Defend-your-castle games are among the most addictive casual games around. The concept is simple. You are the defender of a castle (sometimes it is a base, or a home or even a pub) under attack from an onslaught of enemies. The enemies are usually soliders, zombies or monsters (though they can also be bunnies, for some reason). Your task is to fight them off using any means at your disposal (rocks, bows and arrows, guns, cannon and, in one case, potatoes).
Usually, your enemies come at you in waves. Once you have fended off one wave, it is common for you to have the option of upgrading your weapons or repairing your barricades. Not to be confused with tower defence games (which Casual Girl Gamer will be featuring in an upcoming list), castle-defence games are a great way of wasting away a few minutes (or if you are an addict like me, a few hours).
Below you will find a list of what we consider to be the top 25 such games that you can play for free in your browser.
1Bunny Invasion 2
This is the game that introduced me - and got me addicted - to castle-defence games. The graphics are great, the cute bunny enemies are great. The range of upgrades and options are great. And they've even managed to give it an amusing story line. You play Mr Frost - a retired middle aged man. While he's in the pub enjoying a drink, a news flash informs him that an army of evil bunnies is taking over the country. Or maybe he is just so drunk that he is imagining the bunnies. Whatever the case, this is an incredibly fun game. Play Bunny Invasion 2 here. A special Easter version of the game can be played here.
2The Last Stand
It's been around for a few years now but The Last Stand - a brilliant game by Con Artist - is showing none of its age. The game remains the definitive zombie version of the castle-defence genre. Featuring great graphics, intriguing between-waves options and some cool weapons, this is a game that should not be missed if you are a fan of the castle-defence genre. Play The Last Stand here.
3Potion Panic 2
It is always refreshing to find a game that takes an established genre and gives it a new twist. That is exactly what Potion Panic 2 has done to the defend-the-castle style of game. Rather than selecting your weapon from a list, as is the standard practice in defend-your-castle games, in Potion Panic 2, you create your own weapons - or concoctions - by mixing together ingredients. You see, in Potion Panic 2, you don't kill the enemies using guns or arrows or anything as prosaic as that. No, you kill then using potions that you have created yourself. Play Potion Panic 2 here.
Trap Master is an ingenious fusion of platform and castle-defence game play. You are a giant monster whose lair is under attack from treasure hunters. Keep them from your treasure by using your powers or by simply eating them. You can play as a variety of monsters, each with its own unique powers, providing for plenty of replay value. Play Trap Master here.
Probably the best war-themed castle defence game around. In Palisade Guardian, you defend your headquarters from a Nazi army, including everything from infantry and machine-gunners to jeeps, howitzers and tanks. In a nice touch, you get extra points for killing the enemies with head shots. This gives the game a skill-element that is lacking from many other defend-your-castle game. Play Palisade Guardian here.
6Black Sheep Acres
Pat doesn't like little furry animals. And the little furry animals certainly don't like Pat. Indeed, they are seeking to force him out of their homeland by besieging his home. Pat is having none of it. He erects a wall around his home, arms himself with a gun and threatens to teach the little "furry bastards" a lesson. Cue a highly entertaining take of the castle-defence genre. Play Black Sheep Acres here.
This is a very well produced and very gory zombie defense game. Armed with a wide selection of weapons - from guns and knifes to samurai swords - you need to fight off an army of zombies. Killing them is not easy, because even if you have cut their legs off, they will drag themselves along the ground to your base. Play Curse Village here.
8SAS Zombie Assault 2 - Insane Asylum
This is probably the best top-down version of the defend your castle genre. Fight off wave after wave of zombies using a variety of weapons. Make sure to rebuild your defences after each wave. And don't forget to reload quickly. This game poses a tougher challenge than most because the enemies come at you from all directions. Play SAS Zombie Assault 2 here. An earlier version of the game can be played here.
D-fence 2 is without doubt the most in-depth game on the list. It is like a combination of Sim City and defend-your-castle. As is always the case, you need to defend your base against a never-ending army of enemies. But in this game, rather than killing the enemies yourself, you get your soldiers to do the job for you. Create more soldiers by attracting people into your base and then training them up. Play D-fence 2 here.
