Review: Knights of the Phantom Castle
Hudson Soft’s Knights of the Phantom Castle is a retro-style action RPG and strategy game that is available now for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad for $4.99. Using the touch screen, you will be able to control multiple playable characters and execute a number of attack moves and special combos as you face hordes of goblins, slimeballs and flower creatures with bows, swords, stealth and magic. In Knights of the Phantom Castle, you are thrown into various stages of level difficulties that range anywhere from easy to just plain tedious. The story of Knights of the Phantom Castle is pretty simple. Peace is non-existent, an evil force has taken over the kingdom and you must conquer it to save your kingdom from certain annihilation. Sounds easy but at times this little 16-bit treasure takes an evil turn for the worse.
Read more for my review for Knights of the Phantom Castle.
Some levels in Knights of the Phantom Castle are as easy as eliminating a group of baddies or making your way through a maze but at other times you become so frustrated by the hordes of goblins they throw at you that if you don’t equip yourself with the correct character classes (ahem-a healer-ahem), then you will end up being stuck between a rock and hard-place. But, don’t worry, there are tutorials at the beginning to help you become accustomed to tap, flick and charge your way through the levels with combos and special moves that give your characters a little extra flame underneath that fire.
As I said previously, Knights of the Phantom Castle has a variety of different characters that you can control, such as a soldier, defender, mage, healer, ranger and an assassin. Each character has their own fighting style and special combat skills that they can use and the tutorials at the beginning will get you comfortable with each. as you move along your journey. “Drawing” a line from your character to your enemy will result in your initial attack… the tap. Flicking your character gives you the secondary attack move, and lastly the charged power is used by holding your finger down onto your character and unleashing the most powerful attack that you can make. Now, try to do all of this while controlling three to four characters on screen at once. That takes skill and once this skill is mastered, you will be golden.
There are many options within the menu screen that give you the chance to dive deeper into your experience. A customization section is available that allows you to create and customize weapons and armor from the items that you’ve acquired to make your character a little bit more deadly, but be sure to keep upgrading your weapons because I guarantee that you won’t make it very far. That’s the tediousness I was talking about. There is also even a section in the menu where you can find stats and detailed information about your characters, enemies, items and weapons within the game. Mix some customized weapons with some awesome flicking and charging action, you shouldn’t have any issue with taking down some of those irritating goblins.
Overall, Knights of the Phantom Castle reminds me a lot of games from the SNES days… and honestly, I enjoyed myself here for the most part once I figured out what I was doing, and it may take a few deaths in order for that to happen. Although some of the levels may be tedious at times, they aren’t impossible to complete. You will need strong weapons and armor and the right mixture of characters. Just be patient and remember to tap, flick and charge.
Knights of the Phantom Castle is not one of those titles that I would recommend to people who aren’t familiar with real-time strategy games. But, if you have some hardcore RPG and RTS skills that need to be unleashed, then this game is one that you may want to pick up for your collection.