A Game Seen By No One Else...
Used for my editor applicationÖ a game seen by no one elseÖ
An unrecognized creator in a lost sea. Few are familiar or even aware of the existence of this member who subtlety emerges from his dormant state and creates some of the most purest platform games on this Earth only to once again lay dormant. If it werenít for one small comment in one of my games, we wouldíve never met. It all began with a small click of curiosity. Within his profile page, I began skimming down at each of his games rather quickly, looking for nothing in particular when I found a rather eye catching thumbnail. The atmosphere and the thumbnail itself wasnít too intriguing; there are hundreds of games being published which have some of the flashiest thumbnails on the site. Reminding myself of my sheer boredom at the time, I decided to give it a go since well; I didnít have much to lose from playing an innocently looking game. Looking from now in the present, I can undoubtedly say I do not regret a single ounce which I spent relishing every bit of this game.
The opening was enchanting and dark, containing one of the most incredible atmospheres Iíve ever experienced. The torches reflected the redness of the nearby lava onto the tiles which lit up the narrow corridor quite dimly. Within the first couple seconds, I was convinced I was playing something more than a stellar platform game. With the majority of the game endowed in complete darkness, I stepped forward, pretty aware of the element of surprise. Needless to say, the game fooled me easily with just its looks. Youíd think a game with such narrow pathways would be the most linear game in the planet but CastleZone proves me wrong with the flick of its toes. There is much to explore, many paths and routes that itís safe to say CastleZone as a whole is a dark labyrinth with the player pretty much walking blindfolded through out the game. At times the entire floor in covered in darkness, allowing you to easily fall into traps if youíre not cautious of your environment. Turning the level into a trap itself is what most gamers strive for, yet CastleZone makes it seem effortless.
Lava pits and obstacles seem to be littered all over the game. Though normally I would criticize a game which has lava tiles seemingly floating in the air breaking the laws of physics, CastleZone makes it the perfect obstacle. Water tiles too are floating in the air but yet their purpose is to transport you through a channel of water tiles onto higher ground. With the water tiles sandwiched between lava tiles, you will need decent hand coordination to make it up alive. Thankfully CastleZone offers you the perfect amount of lives; not too much to clog up the game but enough so that you barely make it out alive. Though the traps are fully utilized to the fullest extent, you canít say the same for the puzzles. CastleZone doesnít do anything new or work out your brain on the treadmill. Instead, itís full of items, loots, switches and keys which are scattered in the game, forcing you to at the very least explore some of the game in order to progress. Because of the labyrinth nature of the game, CastleZone is able to hide even the slightest speck quite well, which might get the player a little frustrated when they forgot to explore and find a key in the previous area and are stuck behind a door. All in all, I am breathless. I applause CastleZone for such skill demonstrated in the game itself which could have been easily passed as a tutorial to making good games. Cheers to you CastleZone, bravo.
What I love most about CastleZone is not the traps. Iím not even obsessed with the puzzles or the layout of the game. What really makes CastleZone a true legend is the atmosphere. The game perfectly portrays the plot. You feel like a lone wanderer, dropped off in an isolated world wandering around in a world full of darkness and evil. The dim lights and the tiles add to the emotions which you feel during the game. Everything from the architecture and the decoration makes you feel as if you are in a mystical world. The environment is covered in mystique and beauty. Such games are highly rare among the gaming community which separates CastleZone from the rest. Although the game pulls off everything above and beyond, there are faults which I found nevertheless like any other game. The major issue I had was the immense amount of lag due to the titanic size of the level. I am aware that my computer isnít the speediest on the web but the lag is barely tolerable, which is a common issue for people who place all of their ideas into one level. Another less subtle issue was the lack of enemies. Of course the traps do at times replace the enemies when necessary but thereís just such a lack of foes. As for the first level I have played, I could only find two large mutants placed within a small corner in the gigantic level. The mutants were placed rather well, defending a key which would access a door not much later on but that was about it. Overall however, CastleZone does exceptionally at covering up its mistakes and replacing the majority of them. Job well done.
CastleZone is truly an unseen game and evidence that not all games get the attention which they deserve. CastleZone pulls off nearly everything which any gamer wishes to do. Its enchanting environment draws players into the game, the puzzles and traps were exceptional, and the story itself was captivating. As with any game however, it has its flaws and troubles with barely tolerable lag and severe lack of enemies. Overall however, CastleZone is a one of a century and should be checked by all gamers alike.
To Score the game:
Level Design: 4/5
Sums up to: 23/25
Is the game feature worthy? Most definitely. Thanks for reading.