Citadels – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy Sim
Developer: Games Distillery
Publisher: bitComposer Games
Platform: PC

Citadels – Review

Site Score
Good: The architecture
Bad: A huge list of bugs and poorly executed elements
User Score
(5 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.8/10 (5 votes cast)

The Arthurian Legend, a quite interesting history for many. Games Distillery tries to bring the legend to life with their newest game: Citadels. Relive the legend as the Knights of the Round Table or try to conquer Arthur as an army of invaders! Did I get you psyched? Well… don’t get too excited just yet.



The story is divided in 2 sections. The first one is, you play as the Knights of the Round Table while Lord Mordred has put a bounty on Arthur. In this mode you have to uphold your kingdom, Camelot, against the forces of Lord Guthrum who has accepted the bounty from Mordred.

The second one is, you play as the forces of Lord Guthrum. In this mode you play the opposite team. Here you have to breach the defenses King Arthur has put up for you.

At every beginning of a mission the game shows you some paintings with a little bit of backstory (none of it is spoken and the text might progress a little too fast for some players), followed by a screen with again some story and the objectives. It’s mainly in the missions itself that you get to see that story (or at least, that’s what they would have loved to achieve).



The graphics are clearly not modern. Changing the settings doesn’t do too much either. It looks like a game that was made in 2005. I might be able to understand that they would try to get you nostalgic with the graphics, so that it would feel more that you are inside the game. But that just doesn’t work very well.

Everything looks really lifeless and the used color palette is pretty dark. For example, although the flora looks pretty good, the grass is just a set of flat tiles that are painted green. The villagers and some military units are basically the same grey as the stone underground which your Town Hall is stationed on, so it’s really difficult to spot them. At least a few military units have some colored accents on them.  But then again, all the units look very puppet-ish and lifeless.

On the other hand, the architecture is pretty neat, with that you could build a good-looking city. It looks like the developers put most of their time into creating the buildings when you compare it to the rest.


On the main menu, the game presents you with a rather basic soundtrack, which does (don’t get me wrong) fit in the medieval setting, but nothing too memorable. Once in-game there isn’t much music anymore, most of it is just some mellow music and a percussion instrument, the medieval feeling has gone a bit lost here.

Selecting buildings result in (mostly) logical sounds, except for a few buildings. Like the houses don’t make a sound at all and the storage building’s sound is picked rather random.



The idea of the developers was to create a more Sim-like Real-Time Strategy. Mostly the mechanics are the same as any RTS: gather resources, build your fortress, get an army, etc. etc., only the developers wanted it to feel a bit more realistic.
For example, every time you want to construct something, one of the selected villagers will fetch the resources in your Town Hall or a Storage building, whichever one is closer. But some missions require you to conquer a piece of land and then settle some buildings there. You could build a Storage first, but if your villagers are already there, one has to walk all the way back to the nearest resourceful building to gather the resources. So you have to send some militia with them, there is no following function, you have to actually follow your militia in case things go south. There are signs on the map that show you where a unit gets attacked, but because that indicator disappears in less than 2 seconds it’s very easily missed. Once a building is constructed it is possible (after you upgraded your Town Hall at least once) to upgrade it, at this point they seem to forget it’s a Sim-like RTS because the building starts upgrading itself.

Your villagers are the only units that need to be created, they do everything: You have to construct buildings with them, you have to gather resources with them and if you want military units, you have to select the kind of unit you desire inside the barracks e.g. and then send your villagers to the barracks. It’s possible to return military units back to villagers when you select them. With that said, there isn’t anything else to create except for villagers, so the Town Hall will keep creating them until your population has reached capacity (with a maximum of only 99 units by the way).


You have to build resource buildings in the second age that refine all your primary resources, every 10 resources become 3 of the refined ones. Wheat becomes bread, wood becomes plank, stone becomes stone block and iron becomes weapon. There is really no point in making you do this, they could just make everything thrice as expensive, it just consumes time for no reason.

