Mar 4, 2011

Kilgamore Castle

Kilgamore Castle advertises itself as an Arkanoid style game with a twist. That's a pretty accurate description. In Kilgamore Castle you play the role of retired explorer Ernest who, along with his dog, Barney is attempting to find a hidden treasure based on a map he has. How does that turn into Arkanoid? Well, Ernest is the paddle, Barney is the ball, and each level is a section of the castle's wall. Now, you'd think that would hurt Barney, but fortunately he comes equipped with a hard hat so that he can pound away at the wall in piecemeal fashion.

The graphics in Kilgamore Castle are average with a bland, earthy color scheme. As Barney runs back and forth towards the castle wall he'll pound at it, but you also have other weapons to assist in the demolition process such as bombs. Controls use the touch screen with a left and right button to more the paddle (aka Ernest) and a left and right 'launch' button for starting Barney off in a given direction. There's also a middle button which allows Barney to do special things such as drop off a bomb. Timing is everything as I find I have to tap the button a little before he's actually there which makes positioning the bomb a challenge. Barney then gets a second or two to run off and then kaboom! I have to admit that it would be nice if there were options other than a left/right button pair for moving Ernest. The DPad is out because the game doesn't support landscape orientation, but perhaps a finger slider or something? The button pair isn't bad, but doesn't seem to be ideal for a paddle game.

qrcodeThe game offers a nice tutorial to assist you in getting started along with a quick story. Once you're into the game you'll get a certain number of 'lives' for Barney and once those are depleted Ernest will let you know he has to go catch Barney upon his next escape (i.e. the ball gets by the paddle). You can always play the level again from the beginning, but that's more difficult than it sounds because once you've exhausted all of your bombs and lives it becomes a 'no error' proposition. You can always buy more bombs, but that takes money which is earned very slowly. Sometimes when Barney hammers a wall section he'll find a small stash of coins. Those coins will fly down the screen and Ernest has to catch them. Most of the time you've got a choice between saving Barney and collecting the coins as there's not enough time for both. After some experience I found myself focusing on coins so I could buy more bombs and then try the level again with improved odds of victory, but in the end it became a bit of a tedious loop.

In conclusion, this game is an average take of Arkanoid type games. I think Arkanoid purists will be disappointed if they buy solely based on 'Arkanoid' as one of my favorite features of that game (the immediate access of things like laser cannons and such) is absent. On the other hand, the game plays smoothly and is enjoyable. It's not going to set any records for innovation, but it works. All in all I'm lukewarm on Kilgamore Castle and give it 4/5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I'm the author of Kilgamore Castle.

    > Most of the time you've got a choice between
    > saving Barney and collecting the coins as
    > there's not enough time for both.

    Remember that you can "steer" Barney. The trick is to position yourself under a falling coin and command Barney to run in that direction. It's more predictable if you play with classic bounce angles (45 degrees) - you can enable that in options.

    > it became a bit of a tedious loop

    You're right, if player doesn't manage to catch many coins, he can't buy many bombs and game becomes a little boring. I'll think about that, maybe I'll make bombs cheaper. Dropping bombs is fun. :)

    Try to get deeper into Kilgamore Castle, there are plenty of interesting things inside!