Mysterious Castle - Steam Review
- Platform: PC
- Players: 1
- Achievements: No
- Steam Trading Cards: No
- Controller Support : No
- Retail Price: $4.99
High Level Premise: An "escape room" style game. Find your way out of a series of locked rooms.
Graphics/Style: The graphics do their job, but don't feel that realistic. The presentation feels a couple generations old.
Music/Soundtrack: There's a song that drones in the background. It sets the mood, but that's about it.
Story: You play as a rogue, staging a robbery of a grand castle. A mysterious monk shows up and tells you there are some grand riches, but the castle isn't ready to give them up so easily.
Replay-ability: None. There is one way to finish each level, so once you've done it, there's no reason to go back.
Time Commitment: Fully completing the game should take you 45 minutes, tops.
Value: Minimal. The concept is a great, but there's no meat to the puzzles.
Favorite Element: The story at the beginning and end of the game are told in a comic book format. These sections are pretty good, although the dialogue feels like it was written today, not several hundred years ago as the setting suggests.
Mysterious Castle is hyped as an escape room video game. If you've never experienced an escape room, basically a group of people are locked in a room, or series of rooms. By working together, players in these rooms have to solve various physical challenges, decipher codes, and figure out various other puzzle styles in order to find the key to let you out of the room. Mysterious Castle sets itself up in this format. You find yourself in a locked room. By solving a series of puzzles, you eventually find the key, and find your way into the next room. There are two main problems with Mysterious Castle: its lack of difficulty, and its length.
First of all, Mysterious Castle is not a hard game. At all. The first level is a walkthrough. Once you enter Level 2, you are on your own. The thing is...you pretty much solve it in the same way as level 1 - everything's just hidden in a different place. Levels 3-9 also work in mostly he same way (there are a couple of variations). Usually you have to find a silver key, which unlocks a chest which gives you part of a code for a combination lock. You then have to use some other element in the room to find the other part of the code which opens a combination lock. This lock gives you the gold key that opens the main door. For the levels that don't work this way, there's usually a piece of paper sitting on a table that shows you how to find the way out.
To be honest, even though it's easy...I wouldn't be so negative if there were some actual stakes. If there was a better ending if you finished in 45 minutes, or you died in 60 minutes...something like that would add at least some spark to this game. Mysterious Castle encompasses 10 levels / rooms. The hardest room to finish took me a whole 6 minutes to finish, and it wasn't because the puzzle was hard, but because it glitched. The most disappointing level by far was the last one. Without spoiling anything: It's meant to be a sort of "grand puzzle gauntlet", but it's just three painfully easy puzzles that most players have seen before. It took me 2 minutes total to solve the three puzzles. There's just no challenge at all.
I really wanted to like this game. I was a big 7th Guest and Myst fan back in the day. Heck, I've even played through the old Prince (R.I.P.)- Interactive puzzle game 3 times. The best puzzles in this game are the ones "borrowed" from other sources. Mysterious Castle feels like an attempt at a throwback to an earlier time in gaming, but it doesn't contain any of the magic of those old games. I've read that the developer is planning on adding more levels. I hope they spend some time really crafting some more intriguing puzzles.