The Elder Scrolls Castles - Our Experience So Far

elder-scrolls-castles-throne-room
Credit: Bethesda/Screenshot

elder-scrolls-castles-throne-room
Credit: Bethesda/Screenshot

It has been over a decade since we’ve seen a release for the Elder Scrolls franchise. Thankfully, Bethesda has something cooked and headed our way. No, it’s not the Elder Scrolls VI yet, but it’s the next best thing. We’re talking about the Elder Scrolls: Castles.

“Castles” is a manpower and resource management game recently launched in Early Access for Android and iOS. Right now, it’s available only for devices located in the Philippines, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland.

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Credit: Bethesda/screenshot

Similarities to Fallout Shelter

A quick look at the management mechanics for Elder Scrolls Castles would immediately draw a comparison to a similar game released in 2015: Fallout Shelter. The two games share several similarities.

The most apparent is resource generation and management. In both games, you build rooms that generate resources and assign your dwellers to their production.

In Elder Scrolls Castles, the primary rooms are the Kitchen, Oil Press, and Wood Mill. Later, you’ll be able to build more rooms, but these three constitute the core of the game’s resource creation.

Every Dweller in Elder Scrolls Castles has three attributes: Traits, Faction, and Race. Factions include Nobles and Commoners, while Races encompass the Humans, the Khajit, and the Orcs. Traits range from Perceptive, Reckless, Pyromaniac, Volatile, Charming, Enduring, and many others.

Elder Scrolls Castles also retains the Reproduction Feature in Fallout Shelter. Like Fallout Shelter, breeding citizens will raise the happiness factor.

Differences with Fallout Shelter

The main difference between the two is the presence of a King who makes the decisions that affect the welfare of the entire community. You control this additional character - citizens come to the throne to bring news that requires the King’s command, from trade to deciding on marital matters.

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Credit: Bethesda/screenshot

These decisions are crucial to maintaining the harmony of the factions within your citizenry. For instance, decisions that favor the nobility are likely to offend the commoners and vice versa. These judgments bring down the affected party’s happiness. An extremely unhappy faction could dethrone the current King.

The Reproduction feature in Elder Scrolls Castles is also more complex. This is due to the Relationship factor in the game. For instance, you can “Marry” two couples in the Shrine of Mara, but you can also make them have extramarital affairs.

Of course, as with all Bethesda games, cheating can come with consequences. If you attempt to place legally married couples in the bed immediately after one has cheated, they will talk about their marital differences. Depending on the character, this case could be elevated to the judgment of the King!

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Because of the complex relationships between the characters, it’s common to see them get at each other’s throats when they come across one another as they walk the castle grounds in their free time.

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Credit: Bethesda/screenshot

Conclusion

Although it is a bit more complex than Fallout Shelter, Elder Scrolls: Castles is posed to give the same, if not more, of the challenges that make the Wasteland-based management game a hit among its fans.

The graphics are certainly more fluid and more advanced. There are also plenty of things to do in any single minute in Castles, thanks to the additional layer provided by the royal decision-making feature.

Elder Scrolls Castles is slated for a December 2025 release.

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