Ever stared at your collection of games and thought, 'damn, they just don't make 'em like they used to'? Eager for a gulp of nostalgia in glorious 16-bit? Well look no further friends, I present to you Forsaken Castle from the creative minds of Duck Block Games, an action exploration platformer heralding back to the mighty days of SNES and Megadrive! Play as Lily, a fresh-faced paladin eager to prove her capabilities as she takes on the mysterious undead monsters that plague a seemingly abandoned castle, only to be roped into a far greater evil threat. Traverse the depths of the castle, discovering new weapons and secrets to unlock, but watch out for the flaming skull heads, they are nimble!
That classic 2D feel!
Just from the demo, I am in love with how this game plays. The controls are smooth as silk without being slippery, except when I fail to land a dash jump, but that's just my inability to platform. It's also nice and simple like the games of old, with only a couple of buttons to worry about as Lily dashes, jumps, and lets fly her awesome chain whip attack. There are also sub-weapons to be wielded, each designed for specific battle needs, such as blue flames for low down slimes, or axe projectiles for flying eyeballs. Of course, they are not just for fighting, each extra weapon is needed to access more areas of the castle, so if exploring is your bag make sure you grab them all!
So what's so special about it?
Retro is definitely still in fashion, standing tall in the Indie gaming world, so what makes this game unique? I've already bigged up the controls, (which is supported by the controller), but something that really stuck out for me was how spacious it felt. Perhaps in my experience, I am used to 16-bit style games limiting players to smaller areas and being quite linear, but this felt a lot more open, encouraging the explorer inside to deviate from the beaten track. Plus how often do you play as an awesome lady paladin with a chain whip, with more designs for the title character in the works? I'm holding out for the Valkyrie. The demo does not give much away in terms of narrative, but I am intrigued by the mention of multiple endings and how this will mean players can affect their fate.
Looking good over here!
The blend of anime style characters into 16-bit graphics is a perfect match in this title. The sprite for Lily is also receiving a slight re-jig as well to keep even more detail in the mix, so I am very eager to see that change. Overall there are some lovely designs for both heroes and villains, not to mention an adorable witch character I want to know more about and one very attractive villain (not Synax, he can go far away with his stupid flamey skulls). I am a fan of the setting, although the demo only really gives away the dungeon of the castle, so my curiosity has been piqued about what other rooms await as you ascend. The soundtrack is also definitely worth noting, a downright beautiful blend of mystery into full out action that complements the surroundings expertly. Again hyped for more!
Refreshing and promising indeed
I can honestly say I enjoyed this demo, I even went away and played it again! Although brief it gives a great flavor for the game without revealing anything at all really and has left me wanting more, much much more. Well played Duck Block Games, well played. There is a lot of promise to this title, and I am very excited to see how it advances.
The Kickstarter for this game has already ended, but there is a lot of information about the game on their page if you would like to read more. However if you would like to support the game, and I strongly urge you to do so if this classic style interests you, then here is a link to their Backerkit page, where you can also pick up a cool bundle of goodies along with the game itself upon release!
The moon is up, the monsters are out, steel your courage and head into the Forsaken Castle!