I’ve been using Miranda at work for a while, and I’ve just now gotten switched over to it at home (from Trillian). I don’t do anything fancy with my IM programs, just chat, so Miranda is the best client I’ve found so far. It was originally an ICQ client, but it has been converted to support any protocol that a plugin can be written for. It supports the basic TOC protocol of AIM, which is all I need. They are working on the full OSCAR protocol which supports file transfers and such, but AOL has made it quite clear that OSCAR is their proprietary format, and they don’t want others using it (occasionally Trillian and other clients get into little band and forth break/fix coding wars with AOL). There are plugins for Jabber and MSN protocols, and many other “utility” plugins that do everything from get RSS news feeds to checking game server statuses. If you prefer a small simple IM client over a fancy bloated program, give Miranda a look.
I’ve been told that the webpage hosting the Castle game tries to install spyware and has a bunch of popups and stuff. I use Mozilla so I was immune to all of this (just one more reason to at least try a non-IE browser). If you used IE on that page, or just want to make sure your system is clean, get Spybot S&D. It’s like the popular AdAware, but completely freeware and updated more frequently. The default scan will pick up more than AdAware’s default, and it can search for privacy-related stuff too (mostly just history lists inside programs).
Defend your castle from the invading force (with a little help from gravity).
Pick the attackers up and toss them to score points. Once you have the Temple upgrade, drop attackers in your castle to convert them to the “right” side. Once you have the Archery Range, you can train your Converts to be archers by clicking on the red flag. Archers each require 200 points upkeep per level. After getting the Demolition Lab, click on a Convert to send him out on a suicide mission. Click the bomb-laden guy to set him off. The Workshop is where Builders are trained (green flag). They will rebuild your castle when it’s damaged, and require 50 points upkeep. The Manapool lets you train Wizards (yellow flag). Wizards also require 200 points upkeep, and can cast three different spells. Kill destroys a single attacker, Detonate makes him explode and take out attackers near him, and Conversion instantly converts an attacker. Keep in mind that if you don’t have enough points, your workers will leave.