Castle Kingdoms

Title           Castle Kingdoms
Game Type       General Action
Company         Mutation Software
Players         1
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibillity  All (1 Mb)
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

This is the third, and last, game in Mutation Software's Value'n'Fun
series. I was always a bit keen to try out this game, but it received
rather low scores in the magazines, so I never bought it. It was until
recently that I had the opportunity to finally try the game out myself.

Castle Kingdom is an isometric arcade-adventure. You control a party of
four (or five, can't remember because it doesn't matter) brave warriors
who each have their own individual strengths and weaknesses (apparently),
and you must fight your way through five castles filled with bad guys. You
can only control one character at a time, though, and the others will
follow the character under your control. Scattered around the castle are
various items which will give you an edge in combat. These are: Health
potions, hint potions(!), kill-all-enemies-on-screen scrolls,
resurrect-a-dead-character crosses, shield potions, increase-weapon-power
potions and random-effect potions (phew!). A character can only hold one
item at a time, and the items can be used by pressing the return key. In
addition, there are some keys which will (surprise, surprise!) unlock
locked doors.

Each castle is filled with various bad guys, including some nasty blobs
who are annoying because there are an unlimited supply of them. When one
is killed, another one will soon come out from a hole in the wall to fill
it's place. Fortunately, they won't come when the hole is off-screen.

The first time I played the game, I was overwhelmed by how difficult it
was. The character not currently under my control would wander straight
into the enemies (who in turn needed a huge amount of hits to kill). My
team was slaughtered within a couple of minutes. I decided to try another
time, and this time I didn't bother with the rest of my team. They were
killed rather quickly, but I found that I could hold the enemies off with
my one surviving man (or woman - it was the princess character). In fact..
I finished the game. It took about an hour or so, and then I met the
really nasty, but rather weak end-of-game boss. He took about one minute
to kill. While I do feel rather proud of myself, having finished the
entire game on my second attempt, it goes without saying that there's
something really wrong with the difficulty curve in this game. The levels
are too short, and there are only five of them. Besides, the last level is
no more challenging than the first one. I've played through the whole
thing two times, and I'll probably do it again sometime, but the game
isn't really very replayable because the levels (monster positions,
bonuses, et.c.) are the same every time you play them.

The game was fun enough to play (once I forgot about the way it was meant
to be played), and the presentation is good, with some nice music in the
background and unremarkable, but cute, graphics. All in all, Castle
Kingdoms is an okay game - for an hour or two. I would never recommend
that you buy this game, unless you can get it for a very small amount of

The game is available as a part of a couple of compilations:
Mutantology (Epic Marketing), and Mutation Gold (Mutation Software).

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