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Castle, The - Review

Review by Sudders

Ratings

Parser/Vocabulary
4
Atmosphere
5
Cruelty
Polite
Puzzles
6
Overall
5
Written:
19-10-2016
Last edited:
Platform:
Spectrum

CastleThe.gif
The Castle is a game I just stumbled across on a retro site and, as I love trying the early games I thought I'd give it a go. It's a typical 'find and store the treasures in a castle' plot but there are a few nice touches: like the morse code - "The eyes set things alight signed C.C." for those that can't be bothered to translate it. (This clue is not needed to finish the quest and I wonder if a suitable purpose just wasn't found later). Also giving items specific weights is novel.

It's a relatively small area (just under 30 locations) and fairly easy to map (barring the maze, which is impossible. HINT don't drop stuff, you won't see it again!).

There are a number of pretty logical puzzles (although one I hadn't a clue about and needed to resort to the walkthrough) the one problem I had was at the end where I was pretty sure I had completed the game (all treasures found and deposited) only to find nothing else to do. In despair I went through the walkthrough step by step and still couldn't find what I did wrong - the walkthrough worked, (although I will need to go and make one or two corrections) my previous save didn't. No idea why. Maybe I took too many turns?

Anyway, "why didn't this game really excite you" I hear you cry? Well....it's just a bit slow and clunky really. Unlike some classics it really shows its age. Slow inputting, lots of waits (speeding up the emulator just leads to multiple inputs) and a lack of depth. I found finishing it vaguely frustrating. I'll be in no hurry to look up more Bug Byte adventures or find more games from this author.




Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 4/10)

Weak, two word input and very limited.

Atmosphere (Rating: 5/10)

Some nice touches, runes and nice little clues, but very dry descriptions.

Cruelty (Rating: Polite)

The maze is irritating until you work it out and a couple of unexpected deaths (those easy to avoid). Only one hopeless dead end without the right equipment. The biggest annoyance was being unable to finish and not know why.

Puzzles (Rating: 6/10)

Some decent logical puzzles although one I had no idea about. Can someone explain those runes?

Overall (Rating: 5/10)

An old and creaky adventure. I'm going back to my other two series that I need to finish.