Lost Castle is an RPG beat’em up, with roguelike elements in which you must fight your way through hoards of enemies to save Castle Harwood, which has been the victim of demonic magic gone awry. Your avatar and starting weapon change each round as you awaken in the dungeons and begin your fight for freedom. As you play, your character collects the souls of defeated enemies, and upon your death you are able to sacrifice these souls in order to improve your character stats and the world around you; whether that is by increasing your health or defence, or by increasing the number of weapons your allies have available for you to choose from at the start of the game.
The art style and the music in Lost Castle both really appeal to me; the cartoon style is fun with well-designed characters and enemies that are inspired by a classic fantasy aesthetic, whether it’s the castle levels, the sentient trees you fight or the new set of armour you pick up from a chest. The music in this game grabbed my attention right from the title screen; it’s sort of ‘Dungeons and Dragons adventure’ meets ‘electronic phantom of the opera’ sound that just somehow works and, I think, does a lot to lift the game up a notch.
In terms of gameplay, Lost Castle is fairly varied. As your character progresses, different weapons are added to the castle for you to find, so you are always finding new ways to fight as you progress through the game. Level structure is also varied, with enemies, dungeons and huge range of items, weapons and armour being randomly generated. However, the more games in this genre that I play, the more I feel that they need to be longer and have a save function to avoid becoming repetitious. This, of course, could almost defeat the point of the genre; to smash out a game in a single blaze of glory without dying – a style of gameplay that many seem to really love, though I myself don’t think I have the patience to count myself among them. Regardless of the randomly generated levels, you can feel like you’re not making any progress and this can become frustrating after a while.
In saying that, I have actually enjoyed Lost Castle more than I enjoyed other, similar games. Perhaps it’s that there are elements of this game that appeal to the fantasy geek in me. Perhaps it’s that there is more attempt at variety within Lost Castle and that gameplay in itself is just more fun. I’ve been playing Lost Castle by myself and though this game won’t make it to my favourites list, it is a good game and I am looking forward to taking advantage of the four-person co-op that’s available and cutting down some goblins with friends.