GTM #275 - Castle Panic 2e
by Fireside Games


Castle Panic 2e Box art by Fireside Games 

On September 16, 2009, Castle Panic went on sale in retail stores around the world. Since then, countless families and friend groups have felt the thrilling tension of defending their Castles against the hordes of Monsters streaming in from the forest. And they’ve let us know.

“One orc inside the tower ring at the end nearly wrecked us. Used ‘Draw Two Cards’ and turned up ‘Drive Him Back’ to save the day!”

“I hear the theme to Jaws every time Monsters get into the Castle ring.”

“Soooo many close calls, but we pulled ahead for the win!”

In our house, a new tradition arose on Thanksgiving and Christmas: responding in real time to social media posts about how close the defenders came to winning or losing and to the occasional rules query. (“What happens to the Boulder if the Wall and Tower are missing in the arc rolled?”)

Castle Panic components

It’s a true joy to see how much delight Castle Panic brings to everyone. After 13 years, though, it was time for a refresh. Setting the art direction was challenging. Justin wanted to make sure the art style reflected the game play and invited both families and adult game groups into the experience. He went through numerous portfolios until he landed on Tad Lambert. His art style was perfect for the game: not too dark and not too comedic, approachable, and reminiscent of art from an animated film. His art set the tone, and artists Anthony Cournoyer, Justin Chan, Jakab Ferdinánd, Javier Guzman, Maggie Ivy, Brittany Pezzillo, and Quel helped us meet the deadlines. The results were exactly what we hoped for. 

In November last year, we rolled out the second edition of Castle Panic with all new art and are so happy with the response. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a sample of the art.

Card art for Castle Panic 2e

In addition to the new art, we’ve made changes to the graphic design to better support color-blind players and struggling readers. Fans will also notice a change to the die and thicker cards.

Crowns and Quests box art by Fireside Games

We also rolled out the newest expansion, Crowns and Quests. Every expansion changes up the game, but this expansion ratchets the changes to a whole new level. It comes with 18 Quests, each of which has its own win condition. Instead of trying to slay all of the Monsters, the Monsters recycle and just keep coming while your group tries to meet the unique goal for the Quest in play. You might search for evil temples, hunt assassins, destroy magical stones that usher Monsters in closer to the Castle Towers, teleport the Castle to safety, lock down the frontier, cut off the Monster army at its source, protect evacuees, search for magical scrolls, and more. Each Quest is a blast and adds to the replayability of the game.

Crowns and Quests also comes with 12 new characters with special abilities. The characters represent the royal court, including King Aiden, Queen Seraphina, a war strategist, a merchant, an architect, a wise woman, a huntress, and an oracle. Each player chooses a character out of two randomly presented, choosing based on the ability of the characters. Abilities include dealing extra damage, drawing 3 Monsters and choosing which 2 come into play, building Walls with a single Brick or Mortar card, changing the color or range of the Hit card, and more. Each player will also roll the die to see which Castle Tower you reside in. If that Tower is ever destroyed, you either move to an unoccupied Tower or lose your ability.

November also brought the second edition of Castle Panic Big Box to store shelves. The Big Box is a great way to get the base game, all 4 expansions, and all 13 of the existing promos (7 cards and 6 Towers). Not only does this give you everything in 1 well organized box, but it also comes at a price less than buying each game individually.

 The Wizard's Tower box art by Fireside Games

This month, we’re rolling out the second edition of The Wizard’s Tower. This expansion first hit the market in 2011 and is a fan favorite. It adds flying Monsters, fire, and a Wizard’s Tower attached to a deck of magic spells. As long as the Wizard’s Tower is standing, you and your team can draw from the Wizard’s deck to cast spells to protect your Castle and attack the marauding Monsters. Fire can be used to damage the Monsters, and some Monsters can weaken the Castle with flaming attacks.

The Dark Titan box art by Fireside Games

In February, the second edition of The Dark Titan will be available for sale. That expansion introduces Agranok, an 8-point big baddie that is summoned by Heralds and accompanied by Elite Monsters, Goblin Saboteurs, a troll with explosives, and more. Your group can fight back with a Cavalier, Boiling Oil, and Support tokens. If you get Support tokens to the Castle safely, you’ll be able to draw cards, rebuild walls, or damage Monsters.

March will see the second edition of Engines of War. This beloved expansion adds an Engineer who can be assigned tasks and given resource cards to build Catapults, Ballistas, Spring Traps, Barricades, and more. And you’ll need them to defend against the new Monsters and their Siege Engines.

Castle Panic has been the gateway game for so many players. If you’re new to the world of Castle Panic, welcome! You’re in for a great time!


Anne-Marie is co-owner of Fireside Games, which has been in operation since 2009. She handles all business functions, sales, and marketing and has designed 4 titles in the catalog, Bears!, Bears!: Trail Mix’d, The Village Crone, and Munchkin Panic.