Sunday, 28 April 2013

Castle Dracula Review

Castle Dracula by Gondefire Productions Inc is a point and click horror game where our hero, Luke, is off to save his wife, Grace, and unborn child from Dracula in his castle. Hence the name. Along the way he will face many trails and enemies that will try to stop him. Where as many point and click games punish you getting something wrong with "I can use that here" or "Please try again", Castle Dracula just kills you. Turned left instead of right? Well now, your dead. Chose the wrong lever? You guessed it, you're dead. It is pretty brutal. The game does steadily teach you through the trail and error, be careful or I will kill you a lot.

A pretty basic set up of husband tries to rescue wife with a rather simple if unusual interface. In Castle Dracula you switch between 3 clicking modes: move, use item or interact with and pick up. This can mean a lot of clicking on and off different modes. It can be rather tedious. When you combine this with a bug that makes items you are trying drag for an interaction stop mid-screen, then you have a game that can be a chore to play through.

The overall game is fairly short and it is likely only to stump people who just haven't seen where an item is to pick up. You can only hold 5 items at once but that isn't a problem because you never need to have any more than that. The puzzles are fairly obvious and straight forward, use the item you just found on the boss/room you just found to progress. Even the boss fights are nothing all that exciting. Merely drag an item onto them and they will die. A bit disappointing.

Castle Dracula looks gorgeous. The artwork of all the characters heroes and villains is brilliant and its sullen and tense soundtrack will make you feel like something is about to jump out on you. The voice acting on the whole is good even if there are a few cheesey lines. The game does a really good job of making you feel like you are part of a gothic epic through it's visuals and audio.

Unfortunately for Castle Dracula it has a pretty poor story, puzzles and overall game interaction. It's great looks and sounds do compensate a bit but not enough. The initial build up is lost when you defeat various monsters rather easily and even if you do die an awful lot, all the game does is restart you back on the screen you left. There aren't any consequences for dying aside from making you wait to be alive again.

If Castle Dracula didn't have such an awkward interface that wasn't so bugged, then it would have made the game much more enjoyable. The potential for a sequel could see all of this rectified. But, for the moment Castle Dracula is a fairly mediocre horror point and click game that does however, look and sound brilliant.

Score: 65/100

General Information

Game Name - Castle Dracula
Developer - Gondefire
Genre - Point and Click, Horror
Bundle - Indie Bundle - Point and Click DARK Bundle