Lost Castle is an RPG (Role Playing Game), action, rogue-like, 2D side scroller developed by Hunter Studio and published by Another Indie. The game was released on February 5th, 2016 on Steam.
Castle Harwood has been infiltrated by many kinds of evil, and eventually taken over completely by many a demon and monstrous creature. You play as a treasure hunter who is entering the castle to find the many treasures which the demons are holding, and possibly to defeat the evil that plagues the castle as well.
The game has randomly generated areas, so you’ll never play the same way twice, and even the characters themselves are randomly generated. When you restart the game, which will happen a lot, you don’t know what you will look like or what weapon you will be holding. This is all based around the idea that you will be dying, a lot. So each time you die, you will more than likely start with a different weapon to the one you were using before, and the weapons are what define your skills and fighting style. You don’t have classes or races or anything like that, simply different weapons. Each weapon grants a different attack style, movement skill and special ability. For instance, a person with a magical staff will have a teleport for their movement skill, whereas someone with daggers might have a jump or a dash. Trade out for a different weapon and your entire skill set changes, simply by holding a different weapon.
You get to sink points into certain passive upgrades which make you stronger and more powerful, you do this with the sacrifice system. You earn points from killing enemies, which you eventually use to buy upgrades like more attack power, defence or a few upgrades to the prison room. You can only upgrade your skills once you die, and everything you earn will be sacrificed whether you spend it on a skill or not, so any unused points will not rollover to your next try. This is incredibly frustrating when you are only one or so off of an ability, and all of the points simply go to waste because you can not purchase anything, or at least the next skill you actually wanted.
Lost Castle can be played in co-op and, like most games, this is where it truly shines. You and your ally working together to demolish hordes of enemies using whatever weapons you wish, and even some which can compliment the other. There are many items for you and your comrade to collect along the way, such as food which heals, unknown potions with completely random effects and some unique items like scarecrow dummies and throwing daggers. These items can drop occasionally from enemies, breakable items and chests, which you earn from finding special rooms or completing an area. You also earn coins along the way, which you use to purchase random items from people you meet along the way, or shops which you can occasionally find. As the dungeons are randomised, though, you never know when you will find times to use your money, so you could end up holding on to it for a long time.
The combat in this game is difficult. The enemies have a large amount of health and use multiple ways of attacking you. You need to be quick and use every advantage you have to clear the rooms, especially when you go up against bosses. Bosses have a huge amount of health and use different strategies and ways of fighting, you need to try to save all of your best attacks and items for them if you can. You also never know when you will fight a boss, you will simply walk into a room and realise that it is a boss room, giving you little time to prepare and work out a strategy.
Lost Castle is out on Steam in Early Access for AUD $11. Unless you do really well, you will find yourself dying a lot, and this can become incredibly frustrating. As you put points into your passive skills each time you die, it just makes you that much more invigorated to jump back in and see how you’ll do the next time around. With the randomised weapons and dungeons, you’ll never play the same thing again, giving you a new experience each time. Lost Castle receives an 8/10, an incredibly fun side-scroller, all the more so with a friend. It goes to prove that success is gained not by performing well, but is held up high atop a mountain of failure.