As gamers who grew up alongside videogames since their rise in popularity into 8 and 16 bit territory in the 80s themselves become adults and enter the workforce, many of them are turning to game developing to pay homage to the titles that made them fall in love with gaming. Case in point, Castle in the Darkness is yet another old-school indie game to join the ranks of other upcoming retro-gaming titles.
Developed by developer, artist and musician Matt Kap, Castle is a love letter to 8-bit gaming. Players take on the role of a currently nameless knight who must, quite predictably, embark on a quest to rescue a princess of the clutches of an evil sorcerer and his monstrous army.
Gameplay in Castle is fast and difficult; players must have a keen sense of hand-eye coordination to master enemy attack and movement patterns, or suffer a swift death. Fortunately, the game allows for leveling up and armor, magic and weapon customization with over a hundred of them to choose from.
A prologue level, which serves as a demo for the game, shows the protagonist knight engaging in all manner of chivalrous activity, such as going around using his sword to murder a variety of creatures and extinguish flames and looting money from the evaporated corpses of fallen enemies or the homes of kindly old men.
The game also features a fast paced soundtrack composed by developer Kap, who is himself a musician. The soundtrack draws heavy inspiration from the wailing guitar solos of 80s hair metal, the electronic arpeggios of chiptunes, and the pulse-pounding rhythms of punk rock.
Castle was built on Clickteam’s Multimedia Fusion 2, a visual creation tool that specializes in 2D executables. Developer Matt Kap has previously worked on The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth and 1001 Spikes. Handling publishing responsibilities is Southern California-based Nicalis, whose credits include the afore-mentioned games alongside others such as 90s Arcade Racer, and Legend of Raven.
More information and updates on Castle in the Darkness can be found on Kap’s Twitter feed, but you can expect it available for purchase on Steam very soon.