Castle Of Magic in Review – It’s Simply Magical!

Every console and every mobile device needs its own platformer. I grew up playing the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot series on my PS1 which, in my opinion, were two of greatest series the gaming world had ever seen back when the 32-bit console wars were heating up. This time, the spotlight isn’t on the Playstation or Dreamcast; its on the 32-bit iPhone and the war has been over a long while.

Having recently turned one, the AppStore has brought us many famous apps such as Sims 3 and Worms, along with a couple infamous apps such as Baby Shaker. Almost every genre has at least a handful of notable games. Puzzle, novelty – they’ve all had their limelight. But the platformer section at the App Store is quite dusty. There is only a small handful of sublime platformers for the iDevice led by the likes of Rolando (which already has a sequel). Gameloft has hit the nail on the hand with one of their latest games, and indeed my favorite, Castle Of Magic. This game is top-tier in terms of polish and design among iDevice platformers. Reminiscent of the two rivals, Sonic and Mario, Castle of Magic is one of my favorite games.

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Castle of Magic gets off the ground when Boy (who won’t be named till Gameloft’s contest is over) and his friend Jenny get bored after they break their game console and decide to explore the island called “dreaded beach”. There, they open a magical treasure chest expecting candy or some other random commodity like gold or gems. Of course, it wouldn’t be a game if the story ended there. That’s why the total opposite happens and a wormhole in the space-time continuum opens up and sucks up both Boy and Jenny (go figure)! The next thing you know, Jenny is captured by the evil magician known as Nesfastax (say that ten times fast). Obviously, Nesfastax has other things on his mind than to be kind and hand back Jenny. He runs off leaving Boy (who has acquired magical powers after awakening Nesfastax), to chase after him through the Castle of Magic (hence the name of the game).

Castle of Magic consists of five diverse and distinct worlds ranging from a pirate base to a space world. The graphics in this side scrolling platformer are vibrant and colorfully rendered in 3D. Each world consists of three levels and a final boss. As for music, it is wizardy-themed, catchy and cannot be described in any other way. The controls are well implemented, consisting of a d-pad and two action buttons: jump and attack. If you hold the jump button then your cape activates and you are able to glide. Jumping while holding down on the d-pad does a ground smash.

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Being a magician wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t have a magic few tricks up your sleeve. In Castle of Magic, you’re able to transform into six different outfits that have their own special abilities. My favorite by far is the hunter outfit mainly because Boy says, “Robin Hoooooooood!” in a funny voice. Not to mention, you’re able to shoot arrows and jump on them to get to higher places.

You collect stars (three per level) and gems as you progress through the game. 100 gems equals an extra life. You can also find hats through out each level which automatically give you an extras lives. If you touch an enemy, you lose all your gems (but are able to regain them if you reach them before they disappear). If you’re hit without having any gems then you die and lose a life.

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I really don’t have any complaints with Castle of Magic. After about an hour and a half, I’m almost done with the second world. With that being said, the game probably lasts around 3-4 hours. While this is a decent length, finding all three stars per level adds replayability once you’ve beaten the game. There are many hidden rooms and areas to explore to find stars as well as a bountiful amount of gems. The only thing that slightly annoyed me sometimes were awkward controls where instead of simply moving left or right, I would end up doing ground smashes. I believe this is due to my clumsy thumb covering the wrong parts of the d-pad rather than the controls themselves (but it is evidence that the iDevice has its work cut out for it with action games).

Overall, Castle of Magic is a very solid platformer that hits all the high notes. Having beautiful graphics, different magic outfits, and five unique worlds to explore, it is definitely the game to have. For the fair price of only $5 (less money than a plastic Harry Potter wand from Wal-Mart), I fully recommend this amazing game and award it the mystical and magical Kiss It rating.

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App Summary
Title:Castle Of Magic (v1.0.1)Developer:Gameloft
Price:$4.99App Size:75.0 mb
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Controls
  • Six different outfits
  • Six diverse worlds
  • Some replayability value
  • A tad on the short side

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