30 August 2018
Inventive city-builder gets the royal treatment
Mad King Ludwig – he of castle- and palace-building infamy – is getting a surprise mash-up with city-planning game Between Two Cities.
The does-what-it-says-on-the-tin title of Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig tells you almost everything you need to know: it’s a crossover between the tile-placing gameplay of Ludwig and the competitive-collaborative tension of Between Two Cities.
Designed by Between Two Cities co-creators Ben Rosset and Matthew O'Malley, the new hybrid began life as a follow-up to their inventive 2015 game, in which players were forced to work with their neighbouring opponents to build two different cities.
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig sticks closely to the partnership-forming gameplay of its namesake, but swaps the cities for castles that players will have to draft tiles to construct room by room, as in the Ludwig series.
There are other elements carried across from Castles and Palace, including completion bonuses and effects triggered by adjacent tiles, but it otherwise seems to largely be a rethemed version of Between Two Cities in the Ludwig universe – no bad thing.
The game is being put out by Between Two Cities publisher Stonemaier Games, which has teamed up with Ludwig developer Bezier for the unexpected partnership. Contributing artwork are Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Laura Bevon and Barlomiej Kordowski, with hundreds of new designs for the rooms of Ludwig’s castles.
Bezier previously mashed-up Ludwig with its own social deduction game series in One Week Ultimate Werewolf, while Stonemaier is no stranger to unusual hybrids of its own, with My Little Scythe one of the year’s more surprising releases.
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig is due for release in shops on October 29th and will cost $45, although Stonemaier is offering early copies set to arrive in mid-September for pre-orders.
Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig as Between Two Cities of Mad King Luwig. We regret the mistake and have revised the text accordingly.