Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Castle In the Darkness

Castle in the Darkness is another one of those games that I loaded up for the first time with absolutely zero expectations.  I don't even remember buying it but I'm sure as hell glad that I did because this game is really awesome.

Castle in the Darkness is a retro style metroid-esque game for PC.  Aside from the clear inspiration from Metroid in the design, there are also some pretty clear influences from Castlevania and I Wanna Be The Guy games.  Don't let that last one put you off though, while the game is quite challenging it's not insane like those games are.

There isn't much of a story to speak of when it comes to Castle In the Darkness.  To be brutally honest with you I beat the game a few weeks back and I forgot what the story was.  From what I do remember there is a big bad guy fucking things up and he's killed basically everyone in this royal army but you, so gear up and go kick his ass.

This is one of those games that's short on the story but strong on the game play.  So you play through each level killing dudes for gold and beating bosses to upgrade your life but in every stage there are offshoots that you can explore and find hidden items.  This game has a FUCKTON of stuff that you wont find just playing the game through normally since I played it getting a few of the secrets and my clear percentage when I beat the final boss was less than 50. 

Word of warning though, this game is tough and I feel that the difficulty presented here may turn some players away.  In terms of game play style its pretty standard 2D side scrolling fare but some of the platform segments are pretty rough and the 1 hit kill death spikes will make you want to punch your monitor a few times.  Not only this but the game also is completely void of a map which is weird considering how much exploration there is to do.  It was part of the reason my clear percent was so low because I'd fucking forget where certain things were and then found myself being too much of a lazy shithead to go get it.  If you are up for the challenge of this game then keep a pen and paper handy and make some fucking notes.  I would also like to point out that upon dying 50 times you unlock an easy mode but I didn't bother to try it out so I'm not sure what changes.

Aside from it's simplistic but challenging game play the game also boasts a pretty awesome pixel art style some great music and a surprisingly fair bit of replay value if you're a little bit of a masochist.  The game also has a decent amount of length even if you just play it normally considering it's cheap price point and has an exceptional amount of value if you try to go for 100% completion. 

So if you're a fan of difficult platformers or you enjoy a bit of the old Metroid style 2D exploration type thing then I'd say you should give Castle in the Darkness a try.  You may need to put your serious game face on a little bit but don't let the games challenge and unwillingness to hold your hand deter you from trying a great little indie title.

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