Castle of Magic provides spellbinding experience

Posted: June 17, 2009 in Platformer

I’m sure many of us have imagined ourselves with special physical powers or in a world of make believe with awesome creatures and wondrous lands. That is what you have with Castle of Magic, an impressive 2D platformer that combines vibrant 3D graphics, fun and lively gameplay, and a lighthearted story that should keep you entertained for hours.

The beginning of the story is one many of us in the gaming community can relate to: boy breaks video game console, boy takes girlfriend to go exploring, boy and girl get into trouble. Of course in Castle of Magic, the trouble is a little more interesting than getting yelled at by parents. Boy (that’s how he’s referred in the game) and Jenny find a treasure chest that takes them on a ride into magical worlds where Jenny gets kidnapped by the evil (and dirty) magician Nesfastax

While the game is challenging, Castle of Magic has a certain charm that should put a smile on anyone’s face. The lighthearted soundtrack and the cute antics of the main character along with the various power up transformations of Boy really makes this game a joy to play. Castle of Magic has 5 great looking worlds—space, water, ice, forest and candyland—each with three sub-levels, and culminating in one final epic showdown. Visually, the environments are vibrant and detailed in the way a children’s story book would come alive, and they run smoothly on my iPod Touch 2g.

The game is controlled by a d-pad with two ability buttons. One is the jump button which you tap once to jump, tap twice to double jump and finally hold to parasail using the cape. The other ability button is based on the power up which I’ll get shortly. The controls are spot on, intuitive enough that even younger kids should be able to pick this up and play.

Throughout the levels depending on the theme, Boy will come across power ups that transform him into a hunter, spaceman, wizard, a swordfish, and my favorite, the invincible fat guy. The ability changes based on his specific power up; for example, as a hunter, the ability button allows him to shoot arrows. One of the most creative aspects of the game, and easily the best part for me is watching Boy transform into a multitude of characters, which only adds to the overall charm of the game.

There are 6 different bosses: Snake, Octopus, Spaceship, Snowman, Bee and Nesfastax. And, throughout the game, you will come across different and fun-looking monsters from bees to pirates to snowmen, which can be knocked off either by jumping on them or using the ability button to attack them. Of course, if you’re attacked by an enemy, all the diamonds collected start moving away from you, giving you a few seconds to try and re-collect them, although you can use the accelerometer to tilt them back towards Boy.

Besides attacking and dodging enemies, collecting the purple diamonds is important because for every 100 collected, you earn another life. As long as Boy has one diamond to his name, he can withstand any enemy attack. After that, it’s sayonara Castle of Magic. Throughout the levels, power ups appear as shining question marks, witch hats for extra lives, and secret doors that lead into smaller worlds where you can collect additional purple diamonds.

Castle of Magic delivers a good deal of fun as Boy jumps from platform to platform, dodging enemies, and collecting diamonds. The eye catching environments and the fast-paced gameplay make this a particularly fun platformer. While the limited number of levels may be frowned upon by some, the big selling point for Castle of Magic is that it has a playful aspect to it where you really do play for fun, which I think we sometimes forget is the point of games.

Albie Meter: 4.5 Stars (simply a fun platformer that delivers entertaining gameplay taking you through enchanting and vivid worlds; recommended the kids in all of us)

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