March 22, 2010
Developer Croquis released their first iPhone game over the weekend, a hack and slash side-scrolling platformer titled Castle Fantasy that should appeal to fans of the genre as long as they have a little patience. Castle Fantasy doesn't reinvent the action platformer genre in any way, but it is easy on the eyes. The game is extremely colorful and well animated, with over 2,000 illustrations and 3D backgrounds that give a good sense of depth. Castle Fantasy's gameplay consists of hacking and slashing your way through four chapters each with seven stages. The game contains a wide-variety of enemies and bosses, most of which appear out of nowhere requiring you to make quick decisions regarding which of your two attacks to use. The game also features multiple platforming elements to add to the gameplay along with three levels of difficulty. Castle Fantasy utilizes the usual on-screen controls with left and right directional arrows located in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and action bottoms in the lower right. Action buttons consist of a short and long range attack and jump. The combat in the game is fairly rewarding thanks to the varying attacks, but the platforming elements leave a bit to be desired. Jumping over chasms or even the tiniest of obstacles will test your patience even in the very first stages of the game. Your character seems to jump too vertically, requiring you to get to the very edge of a ledge before making a leap, otherwise you will be starting over again and again. Castle Fantasy ($2.99) is definitely a joy to look at and the combat mixes up the gameplay enough to keep you entertained, but if you are looking for a new side-scrolling action platformer to sink your teeth into, I recommend trying the lite version first to get a feel for the controls.