The goal is to capture four castles or reduce the enemy force so that there are only two Soldiers left. A Soldier moves one step in all directions. It can also jump forwards and sideways over any piece except a Castle. Jumps in the three backwards directions only occur when making a capture. In its first move, the Soldier may go two steps.
A Soldier captures an enemy Soldier by jumping over it. Soldiers can capture a Castle by surrounding it on three sides orthogonally. A Soldier may continue jumping as long as possible, but may also stop jumping prematurely. A Soldier cannot jump back immediately from where it came. The four nearest Castles are friendly and cannot be captured. The middle Castles are neutral and can be captured by both players. But the central Castle cannot be captured before one of the Castles on the enemy side has been captured. This game is very good and remarkably similar to a medieval battle situation.
Castello was designed by Carl Renström. It was first published by BRIO in 1965. BRIO was founded in 1884 in Osby, a small town located in southern Sweden. Today, the small family-run business has grown into the global company BRIO AB, with subsidiaries in Germany, France and Japan and distributors around the world. BRIO’s product portfolio currently consists of numerous toys but also games for the whole family under the brand Alga. BRIO has been a Purveyor to the Royal Court of Sweden since the 1940s. Today, BRIO is owned by Ravensburger.
In the original rules, the Soldier can both step and jump in the eight directions. But eight freedoms for continuous jump moves seems excessive. That’s probably why the original rules include a rule that prevents capture of more than five pieces during one jump sequence. But this restriction is no longer necessary, as jump freedoms in this implementation have been reduced to five, except during capture. (Capture in the three backward directions is still allowed.) The Soldier can still step in eight directions.
Castello rules sheet (Swedish) (here)
A Castello game from 1965 (P. Michaelsen).
A thanks to P. Michaelsen for providing information about this excellent board game.
☛ You can download my free Castello program here (updated 2019-12-03), but you must own the software Zillions of Games to be able to run it (I recommend the download version).
© M. Winther, 2019 December