ReviewsReview: Castle on the Coast

Review: Castle on the Coast

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My video review with footage captured on my Xbox Series X, enjoy!

Feuding friends and terrible arguments are nothing new when emotions are raw. Sometimes all it takes is a sympathetic ear and a calm soul to solve the situation. However, when that doesn’t work, a bit of crazy action usually resolves the matter. Castle on the Coast captures this idea in its eclectic and silly world.

Developed by Big Heart Productions and published by Klabater, this is a 3D arcade adventure title. It focuses on collectables, unusual landscapes, and emotive subjects. You’ll explore some weird and whacky areas, meet some interesting characters, and gather unusual items.

Castle on the Coast is a slow-burner. 

As the game opens, you’ll wonder what you’ve let yourself in for. The clunky imagery, lacklustre controls, and weird story all seem dated and unattractive. However, if you can battle past this, you experience a heart-warming tale and some truly interesting environments. 

You control George, a mute giraffe who loves to help others. He stumbles across the Castle on the Coast and discovers a group of hapless orphans. These abandoned kids are “minded” by a pair of warring magicians who are no older than they are. Aleandra and Vendrick have lost their magical parents, who saved the world from a rampaging dragon. Subsequently, they take out their anger on those closest to them. Therefore, this uncomfortable story touches upon loss, conflict, and loving your enemies.

Aleandra loves fire.

Retro vibes.

The PS One and original Xbox were renowned for their platforming adventure titles. Castle on the Coast is distinctly reminiscent of this era thanks to its aesthetics, controls, and cooky storyline. This was fantastic if you craved a little nostalgia combined with a new and unusual plot. However, it may be off-putting for anyone that wants depth and finesse.

The story revolves around the magical castle and its secret portals. These colourful gateways connect a forest, ocean, skate park, and more to the central library. Here the orphans reside, waiting to access the tower that houses their wizard masters. By collecting magical orbs and keystones, you unlock the gates that connect the world.

En route, you also find purple orbs that unlock costumes for George. He can be a knight, a wizard, a child, some boxes, and more. Unsurprisingly, most of the gameplay is nonsensical and you must accept the madness that unfolds.

Its strange but inoffensive ways make it a perfect family game. Helped further still by its couch co-op option, this is a chilled title that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. 

Avoid the frogs.

Castle on the Coast is graphically lacklustre. 

I don’t need great graphics to enjoy a game, however, Castle on the Coast is distinctly lacklustre. Its chunky, clunky finish is dated and sadly leaves a lot to be desired. Furthermore, its style went out in the 90s and it’s poorly polished. Moreover, there are endless problems as George clips the scenery repeatedly and collides with invisible barriers. It’s frustrating as hell as it detracts from the other great elements. Graphical fidelity aside, you’ll enjoy a colourful cartoon world that combines fantasy images with a surreal dreamscape. The bizarre nature of each area can be disorientating, but once you understand the navigation system, you’ll enjoy what’s on offer.

The audio combines tedious soundbites with wonderfully folksy tunes. It was a strange mix, but it brilliantly delivered the emotion while also annoying you. The NPCs repeat the same limited lines and the sound effects are bizarre, yet the music is fantastic. Fortunately, the well thought out soundtrack prevents this from becoming a tedious and painful mess. 

A snowman in a library, why not?

Drifting movement. 

I despise rough and badly implemented controls and sadly, Castle on the Coast is cumbersome. The movement is sluggish and lacks accuracy, and this causes endless problems. You’ll struggle to navigate platforms, fall into pits, and die repeatedly. Furthermore, there are abilities you don’t use and this causes you confusion. Fortunately, though, everything is just about serviceable, but it could have been much better! If the developers had simplified things while tightening the controls, then the game would have been much better.

The core concept is simple, and each area lacks challenge! Yet, the introduction of co-op action, various costumes, and collectables increase longevity. A speed run option adds to the replay value alongside the large achievement list. Subsequently, it offers reasonable value for money and a reason to keep playing.

Castle on the Coast could have been great. 

It’s always frustrating when a game falls short. This is especially true when many of its elements are fantastic. Castle on the Coast has a strange but touching story that’ll resonate with many. Its levels are interesting to explore and the collectables are hard to find. I also loved its music and the blend of characters you encounter. Sadly, though, the graphics and controls are lacking and the sound effects are tedious. I loved the ability to play co-op and its cooky ways. Therefore, I enjoyed it despite its shortcomings and recommend you to buy it here! Will George do the right thing or are the kids destined to fight eternally? Gather the collectables, explore the world, and make new friends. 

SUMMARY

Castle on the Coast is a simple adventure title that's silly and touching. It could have been great, but its shortcomings hold back the potential. I enjoyed the story, music, co-op action, and the speedrun option. However, the dated graphics and cumbersome controls are off-putting.

+ Colourful and surreal graphics.
+ Folksy music.
+ Speedrun and co-op action.
+ Plenty of collectables.
- Dated graphics.
- Annoying sound effects.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Castle on the CoastCastle on the Coast is a simple adventure title that's silly and touching. It could have been great, but its shortcomings hold back the potential. I enjoyed the story, music, co-op action, and the speedrun option. However, the dated graphics and cumbersome controls are off-putting. <br/> <br/> + Colourful and surreal graphics. <br/> + Folksy music. <br/> + Speedrun and co-op action. <br/> + Plenty of collectables. <br/> - Dated graphics. <br/> - Annoying sound effects. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>