10Storm the House 3
What Storm the House 3 lacks in quality game graphics it more than makes up in game options. In addition to a long campaign mode, the game also allows you to choose a variety of mini-games, including Zombcalypse (where you have to survive for three minutes against a horde of zombies), This is Sparta (where you are up against heavily armoured Spartans) and McJeepPunch (where you punch the lights out of jeeps - we don't understand why either). Storm the House 3 can be played here.
This is an interesting take on the castle defence genre in that you destroy enemies by dropping blocks on them that you have lifted up using a magnet. Play Magnetic Defense here.
In this game, your task is to sink the navy of ships attacking your castle. Control the angle and power of your cannon to achieve direct hits on the ships. Sand Castle can be played here.
13Army of Destruction
This game has a sci-fi setting. You need to defend your base on a far away planet from the aggressive fauna. Slick graphics and a never-ending supply of dastardly aliens make for some fast action game play. Army of Destruction can be played here.
You play a lone german solider fighting off the largest invasion force of all time. How long can you last before you are overwhelmed. This game distills the defend-your-castle style of game play to its most basic essence. There are no fancy graphics or special effects, just a steady onslaught of stick figures who you need to mow down with your machine gun. Play D-Day Defender here.
15Goblin Defense 2
The Goblins are awfully keen on paying you a visit. Unfortunately, they probably don't want to just pop in for a cup of tea. They're more likely after a goblet full of your blood. Prevent this happening by using your archers wisely. Goblin Defense 2 can be played here.
In this game, you are defending your teepee, rather than your castle. You see, you are a red indian. Apart from that, the game is a pretty standard defend-your-castle fare, setting you the challenge of fending off the enemy onslaught with your trusty bow and arrow. You can play Primal Defence here.
You are a master of bow fighting. There is a huge evil medieval army besieging your castle. What should you do? Yes, you've got it, you go make a nice cup of tea and enjoy the spectacular pillaging taking place outside your window. I am joking of course. You use your bow against the enemies in this classic defend-your-castle game. Play Bowmaster Prelude here.
18Knights Beasts and Magic
This is a top-down take on the genre. It differs from many defend-your-castle games in that you don't do all the killing yourself. Instead, you deploy your archers, knights and catapults to fend off the enemy onslaught. Play Knights Beasts and Magic here.
You play the part of a sniper in this sci-fi castle defence style game. You can choose to play a variety of characters, each of which have their own unique powers and require different techniques to succeed. Sniper Defense can be played here.
The developers of this game have attempted to spice up the game play by providing a first person view of the action, rather than the standard side view that most defend-your-castle games use. It doesn't quite work but it is nevertheless an interesting attempt at something different. Fortress Guardian can be played here.
21When the Plague Came
It's you against a huge army of zombies. Thankfully, you have a powerful machine gun and a strong building to hole out in. A pretty standard top-down perspective version of the genre. You can play When the Plague Came here.
22Defend your Castle
This is the game that started off the whole defend-your-castle genre. It looks pretty dated nowadays but it still offers some addictive game play. Defend your castle from the stick people by picking them up and throwing them away. Defend your Castle can be played here.
23Demonic Defense 4
They have made four versions of this game, so it can't be that bad, can it? Well, if you like your castle defence games to have basic graphics and repetitive game play, then, no, it isn't that bad. But it is hardly the most innovative game in the genre. Still, it is worth including here for the wide variety of game modes it offers. Play Demonic Defense 4 here.
I am not entirely sure how penguins can use bows and arrows when they don't have any fingers but, if you can suspend disbelief a little, you may get some enjoyment out of this pretty basic castle defence game. Play Penguin Defense here.
Seriously, who needs bows and arrows and knifes and swords and guns and missile launchers to defend your base, when you have a huge supply of exploding potatoes and a potato cannon. This is not a particularly good example of the genre but perhaps deserves to make the list for attempting to be humorous. Burger Defense can be played here.
What do you think of this list? Have we missed out any games that you think ought to be on it? Are there any other game lists you are particularly interested in. If so, please tell us all in the comments section below.