Jan 16, 2014
Castles. Mystical dwarfs. Treasure. All good games are usually made of these; trust me on this. Mystery Castle HD – Episode 1 has this… and a bit more, so it really has every opportunity to fly.
As puzzle games go, this one is quite interesting. The backstory involves mythical little people who are overrun by an evil monster that imprisons them and confiscates their treasures.
The little people’s only hope is to depend on a nondescript wizard… that seemingly has no miraculous powers. With periodic advice from a cheeky escaped little person, our industrious wizard looks to free his friends while earning himself a cool payoff. Doing so involves solving puzzles, avoiding dangers and ultimately making it from point A to point B to advance to get the boss monster.
The gameplay is leveled, and each playing area looks like top down 3D house plan view without the roof. There are magical crystals to be collected, and the main goal is to collect them and head to the exit unscathed. Movement is achieved by dragging the finger asking the screen in the path wanted and lifting to stop. Virtual buttons appear when needed (like unlock and speak).
It’s the escalating obstacles (and directly proportional logic needed to get by them) that makes the game worth playing. Early on, getting keys in the right order to open doors is part of the solution. Boxes are then added as obstacles; then, stuff like gullies force the use of these boxes as bridges. Monsters, bombs, earthquakes and so forth are things which are introduced as well; creative obstacles like soft walkways and hot lava all combine to force strategic thinking and means of egress. The combination of these elements is the genius of the game.
It could probably use an extra level of difficulty… say, only timed solutions? Also, this game feels tailor-made for crowd-sourced additions. Still, it’s a fun time-waster as-is.