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81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 362 Ratings

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  • Summary: Set in medieval Europe, players establish settlements, build and manage castles and engage in siege warfare. The game incorporates much more building and "community managing" than a traditional RTS, yet allows for a more intense combat experience than city builders have featured in the past.Set in medieval Europe, players establish settlements, build and manage castles and engage in siege warfare. The game incorporates much more building and "community managing" than a traditional RTS, yet allows for a more intense combat experience than city builders have featured in the past. [GodGames] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. This is a great combination of fun, education (you never know when you might need those siege tactics in Tesco's) strategy and resource management that is a fantastic addition to the sim stable.
  2. Game Informer
    90
    For those who eat, sleep, and live strategic defense design and implementation, Stronghold should be number one on your to-get list. [Jan 2002, p.94]
  3. Computer Gaming World
    90
    Stronghold’s deft mix of economic, building, and combat challenges makes it one of the best strategy games of the year. [Feb 2002, p.79]
  4. PC Gamer
    82
    It borrows from the proven models of other successful games, and puts them in a new venue. It’s fun, deep, and bug-free. [Jan 2002, p.70]
  5. 80
    Its defensive focus and thoughtful, non-click-fest combat are unusual, and are its main strengths.
  6. netjak
    71
    While I totally think the game could have been a hundred fold better by corrected the AI issue, it is still a safe buy for most gamers and recommended for novice to intermediate RTS fans.
  7. Next Generation Magazine
    60
    An excellent title that manages to bring the middle-age “hobby” of castle building to the modern-day gamer. [Jan 2002, p.93]

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. ColinP.
    May 13, 2003
    10
    It rocks!
  2. May 7, 2021
    10
    A real time strategy game set in medieval England. It has a well balanced economic and military system and quite an addictive gameplay. StoryA real time strategy game set in medieval England. It has a well balanced economic and military system and quite an addictive gameplay. Story setup: The King was captured at war in a foreign country and is hold hostage there. This was a good opportunity for 4 nobles to usurp the power. The player-characters father was loyal to the king and lured in a deadly trap. It is the mission to retake the land, free the king by acquiring enough ransom money and stop the usurpers. You start in a remote shire with the weakened resistance. Gameplay: It is mission based and you see a map of England between mission showing who rules the different shires(Linear story). In most mission you develop a Stronghold and defending it against enemy troops while in a few missions you have to capture the enemy Stronghold yourself (The later are painful and hated by many players). The gameplay mechanics are interwoven and well thought out. You can test it but the game does a good job teaching you the mechanics (more and more is unlocked later in the game). Basically you harvest resources, build buildings and structures. Wood and stone are for buildings and deference structures while wood is also used for weapons together with iron. You need the right buildings. For example: To get archers you need a woodcutter hut (wood), barracks (recruiting), armory (storage for weapons) and a fletchers workshop (produces bows or crossbows). Now you can recruit archers. As you can sees the set up is logical. Stronger / better units need more or different buildings. Of cause you need peasants to do the work. These need food and so you must build farms or hunters posts. There are multiple farms available. Dairy farms also deliver leather for leather armor but the most effective are wheat farms. However these need also a mill and a bakery to produce bread (2 farms and 1 mill are enough to supply 4-6 bakeries). The two disadvantages are less available space and that more peasants are needed in the production chain. Of cause more peasants mean more food consumption. This is a fitting transition to the tax and satisfaction system. Basically higher taxes mean that the people dislike you (Nothing has changed sine that times;-). There is a rating for this. It can reach 100 and if it drops below 50 you are losing peasants as they are leaving your stronghold (Higher satisfaction means faster immigration). To counter these you can do multiple things. Increase food rations (= more consumption), have multiple food sources (the more the better), lower taxes or have special buildings like Inns (serve ale but you need a brewery and a hops farms) or churches (chapel up to cathedrals). It is often needed to raise taxes to win missions so you need to balance things out. Military: You are defending your settlement by building a stronghold. Walls stop enemies, towers give archers and crossbowman advantages, moats slow down enemies etc. Melee units come in various varieties and all units have their purpose. Be warned I was sure to handle everything with masses of archers in good defense positions and I was a fool for this (Works well in the first third of the game). Later on you have many more options as gradually new buildings, units and weapons unlock. The military campaign is excellent and challenging. I only dislike the missions were you don't have a stronghold and after some research found out that this is a common complain and those missions are hated. There is also an economy campaign, some scenarios and mode where you can build freely. There is also an editor to create your own maps and it is praised but this is just hearsay as I never tested it. Graphically it was really good back then. Today it is acceptable for me but you easily spot that it is an older game. The soundtrack is fine. I want to praise the antagonists. These are such likable stereotypes already nicknamed as rat, snake, pig and wolf. Overall this is an excellent game. The gameplay mechanics are well thought out and interwoven. This is truly enjoyable. I give a 10/10 but the already mentioned weaker missions nearly prevented this. In hindsight this is viewed as best game in the series with Crusaders. A recommendation for fans of strategy games and medieval settings. Expand
  3. JamesH.
    Feb 18, 2002
    10
    Very good, needs more cheats!
  4. Jul 13, 2014
    10
    One of the best RTS games of all time. Stronghold offers a somewhat complex gameplay experience as resource gathering and processing is doneOne of the best RTS games of all time. Stronghold offers a somewhat complex gameplay experience as resource gathering and processing is done in greater detail than in most of the other RTS games. Never have I played an RTS where I've had more fun developing my economy. The only negative thing I can really say is the lack of being able to play against an AI opponent like in the expansion Stronghold: Crusader. And while there could have been a bit larger variety in the troops of the game, the game offers a fun and challenging combat system. You can defend your castle with things like moats, pit traps and boiling pitch which you dump on your enemies from the top of your walls.

