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Game info
Macintosh

Dark Castle

Dark Castle
GenreAction Puzzle
DeveloperSilicon Beach Software
PublisherSilicon Beach Software
Released1986
Rating
Graphics:7.0
Sound:8.0
Gameplay:7.0
Overall:7.0
Reviewed byndial
Dark Castle is the predecessor of Beyond Dark Castle (released a year later). It is an action platform game with some puzzle solving gameplay inside the Castle's complex mazes! Dark Castle was released in 1986 initially for the Macintosh and later by Three-Sixty Pacific and Mirrorsoft for tthe Apple IIGS, Atari ST/E, Commodore Amiga, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, PC (MS-DOS) and Commodore 64 computers. It was also ported to the Philips CD-i and Sega Mega Drive video game consoles.
 
Review
Dark CastleSTORY / GAMEPLAY
Dark Castle is essentially an action platform game with a jumping, rock-hurling hero (Prince Duncan) who makes his way through different screens to confront the Black Knight at the end of the game. Each screen is an unoriginal layout of platforms, ladders, stairways, ropes, and trapdoors over which you climb, jump, and run. The enemies are in the form of rats, bats, guards (some with whips) and so on and you can kill them by throwing rocks. There are a few bonus weapons to collect but their use is as limited as their numbers. Because of the amount of actions you can perform, the mouse is needed as well as the joystick (if any) or keyboard. This leads to a confusion when monsters are closing in from all sides but it can be mastered with practice. The controls are problematic at times and the game's engine will interpret movements (such as going downstairs / upstairs through ladders) in a different way according to whether it "thinks" you're standing near a staircase or not! It can be very annoying when you fall and lose a life for no apparent reason or when your hero refuses to go up or down in some stairs. So, what "bombs" this game is neither its unadventurous display nor the old game ideals but its painfully frustrating gameplay.

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics on the MAC version are good but nothing to write home about. This game is praised for its sound right from the opening credits with the...rather scary sampled sound of Bach's Toccata and Fugue. It has some nice sampled sound effects and the grunts and screeches add a lot to the atmosphere, though they get a bit repetitive after a while.
 
Screenshots
  • Dark Castle
  • Dark Castle
  • Dark Castle
  • Dark Castle
  • Dark Castle
  • Dark Castle
 
Gameplay sample
 
Hardware information

Macintosh

MacintoshCPU: Macintosh Classic (1984) and Macintosh Plus (1986), Macintosh SE and SE/30 (1987 and 1991 respectively) with Motorola MC68000 at 7.83 MHz
MEMORY: Macintosh Classic (128k, 512k), Macintosh Plus/SE (1MB expandable to 4MB), Macintosh SE/30 (1MB expandable to 128MB)
GRAPHICS: Macintosh Classic/Plus/SE with Black & White screen, 512x342 pixels
SOUND: Macintosh Classic/Plus/SE (internal speaker). 8-bit mono 22 kHz (support 8-bit sampled monaural sound sampled at the 22.25 kHz horizontal blanking rate)
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The Macintosh (default) color palette
 
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