As a kid, I was fascinated with a game called Crossbows and Catapults, which allowed you to build castles with plastic bricks and other building pieces as your opponent did the same – before taking turns to fire the titular weapons at each other’s structures and smash them to pieces!

It was hugely tactile, creative and chaotic. Expansion sets added devastating mythical creatures and new battlefield elements to the game; it was a genius idea overall, brilliantly executed.

Despite re-emerging a few times since the 80s – the game’s 40th anniversary is this year – the magic of Crossbows and Catapults has never properly been replicated.

That said, there’s hardly been an abundance of pretenders to the throne (Weapons and Warriors was a notable, though less creative, option that was well supported upon release in 1993) – but Catapult Feud is here to change that.

Will it succeed? Let’s find out!

From the bold colours and beautifully cartoony aesthetic of the packaging and components, it’s immediately apparent that Catapult Feud is aiming for a more lighthearted feel than the games it takes inspiration from – which took their fantasy medieval battling very seriously.

This is a game that wants you to have fun and essentially provides you with the components to do just that, with minimal rules to get in your way.

If you want, of course, you can simply build your castle opposite your opponent, staff it with your loyal soldier figures and then blast away at each other until one player’s little dudes are all destroyed.

Victory in Catapult Feud occurs when one player knocks over all of their opponent’s soldiers; if a soldier is hit until they’re either tilted or knocked over entirely, they’re removed from the game.

Get rid of all five of your opponent’s figures in this way and it’s game over for them, sweet victory for you.

There’s an advanced game mode, but it’s hardly advanced in the true sense of the word. Here, there’s rules for weapon, brick and soldier placement – plus a rule for the distance between castles – as well as special ability cards.

There are six different abilities in a player’s deck; each player starts with a hand of three cards and can draw another one every time they lose a soldier.

These cards allow players to attack an opponent using their own weapon, to rebuild up to three bricks on their castle and to reposition their soldiers, amongst a few other abilities.

Players can use one card if they choose before they aim and fire their catapult at the opponent; again, in the advanced game the aim is to rid your opponent of their five-strong army of figures.

With such a minimal ruleset, you can be up and running in no time with Catapult Feud.

It’s an exciting, raucous and, naturally, very tactile game. Though the base game doesn’t have a huge number of components – and it can feel a little restrictive after a number of games, in terms of the options you have for building your castle and defending your troops – it’s well supported with numerous inventive expansions that cleverly build on the core experience.

It’s also worth noting that keeping the number of components down also means that the cost of entry is pretty low, so you can get on board and expand the experience if it catches your imagination.

The components are beautifully made too, with a lovely solid construction to all of the pieces – though not so solid that they aren’t able to be manipulated by the lovely little boulders you’ll be firing at the castle walls.

The catapults themselves feel weighty and resilient too; based around a simple design that uses an elastic band that you’ll attach and remove between games, they do seem like they’ll be long lasting and reliable.

The box itself is wonderfully designed; not just from an aesthetic point of view – with that lovely art adorning pretty much every surface – but also from a practicality standpoint too.

There’s a place to secure each of the numerous physical pieces so they don’t rattle around and damage each other during storage or transit – it’s all really nicely, thoughtfully designed.

Oh, and I must mention the whimsically, comically caricatured looks of the game’s armies – giving a real Monty Python and the Holy Grail feel to the kingdom battling fun.

Catapult Feud is a lovely throwback to the tactile, physics-based destruction of games such as Crossbows and Catapults. It has a great deal of personality and feels like good natured, old fashioned fun – despite the competitiveness that’ll undoubtedly arise from two opponents trying to knock each other’s armies into oblivion!

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