    Outside of the gameplay Stronghold shines even brighter. For a game that is over 10 years old, the graphics aren't dated and it has one of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. One of those games where you just want to play it because of the great atmosphere.
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  5. Oct 12, 2018
    9
    Even today this game is fun and if you are a really gamer, you should get to know this classic game. I like the gameplay, that is a bit uniqueEven today this game is fun and if you are a really gamer, you should get to know this classic game. I like the gameplay, that is a bit unique in comparison to other strategy games. The happiness of the citizens is the most important ressource and you need to keep an eye on it all the time. The AI is not so good btw.

    The atmosphere is great, so you feel you are in the middle age and everything fits well together. The intro is very funny btw..

    The economic campaign is short and very hard. Unfortunately it has a trial and error element, because there are many scripted events. Yes, they are frustrating and you need to manage them. So loosing is part of the gameplay here.
    The military campaing is much longer and the beginning is much easier, so it is better to start that.
    Expand
  6. Mar 25, 2021
    9
    Stronghold предлагает вам развить свою экономику обеспечить своих жителей едой собрать армию и разгромить вражескую армию и замок, сюжет тожеStronghold предлагает вам развить свою экономику обеспечить своих жителей едой собрать армию и разгромить вражескую армию и замок, сюжет тоже не плохой. Изометрический вид временами может быть очень неприятным, особенно когда вы оставляете крошечный «невидимый» промежуток в стене вашего замка, к которому враг мгновенно приближается с расстояния в несколько миль. Стратегия удачно сочетающая в себе как и экономическую часть, так и военную. Expand
  7. JamesD.
    Mar 18, 2003
    6
    Cool game, which is addictive for a while, but eventually gets stale. Most levels "de-volve" into testing the pc's AI, and exploiting Cool game, which is addictive for a while, but eventually gets stale. Most levels "de-volve" into testing the pc's AI, and exploiting it's glitches. The resource management is average at best, and the isometric view can be very frustrating at times, especially when you leave a tiny "invisible" gap in your castle wall that the enemy instantly bee lines to from miles away. That said, if you don't mind restarting levels often, the game can be somewhat fun. Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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