Mar 6, 2013
Platformers may be one of the oldest and simplest forms of video games; so it makes sense that they are the most widely auditioned game type on KickStarter. Even more common are the pixel art varieties because of their ease of production and popular appearance. What we have here for today’s KickStarter Spotlight is something that does not deviate too far from the formula, and yet still manages to impress. The project’s name is Another Castle, and the Mario references and similarities do not end there. The overarching plot of the game involves an intrepid, accidental explorer in a quest for some randomly chosen artifact; be it his girlfriend or a flaming sword. The game is very self-aware and makes it part of the story that it blatantly sends the player from castle to castle because, of course, the item is always “in another castle”.
The most intereting part about this game is that the final product will feature levels that are generated entirely by random. This is very intriguing because it eliminates that tiring grind when starting a level over and over again as the terrain and length are constantly changing. The overworld, or overarching map, is also randomly-generated; ensuring that no two games play the same. Included in this game are a myriad of power-ups, defensive items, weapons, and special attacks. These sometimes approach absurd territory which is definitely a good thing because having the ability to launch a giant great white shark at an opponent is an idea that should never be turned down. Like everything else, these are randomly strewn about over the map in chests.
There is an playable demo on the game’s website and after a few play throughs I can definitely say that it is more different than I initially thought. Each weapon has a special touch to it and there are not too many games that could be mistaken for Another Castle. I enjoyed the pixel art and the subtle 3D effect was incredibly well done. As of right now the game is obviously in a very rough, initial stage but what I was able to play was very impressive. All that is left in the game are more level locations and a few player movement tweaks, but I was really impressed by the high level of quality this game possessed. My sole complaint is that I felt a far majority of the traps or obstacles in the game centered around a circular hazard and that did become repetitive after a while.
Putting all that aside, however, this game; still in its infancy, is terrific. I highly recommend giving it a play, and, of course, a generous donation. With plenty development coming in the future I see good things ahead for Another Castle.