384204_5Gameloft has released their new side-scrolling platformer game Castle of Magic [$5.99] into the App Store. We previewed the game back at E3 and thought it looked great.

The game really has that console feel to it with polished animations and intricate level designs. There seem to be a wide variety of level design elements to keep things interesting, as well as a number of secret areas that can be found.

The game was actually briefly released on Tuesday and then re-released later in the day. This did allow some early reviews from those who have already had time with the game (sizzlakalonji):

First of all, I was pretty starved for what I felt was a "true" platformer for the iDevices, and this certainly fills the void.
....
Overall, the graphics are impressive, colorful, clean and sharp. The sound is fine, as someone mentioned before the music isn't Nintendo, but what is except Nintendo? I like the sound effects, and the small elements of voice added. I like the level designs, and the first boss battle was fun as well, although pretty simple to defeat. I have high hopes for the rest of the worlds, and wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone at the current price, which I feel is quite reasonable for a game of this quality.

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After we've spent some time with the game, we generally agree with these sentiments. The game carries an overall polish and level of detail lacking in many other iPhone titles. The levels in particular seem very well designed with an attention to detail as well as secret areas to explore:

So the second world is a pirate ship. Imagine my surprise when I miss a jump and fall to the water below, and instead of dying like I expected, I discover an underwater portion to the level! I also find a new power-up, the SWORDFISH! You can now color me officially impressed!

There are perhaps two areas of possible contention for a game like this.

Game length is always a concern for any level-based games. Castle of Magic has 5 worlds with multiple levels within each. The official gameplay estimate is about 3.5 hours playing straight through. Each level, however, seems to have additional areas and a number of gems to collect so completing these levels fully will likely take you a fair bit more time. Simply trying to get to the end, however, will result in relatively shorter gameplay time.

The second area is of controls. The game offers Gameloft's typical virtual-dpad and button layout. If you've played other Gameloft games, you'll be relatively comfortable with these controls. As always, however, there is some level of clumsiness with any virtual-dpad control on the iPhone, though this does not seem to be a major impediment to the game. Regardless, I suspect this control scheme is the best (only?) option available for such a traditional platformer. While iPhone-specific games like Rolando or Toy Bot have the luxury of mixing swipe/accelerometer controls, Castle of Magic is seeking to mimic the traditional console platformers so many have grown up with.

Our gameplay video shows us playing the game after only a little practice:


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

Overall, a solid title from Gameloft that's going to appeal to any platformer fan.

App Store Link: Castle of Magic, $5.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://gen.erikveland.com Erik K Veland

    Not bad. Looks like Sonic/Mario hybrid with a Zelda-like main character.

    A bit kiddish maybe?

  • http://gen.erikveland.com Erik K Veland

    Not bad. Looks like Sonic/Mario hybrid with a Zelda-like main character.

    A bit kiddish maybe?

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Definitely want to play it, but I think I'm going to wait until it goes on sale (assuming it will eventually).

  • http://www.astrosaurus.com astrosaurus

    Definitely want to play it, but I think I'm going to wait until it goes on sale (assuming it will eventually).

  • Jim

    Is something wrong with the frame rate? That doesn't look right.

  • Jim

    Is something wrong with the frame rate? That doesn't look right.

  • http://gen.erikveland.com Erik K Veland

    Still not out in Australia despite someone on the forum's claim :(

    • arn

      looks like it got pulled again.

      arn

  • http://gen.erikveland.com Erik K Veland

    Still not out in Australia despite someone on the forum's claim :(

    • arn

      looks like it got pulled again.

      arn

  • muhfetus

    Must have been pulled... not available in the US? Load of shit. I really wanted to play this game.

  • muhfetus

    Must have been pulled... not available in the US? Load of shit. I really wanted to play this game.

  • thr

    ? isn't the joystick the exact same as the one in zenonia ?

    • Alichan76

      Yes, but being a side scroller it works. Just tap left and jump to move diagonally forward. Zenonia has no way for you to move diagonally ATALL *fumes*.

  • thr

    ? isn't the joystick the exact same as the one in zenonia ?

    • Alichan76

      Yes, but being a side scroller it works. Just tap left and jump to move diagonally forward. Zenonia has no way for you to move diagonally ATALL *fumes*.

  • Pitch_Blak

    Wow, there must be some huge, non-existent bug that they MUST remove.

    Seriously, you won't get sales if you only leave a game up for under an hour.

  • Pitch_Blak

    Wow, there must be some huge, non-existent bug that they MUST remove.

    Seriously, you won't get sales if you only leave a game up for under an hour.

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

    wtf. I mean: WTF??? It's there, it's gone, it's there, it's gone again and when I ask Gameloft the only answer I get is:

    don't know. Maybe someone pressed the wrong button. haha!

    hello???? seems that they don't need my money. Or my review ;). Which means, your money ;).

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Lakeshore | taptoplay.de

    wtf. I mean: WTF??? It's there, it's gone, it's there, it's gone again and when I ask Gameloft the only answer I get is:

    don't know. Maybe someone pressed the wrong button. haha!

    hello???? seems that they don't need my money. Or my review ;). Which means, your money ;).

  • Bart23

    The controls are still faulty

  • Bart23

    The controls are still faulty

  • Pwnedyou

    Wow they removed it againg WTF. My friend didn't believe me when I said this was out because it got removed.

  • Pwnedyou

    Wow they removed it againg WTF. My friend didn't believe me when I said this was out because it got removed.

  • http://www.uniwar.com MrXpressed

    I am guilty to say that I won't purchase it because I purchase so many apps and 99 cents here and there is no problem but 5 dollars here and 5 there really adds up...maybe if people wouldn't offer such incredible games at 99 cents..not that I am complaining ;-)

  • http://www.uniwar.com MrXpressed

    I am guilty to say that I won't purchase it because I purchase so many apps and 99 cents here and there is no problem but 5 dollars here and 5 there really adds up...maybe if people wouldn't offer such incredible games at 99 cents..not that I am complaining ;-)

  • zenchord

    ...why do they put it out if it doesn't work? I tried to go to the APP Store to look at it but it wasn't available. Morons.

  • zenchord

    ...why do they put it out if it doesn't work? I tried to go to the APP Store to look at it but it wasn't available. Morons.

  • athom

    I think it's up again. Can't wait to play it, seems like one of the greatest games for iPhone to me, I'm a huge fan of this genre.

  • athom

    I think it's up again. Can't wait to play it, seems like one of the greatest games for iPhone to me, I'm a huge fan of this genre.

  • Sufy

    It's still not available and i'm in the UK. Why is that?

  • Sufy

    It's still not available and i'm in the UK. Why is that?

  • http://youtube.com/smoof7returns Vince

    Looks great...but I hate GameLoft so much. Never once have they actually updated a game with content.

  • http://youtube.com/smoof7returns Vince

    Looks great...but I hate GameLoft so much. Never once have they actually updated a game with content.

  • Sufy

    That's true Vince I hate gameloft as well they never update as with EA they never update as well. For example sims 3 loads of people have been experiencing crashing and EA doesn't seem to sort that out in an update.

  • Sufy

    That's true Vince I hate gameloft as well they never update as with EA they never update as well. For example sims 3 loads of people have been experiencing crashing and EA doesn't seem to sort that out in an update.

  • dagamer34

    Games like this are what make me wish Apple would make a gamepad attachment so games like this can get the controls they deserve. As great as the touchscreen is, controls can be quite cumbersome for extensive games.

  • dagamer34

    Games like this are what make me wish Apple would make a gamepad attachment so games like this can get the controls they deserve. As great as the touchscreen is, controls can be quite cumbersome for extensive games.