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If anyone owned a Macintosh in the late '80s, they most likely played Dark Castle...and loved every minute of it. This game might have been in black and white only --not unlike the majority of Macs of the era-- and yet its pixel resolution was years ahead of the lower-res CGA and EGA that PC games were stuck with at the time. Sound was equally superior, years before Sound Blasters became the norm on PCs. This was the golden age of Macintosh, and this was one of the programs to make it so. Level by level, animation and sound made for an entertainment experience years ahead of its time; a very worthy candidate for Techtite's personally made list, of Top 50 Multimedia Classics.
Atari STAtari ST User
Animation of the hero and some of the opponents is quite good with some added touches - the hero staggers around when dazed, for example, and old whiplash Willie is quite a giggle to watch. While the game may only be ringing a few changes on an old theme, it does so with a degree of panache that makes Dark Castle worth playing.
De CD-I kan veel mooier dan in dit spel wordt gedemonstreerd. Het spel is gelukkig wel leuk zodra je het onder de knie hebt. Het is spannend en gevarieerd, maar de bediening valt helaas tegen.
Tired of the new games that require too much RAM or processing power for your Mac? Want to play a game that can take years off your life? Try this 10-year-old, Mac-only game called Dark Castle. Although it lacks the flare of today's super-duper shootem-ups, it still provides wholesome game play with a spark of humor without the gore and realistic violence of today's arcade games.
AmigaASM (Aktueller Software Markt)
Grafik und Sound sind dabei recht gut, und auch über das abgedroschene
Spielprinzip könnte man angesichts der hohen Motivation und dem großen Spaß, den das Spiel macht, hinwegsehen, wenn da nicht die absolut vertrackte Steuerung wäre. Teilweise muß man Maus, Tastatur und Joystick fast gleichzeitig benutzen. (…) Das ist das einzig Negative an Dark Castle. Ansonsten kann man es eigentlich jedem nur empfehlen. Allein schon die zahlreichen,
Gags, die die Programmierer
eingebaut haben, sind schon
fast den Kauf dieses Spieles
AmigaACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
Graphics are passable but nothing to write home about. Some nice sound effects too, though they get a bit repetitive after a while. But in the final analysis what bombs this game is neither the unadventurous display, nor the old game ideas, but the painfully frustrating gameplay.
DOSASM (Aktueller Software Markt)
Bleibt immer noch ein Gesamturteil zu bilden. DARK CASTLE ist so gesehen besser als ich
mir auf dem IBM-PC vorgestellt
hatte, wenn da doch bloß nicht
das Manko mit der Steuerung
wäre. Aber das soll Sie ja nicht
daran hindern, ins Software-Geschäft zu gehen und sich
das Spiel einmal anzusehen.
Bei der Gelegenheit können
Sie ja auch die Steuerung testen (laut Anleitung geht das
sogar mit Joystick und Maus!),
jeder gute Händler macht das.
Ansonsten bin ich mir sicher,
daß Ihnen das Spiel gefallen
wird, wenn auch der Preis ein
bißchen abschreckt. Aber es
soll ja auch Händler geben, die
ein bißchen Rabatt geben -
Schrecken sie somit nicht zurück und kaufen Sie das Programm!
Atari STST Action
The blurb on the packaging of Mirrorsoft's Dark Castle says: "can you survive.." The finishing touch, for me, has to be "... the boredom?" This game is a real dodo. Granted, the load-up screen and selection screens are very prettily drawn and the sampled music is good, but the fact is, behind all the gloss and pretty pictures, the game is simply a platform game, and not a good one at that. The controls are horrendously difficult to come to terms with and this, combined with the extreme slowness, makes it an infinitely forgettable game. Thumbs down!
Commodore 64ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
Dull graphics and animation do little to fire your enthusiasm and you'll probably get tired of playing the game after a relatively short time.
AmigaThe Games Machine (UK)
The only real noticeable differences between the PC and Amiga versions of Dark Castle are the improved graphics and sound in the latter. The gameplay is frustrating and the control of the main character is difficult to master. The stereo sound becomes annoying after playing for a while, as bats flap, rats squeak and whips crack endlessly, urging the player to use volume control on the monitor.
DOSThe Games Machine (UK)
Visually Dark Castle looks really good; the background and character graphics are among the best on the PC. It would be wise to opt for joystick control because the keyboard controls for jumping, throwing and generally moving about are unfairly difficult and complex to use, taking into account the speed required to act in some situations within the game.
Atari STThe Games Machine (UK)
Combining the badly designed control method with the continual swapping of three disks results in a slow and frustrating game. The graphics and sound are of a relatively high standard but they are not sufficient to counter the poor gameplay.
CD-iThe CD-i Collective
Overall, the designers had good intentions, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Honestly though. its not bad for an early CD-i title, but not worth the stress. A fair title for the occasional play, but long term exposure may turn you off to the action/adventure genre completely. Best to play only brief periods at a time, very very brief.
This game is so bad, criticising it is like kicking a sad, retarded cripple while he's down. Apart from the laughable sampled sound, everything about it is diabolical. The graphics look like they've been lifted from a particularly crap Master System game - well, look at the screenshots and agree.
"Oui mon coeur, je m'en occupe tout de suite, j'ai une idée". Quoi de mieux pour caler un bon meuble qu'une cartouche bien pourrie qui n'aurait pas pu rêver d'une meilleure utilité.
Crap games often develop a cult following, people who want to witness a massive trainwreck unfold onscreen. Like a runaway locomotive aimed squarely at a gas station full of starving Ethiopian babies, you know something BIG is gonna happen at the end. But this time around, it's not an entertainingly explosive trainwreck like you'd find in Sword of Sodan. I doubt you'll be able to put up with the game long enough to see even half the badness. In Dark Castle, the train runs you over before it explodes. And you can't enjoy the ensuing calamity if you're dead.
Dark Castle isn't just a bad game, it is THE bad game. As a collector, I bought it because I knew that was doing to suck and I wanted to experience it firsthand. The gameplay could have been fun if EA had decided to actually work on the game, as the concept was reasonably sound. The controls are pathetic and the fact that you control a complete muppet who can barely walk up steps is just ridiculous. This game is great as a paperweight, a doorstop, or something to prop up a broken table leg, but as a game it's the poorest of the poor.
CD-iThe Video Game Critic
Being on the lowly CD-i, I would have been willing to give Dark Castle the benefit of the doubt had it been the least bit playable. Sadly, it's not!