To be honest, I haven't played CastleCraft much since I reviewed it back in May.

But as is the way with free online multiplayer games, developer Infinite Lives has been steadily releasing new updates to tweak the gameplay and provide additional challenges for new players and to encourage drifters to return.

And, as you'd expect, the 1.2 version update has added some significant changes.

Swap crystals for gold

One of the neatest is the ability to swap your Dragon Crystals - the only one of the four in-game resources that you can buy as an in-app purchase - for gold, food or lumber. You do this via the marketplace, which is found by tapping on your castle. You can choose how many resource units you want to trade in blocks of 2,000 units of each.

I'd expect this to be really useful for those times where you've just run out of one resource that's required for a building upgrade you want to complete. Of course, it should drive the sales of Dragon Crystals too, providing the typical 'payment for quicker results' mechanic that's the foundation of FarmVille et al.

A more obvious addition are the new Challenge mode realms. These reset every two weeks, with the person who builds the largest population during that time gaining honour points.

Other improvements include enhanced quest user interface, international text support in mail messages, and the improved reliability of Dragon Crystal purchases.

CastleCraft is free-to-play and available as an universal app for iPhone and iPad.