Playing Stronghold Crusader Extreme is an exercise in masochism. GameZone is used to losing frequently in most things they play with their family, but at least they get compensated socially. Here, there is no compensation. You just lose, lose, lose, at least in the Extreme scenario mode. The original Stronghold Crusader that is included is easier and still has some charm to it, but anyone can pick up a copy of the original for much cheaper than this new retail version. That makes for a very limited audience for this game.
In Stronghold Crusader, there is a good balance between fighting and building. The main emphasis is on fighting rather than economics, but it is paced well and players have a chance to improve their armies by making the necessary money through economic means. The beginning scenarios in the campaign mode start players out fairly slowly and while there isn't a real tutorial (the tutorial option is only a short descriptive list of a few buildings and other features, specific to that mission), there are several good walkthroughs available online.