50 Castles (PC)

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Graphics: 7.00
Sound: 7.50
Gameplay: 7.00
Replays: 7.00

50 Castles is a new puzzle game from Rusty Axe Games. In it, the player attempts to fill in the black spaces of a castle by placing pieces (they either will fit in a certain spot or can be rotated to fit in). There is a time limit for each limit, so players will have to hurry as they fill in the pieces.

Graphically, 50 Castles has a nice cartoon look to it. Everything is well animated, and it is easy to tell what piece you currently have and where it should go (there is never any confusion due to pieces looking too similar or anything like that). No, it isn’t a graphically intense game, but then again, puzzle games don’t need to be. This also makes it so more people can play the game (as the system requirements are very low).

In-game music is upbeat and catchy, and keeps you on the move as you seek to complete the level before time runs out. However, the music doesn’t get in your face either, so you will be able to keep playing intelligently without being distracted. As you play, there are several “announcers”, ranging from a cheerleader to a Scottish guy. Their commentary is amusing (though it can grow a little old after extended play), but if it annoys you too much then there is an option to disable them.

There are 50 levels to complete in all (hence the name), and there are three difficulty levels for players to try out. Even on the lowest difficulty, players will likely find some decent challenge in the later levels of the game. One nice feature that 50 Castles has over other puzzle games would have to be that it allows you to save after every level (allowing for quick play if a gamer has limited time).

Not only will you be filling in pieces of the castle, but some levels include chickens, which if protected will nab a score bonus for the player. Various snakes and marauders will attempt to get by, and by clicking on them players will be able to fire a cannon to dispatch of them. While this may sound like a lot to manage at once (putting pieces in place while getting rid of enemies), the game is never overwhelming.

It may not be the deepest gameplay concept ever, but 50 Castles is a fun diversion for PC gamers. The gameplay is simple enough that almost anyone can get into it, and the 50 levels will last players for awhile. If you want a new puzzle game or something fun to play, give the game a look, you won’t be disappointed. A demo can be downloaded from http://www.rustyaxe.com and the full version is $19.99.

Overall Rating: 7.00

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