Choose the angle of your shot using the mouse. Choose the strength of your shot by clicking and holding the left mouse button. Fire your shot by releasing the left mouse button. To cancel a shot, press 'space'.
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Sandcastle is an entertaining and engrossing castle defense shooting game in which you need to defend your castle from the attacking enemy ships before they can destroy your city. Your city lies below your castle and the enemy ships are approaching from the right side of the screen. You'll need to hit each ship several times to sink it, but while the premise is fairly simple, the game itself can actually be quite difficult depending on your experience level with defense shooting games. Newcomers to this sort of defense shooting game are likely going to have a bit of trouble getting the hang of the controls. The good news for beginners is that the action is fairly slow paced throughout the first few levels allowing you the chance to get used to how the game is played.
The goal of Sandcastle is pretty basic. You simply need to sink all of the enemy ships attacking your city. There will be a different number of ships attacking in each level, some stronger than others. You'll need to make sure you sink all of the ships before you can progress. This can be a bit confusing when you first begin playing the game as it can sometimes be hard to tell which ships you've sunk and which ones are still active. The ship much be at the bottom of the ocean to be considered sunk. Upside down ships are still active. They won't be able to continue firing on your kingdom, but they will still need to be hit again to take them out completely. At the upper right side of the game screen, you'll see the total number of ships you're up against as well as the health status of that ship. Although the name of the ship is not actually shown on the ship, you can generally tell which ship is in what position based on the order of the ships on the list and the position of the ships in the water. When a ship has been sunk, the health bar will be completely black and instead of the ship's name appearing in a white block, it will appear in a gray block.
As you play through a level in Sandcastle you will earn money. This money can be used before and after a level to buy new weapons to help yourself defend against enemy ships. The 'Choose Your Weapons' screen is pretty easy to understand. You have the weapons you can choose with symbols to the left of the picture of the weapon to choose how many of those weapons you'd like to purchase. On the right, there are circles to indicate how many you've selected. You can choose pencils, banana rockets, pebble bombs, tennis balls and soap. Hover your mouse over the image of the weapon to see how much the weapon will cost. For example, if you are interested in buying pencils, you'll hover over the picture and you'll see pencils cost 6 gold per bullet. All of the weapons are sold in single bullet units. The amount of gold you have available to spend is shown at the bottom of the screen. To purchase a weapon, click on the 'plus' sign beside the weapon you want to buy. If you want to purchase two, click the plus sign twice. Continue clicking the plus sign until you have the quantity you want. If you change your mind about the quantity, click on the 'minus' sign.
The new weapons you can purchase in Sandcastle can be a great help, but they're more or less unnecessary in the beginning of the game. Save your money for later levels when the ships are harder to sink. The soap is probably the best weapon as it is fairly easy to fire and delivers a lot of damage points. Tennis balls also deliver a lot of damage but they can be a bit difficult to use. The pebble bomb delivers a lot of damage but is essentially useless for long range shots. The pencils and banana bombs are a great, inexpensive upgrade that deliver decent damage to your enemy ships. Remember, though, at the conclusion to each level, the cost of repairing your kingdom is automatically subtracted from the gold you earned during the level. Save up your money so you can buy the weapons you need later in the game.
More experienced players looking for a challenge can try to make it through the seven levels in Sandcastle without purchasing any additional upgrades at all. It makes the game much more challenging. Every ship in the game can be taken out with rocks alone. It just takes a little more time and it's quite a bit harder to win. Even so, if you're finding the game is just too easy, don't use any new weapons you've purchased and don't purchase any more. You'll still be able to beat the game if you're patient and really work at getting the angles right to hit your targets.
Overall, Sandcastle is an excellent castle defense shooting game that offers something for everyone regardless of skill or experience level. Even without upgrading weapons, those who are skilled in this kind of shooting game might find it a little easy, but give it a shot anyway. If nothing else, it's a good game to kill a little time with. Less experienced players are going to have a hard time getting through later levels in the game, but with patience and a few good weapons, this game is entirely beatable; even for beginners. Focus on finding the right angles to hit your targets and using the right strength for your shot. Using too much or too little force, even if your angle is dead on, will cause you to miss your target. If you're a fan of shooting games or a fan of strategy games, this one is definitely worth checking out.