Before Angry Birds, There Was Castle Clout: Hit Game Arrives For iPhone® And iPad®

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A huge online hit, Castle Clout was the first of the current wave of popular artillery games that includes Crush the Castle and Angry Birds. But when Liam Bowmer created a medieval siege game called Castle Clout in 2008, he had no idea that he might be at the beginning of a massive pop culture phenomenon.

Call it the game that launched a thousand angry birds.

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Quick, name that game: Fling crazy ammunition to destroy the walls of the castle and topple your enemies. Angry Birds? Actually, Castle Clout. Everybody knows the name of the game that took the app world by storm in 2010. But the creators of Angry Birds have said their massive mobile hit drew inspiration from other games. One of those games could be Castle Clout, which became an online viral hit in 2008 and was quickly followed by a wave of similar artillery physics games. As Alex Meer points out in his 2010 game review "Kingbreaker: Crush The Castle 2," Angry Birds uses almost the same game mechanic as Crush the Castle, which is itself an authorized remake of Castle Clout. Either way, by 2009 the Castle Clout series had garnered millions of plays and plenty of fans.

That’s when casual game developer Selectsoft stepped in and acquired the rights to the Castle Clout IP. Selectsoft VP Edgar Chen explains the decision: “I saw the potential for Castle Clout to go beyond the online Flash game platform. I was sure that the Castle Clout game mechanic would translate well to the iPhone. I thought it could be an incredible new experience on the iPhone touch screen.”

As it turns out, another game would end up proving the point. Angry Birds used similar gameplay and achieved enormous success on the iPhone®, becoming a pop culture phenomenon in the process. “The success of Angry Birds is simply mind-blowing," Chen says. "We are actually thrilled that Angry Birds has brought much attention to this game mechanic. It’s been amazing to see how Liam Bowmer’s original Castle Clout inspired all of this, and I’m just hopeful that we will gradually see the original Castle Clout get a little credit for that inspiration.”

It’s taken over a year to get Castle Clout iOS ready for both iPhone® and iPad®, with simultaneous development of new versions for the PC and Nintendo 3DS platform. However, Selectsoft VP Edgar Chen is philosophical about the long process. “When we chose to add support for the iPad® it inevitably created production delays. Despite that, it was important to us to ensure this game was done right. We made a great effort to improve the polish but keep true to the Castle Clout experience.”

Now that patience is paying off. Castle Clout iOS is ready to hit Apple’s App Store this fall and Selectsoft hopes its special blend of medieval artillery action will capture both existing fans and new players alike.

More information, references and notes:
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September 2008: Castle Clout releases, becoming an online hit with millions of plays.
February 2009: Castle Clout: Return of the King releases, surpassing the original in popularity.
June 2009: Castle Clout's creator, Liam Bowmer, authorizes Armor Games' remake of Castle Clout named Crush the Castle, which goes on to commercial success.
August 2009: Selectsoft acquires the rights to the Castle Clout IP.
September 2009: Crush the Castle is released for iPhone®.
December 2009: Angry Birds is released for iPhone®.
January 2010: Selectsoft begins development for Castle Clout 3 and Castle Clout iOS.
April 2011: Selectsoft releases Castle Clout 3: A New Age, developed with the game studio Teyon. It reaches nearly 6 million online game plays, averaging 1.5 million plays a month.
June 2011: Selectsoft announces the development of Castle Clout 3D for the Nintendo 3DS platform.
July 2011: The Castle Clout series reaches over 45 million plays (based on ad impressions tracked by Mochi Ads; real number of plays may be higher).

About Selectsoft
Selectsoft is a leading developer of family-friendly games and apps, creating best-selling games for Nintendo DS and Wii, iPhone, Android and PC. It is also one of the largest independent publishers of PC software, featuring licensed content from Broderbund, Disney, The Learning Company, Big Fish Games and many more. For almost 20 years, Selectsoft has been dedicated to providing affordable, fun entertainment for the whole family. Visit to learn more.

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Jennifer Sunami

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