Lost Castle is the next entrant in the midst of an ever-growing pile of roguelikes on the Nintendo Switch. The new Switch title features 150+ weapons, 80+ items, anything randomly generated, and four-player co-op.
A gate to hell was opened by Castle Earl thanks to a faulty spell. Demons now call the castle their home, while adventurers and treasure hunters from all over the world flock to the place with high hopes and dreams, many of which are never realized. Since we're starting over with each run, it's important to mention how Lost Castle is getting things started. The start of each run puts you in an unlocked cell with a random starting weapon, appearance and gender. You have no choice which class or which character you play. Lost Castle decides all of this for you and quickly throws you into battle.
After leaving the often-visited prison cell, you will be greeted by a blacksmith, thief and a pharmacist. Each of them offers their own articles. The blacksmith will provide you with a selection of weapons, while the apothecary will offer you a random potion. After a few activations, these would-be merchants will offer a wider variety of items. For example, one of the unlocks increases the number of starting weapons the blacksmith makes available to you. This all plays out very well in rogue nature as everything is random and nothing is promised. The rest of the game goes as you can imagine: the player tries to make it as far as possible without dying. When you die, you will return to your favorite prison cell as a new character.
Progress in Lost Castle takes the form of an upgrade tree, in which you can unlock upgrades by sacrificing demon souls between runs. You can get demon souls by killing enemies while playing. The upgrades are masked with question marks until you unlock each previous one.
Lost Castle plays like a side-scrolling beat em-up, in which you only attack in the left or right direction, but can move freely in all 360 degrees. Lost Castle doesn't feel like a jumble of punches and kicks like its predecessors. Movement, jumping, and dodging are fluid and smooth while attacking feels precise. The levels in Lost Castle are filled with all sorts of random rooms full of traps, rewards, trapped vendors, demon altars and slot machines. You probably won't find them all in one go, which makes your discovery all the more special. Each of the levels has its own enemies, but the game is not afraid of throwing enemies from another zone into the "wrong" one. Lost Castle remains random until your last breath.
Lost Castle has some very small but fun nuances in carrying out attacks. If you chain 3 attacks together, you will be rewarded with a slightly different and stronger attack than usual. Attacking versus moving fast becomes the main decision you need to make if you are to move on. There is a "Press-Auto-Combo" game setting so your character will keep attacking when the button is held down. It's easier to play with, especially for ranged weapons. Lost Castle offers simple controls that are only enhanced by the sheer number of items with randomly generated statistics.
Lost Castle doesn't lie when they say it's armed with 150+ weapons and 80+ items. It really feels like there's a huge pool of items that makes playing just one more level even more fun. In addition, stat boosts in the form of enchantments vary from item drop to item drop. An armor set found during a run can give drastically different bonuses than in a previous run.
Each weapon also has a special skill attack that requires a gauge to be filled. These vary from weapon to weapon. So be sure to use them before you really need them so you know what is going to happen. But don't worry, any weapon you drop for another will stay there in case you want to switch back. It doesn't disappear into the abyss, which is very nice when you have to choose between the sword or the staff. The game has an excellent expansive item system.
Lost Castle's items may feel secondary to weapons and armor, but that doesn't mean they're any less useful. You'll find a variety of health replenishing items, unfamiliar potions, and thrown weapons to aid you in your dungeon adventure. There are also a decent amount of passive Stat Enhancer Crystals that will permanently increase stats like Attack or Defense. It is up to you whether you want to drink this unknown potion. Some of them are permanently damaging your stats.
Lost Castle also has a compendium for all performance hunter fans. It catalogs all the pieces of equipment, items, monsters, and bosses that you have ever seen or acquired. It even gets the total number of kills per monster.
Lost Castle looks great. The enemies' sprite design turns out to be imaginative, but not aesthetically groundbreaking. While most consider this a bad thing, given Lost Castle's track record to date, it is excellent. Nothing the graphics department interferes with the gaming experience.
Since Lost Castle is primarily a roguelike, it also falls into some of the same traps of the genre. Every run in the game is slow to start. Blasting away with the same goblins and blowing through the first and second levels quickly becomes a chore, not the glitzy experience it once was. As a player, your knowledge and skills of the game will eventually grow beyond the starting levels, but the game's design means you are forced to replay them every time.
The online multiplayer includes both co-op and arena modes. Lost Castle is a pretty laid back and slightly interesting rogue title. Lost Castle is a solid game with hardly any problems. The graphics are not great, but it doesn't have to be. It is recommended for fans of the roguelike game, but it does not offer many innovations compared to other games in the genre. Even so, there is a definitive game recommendation for the game.