Test – Castle Walker – Castle and sorcery

Castle Walker is a retro-looking game and resembles Castlevania in some ways. Developed by one person, Alexandr Bondarenko, is this title worth the candle?

The base of the base

The story is very basic

In a charming residence, two mages receive a letter. This indicates that an ancient evil resides in a castle and that if nothing is done, it will spread. Faced with this maddening news, our duo is quick to respond to the request. But our charming couple faces an adversary much more powerful than expected, to the point where our young lady will be taken prisoner by the villain. As you will have understood, we embody the other magician all dressed in blue, through a quest to eradicate evil and save his pink sidekick… after barely an hour.

Ultimately quite classic (even a little too much), the story ends there, just like the games of the NES / SNES era did. We would have appreciated all the same a few lines of dialogue on the end because in the end, we do not understand at all why and how the villains appeared in this castle.

On the music side, there is also a very retro soundtrack. The melodies stick to the levels in which they are played, but are generally very ordinary and not punchy enough, fault among other things with the gameplay offered.

Rather boring

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Some decorations set the mood

Undoubtedly the biggest flaw of the game by far is its slowness. So certainly, we embody a mage, a character who is not known to be very agile, but it is clear that we are advancing at two an hour. A feeling of boredom very quickly comes to the fore and, as a small chain reaction, everything that follows suffers. Enemies are very predictable and rarely cause difficulty and the same goes for bosses. Their patterns are too slow and the challenge almost zero.

It is very sad to see such a defect because the title offers quite interesting little things. Over the levels, our mage gains new magic abilities that can help us in different situations in exchange for mana. The latter recharges over time or by finding potions with various effects (such as a double jump) on defeated enemies or in hidden blocks.

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We can summon a fairy to help us in battle

Unfortunately, another concern also taints the experience: the optimization of the game. Yet in a fairly simple but nice 2D at times in the proposed settings, the title manages to row. Huge framerate drops are felt towards the last levels of the game for no good reason, making the experience all the more frustrating. Additionally, some enemy sprites are experiencing issues with their animations. The most telling example is that of the skeleton during its appearance, where one of the frames seems very poorly optimized and visually disturbing. This gives the impression that the game probably lacked testing before release and would probably have benefited from a month of additional work.

Test conducted on Xbox One.

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Test – Castle Walker – Castle and sorcery


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