest to the Keep. A nice touch as you realize as they are marching around you, that you have positioned your archers in the wrong place and now have to scramble to reposition them. Game play is smooth and went off without a hitch. I was able to achieve victory on the recommended difficulty setting, on my first attempt with only 49% losses to my defending troops. This is due to a few too many ballistic units on top of the castle walls. Although the attacking troops were able to break through the outer defenses, by that point they were no match for the defending troops inside the castle.
Balance 3/5 As stated above just too many Archers making up the bulk of the defensive units. There is some challenge involved in this map but not enough to contribute to any replay ability. The attacking force is very well balanced and is probably one of the best features this map has to offer. Kill pits are in abundance and would have been better put to use if they had been less sporadic and more strategically placed.
Creativity 3/5 Standard, Nothing remarkable yet nothing abhorrent either, just a decent, average investment.
Map Design 3/5 a sturdy well designed and very defensible castle. Some effort has been made at terrain modeling but on this particular map the author could have put in some more effort. There is nothing that feels very inspired here. There also seemed to be a problem with the drawbridge to the Keep. This drawbridge has a stone gateway on one end and a wood gateway on the other. This design seemed to have a confusing effect on troop movement commands over the drawbridge. To save my game I was forced to demolish the bridge in order to move troops to my own Keep!
Story/Instructions 3/5 a lot of work is needed in this category. Both the launch page and the download description page lack any real effort. A tiny paragraph of a story that is hard to follow due to several grammatical errors. Tedman333 isn’t English your first language? For Shame my good fellow! – Just teasing.
In Short- Castle of the Hills is an earlier work by this author. Later submits like Arrowhead Castle are very fine work. I suppose I expected the same level due to the word Update in the title. This is a solid job and although nothing fancy is a decent effort at a standard defensive siege map.