But not too fast. Of course you need your primary resources first. That should be easy right? No. Wood is scattered over the entire map, so you can’t miss it. You’ll have to construct a Lumberman Den, but surprise, only 6 people can work here. In age two you’ll be able to upgrade it which will raise the limit by 3 and again the same in age three. So if you want a lot of wood in a short time, you’ll have to construct multiple Dens. Farming is pretty easy, you construct a farm and then have unlimited wheat, except that only 3 people can work here, without upgrades. Then stone and iron, if you play this game for the first time, you won’t find iron anywhere. The map has no fog of war, instead, the map is revealed but of course the enemy is hidden. So the first time you play you’re like: “cool, I can see everything, let’s scroll the map for some iron.” since stone was already within your reach at the beginning, supposedly finding iron wouldn’t be hard. Of course not only the enemy is hidden on the map but so are iron and stone. You’ll have to scout them before they become visible (/facepalm). After a while you’ll recognize some familiar looking places (at the bottom of some cliffs) where you then will discover the iron or stone.

The idea also is that you first store resources in their corresponding constructions, once the limit is reached a villager will take 20 resources and bring it to the nearest storage. So I really have no idea why you must construct these buildings before some villagers can work at it. Especially for the stone and iron, they’ll have to walk aaaall the way back, unless you construct a storage at every resource.

AI is another very retarded component. All units walk to where the enemy is instead of where they are going to be. So that makes an interception pretty impossible. Units will get stuck in certain spots in the map, because their teammates push them of cliffs or bridges. There is no suicide button so you just lose some population. On the other hand, villagers have no idea with standing on top of each other, therefor it will happen that 30 villagers are standing on the same spot and you think that you lost a lot of them, while they are actually just invisible unless you drag-select that one spot.

Ranged units function with Nvidia’s PhysX engine and because their projectiles fly pretty slowly, your enemies are very easily missed. Ranged units seem to be the least efficient units.

Next up… walls. You can build walls right away if you want (if you have enough resources, of course). But the first thing is, they take a LOT of time to build for every section of the wall, your villager will have to get resources again from its nearby Town Hall or Storage. The second thing is, if your Town Hall is positioned near a forest that you have to chop the whole forest down or you have to build a wall behind or before it, otherwise, enemy units can just walk through the forests right into your city. Last but not least are cliffs, you can’t use cliffs to your advantage at all. You’ll have to build a wall parallel to the edge or else you can’t build it far enough so that the enemy units will still be able to walk on the edge of the cliff and thus again right into your city.


What’s most annoying is that there is no tutorial whatsoever. There are hotkeys for selecting groups (if you are familiar with RTS, you’ll know it’s CTRL + a number), but nothing of this is explained, I don’t know if there are still other hidden hotkeys or not. You will gain gold, even though you don’t know from where. I found that you can set the tax rate by clicking on the Town Hall and then raising the percentage in your info screen and because of perception I can tell that for example 10% means that 10% of the gathered resources will be converted to gold. If you hover over something (for example that percentage), there is no pop-up that will tell you what it is nor tell you what it does. You’ll just have to push all buttons and hope you’ll be able to tell what it is. And so are many things really confusing, like also the hidden objects on the map. On the menu screen there are three cards with question marks on them, you’ll be able to click one and then choose some special feature (like start with 1000 extra gold), this thing is bugged out as it can get, so I don’t know how to choose what cards you can select and what not.

At last, there is no multiplayer. The devs claim that the game has much replay value and that that should be more than enough, which is not the case of course.


The list of bugs and poorly developed features is almost endless. Currently, only two patches have been released and the only things that they fix are random crashes and a bug relating to villagers not being able to enter some buildings properly. However, fixing these things will not make this a good game, not in a million years. I think this game is fundamentally broken and we would probably be better off if it never existed. This is a warning to everybody who thought this game had any potential, as I had thought previously. Do NOT buy it, you will regret it instantly. As my first review ever, I am proud to break the record of lowest score on this site. I’m sorry, Power Rangers.

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Rating: 2.8/10 (5 votes cast)
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Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Citadels - Review, 2.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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