Day 153: “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain”

Posted: 2011/04/11 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #153, and today’s game is “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain”.

I’ve purchased some hard games, like “Soul” and “Aban Hawkins & the 1000 SPIKES”, games where the challenge is doing what you need to do. “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain” is another platformer in the “die-’em-up” sub-genre, where you’ll find your character ending up on the wrong side of the game environment’s hazards many times. The game’s map also really deserve the name “map”, as a lot of the challenge is in figuring out where you need to be in addition to what you need to do when you get there. However, the game is a thoroughly enjoyable platformer that is well worth a look.

First, from the developer (Magiko Gaming):

“Can you save the princess ? Will you get to the end of Castle Pain ? As an heavily armored knight you must succeed in various challenging platform goodness: Slalom between bird droppings, avoid giant fireballs, flee from the ghost, escape a giant octopus, brave blood thirsty bats and much more… Let the quest begin!”

I love the presentation in “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain”, from the appropriately retro chiptune soundtrack to the amusing movement of your knight in shining armour character who is constantly looking left and right for the inevitable danger around every corner. The 2D sprite art is extremely impressive at setting the mood. Perhaps most impressive is that you can zoom the screen out to see the entire level, which not only helps you get a much clearer idea of how to approach the level but it’s (surprisingly) still playable from this due to areas that are clearly delineated from each other due to smart graphic design, and objects within those areas just as clearly separated from each other.

I imagine our hero in this game wears a suit of armour simply as a fashion, or social strata, statement. It certainly seems to provide no protection, as the slightest glancing blow by any of the threats in the game’s environment means certain and quite immediate death. However, checkpoints and infinite lives keep makes the difficulty level tolerable, even if only just for some of us. The one exception is the ghost that floats slowly behind you, touching this results in a game over and should be avoided at all costs.

Despite the difficulty level, most players should be able to complete it due to the infinite continues. After that the real challenge comes: complete it on higher skill levels, and eventually shoot for completing it without dying at all. The attractive presentation helps make multiple playthroughs enjoyable, offering up more than enough replay value to justify the 80 Microsoft Point price of entry.

And, for those who noted the unusual space before the colon in the title, I make a point of calling games in the title of my reviews by what they’re called on the Xbox web site, considering it the final arbiter of what’s correct, but I may have to re-evaluate that as even I have to admit that the space before the colon simply can’t be right. :)

Click here to download “PLATFORMANCE : Castle Pain”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.

Know someone else who would want to read the review, or rate the game? “Share This” and invite them to.

  1. Sined says:

    Very good review !

    I love this game :-) Platformance 2 will come…Yeahhhhh

  2. Ha, “die-’em-up”, I like that term. It fits.

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