Despite growing up in the eighties, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of the supposed 1987 game The Eternal Castle.
Whether it’s real or not though, The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is something I have actually played, and it’s set for release on PC on 5th January. It’s also rather bloody good from what I can tell.
A post-apocalyptic adventure game with CGA graphics, The Eternal Castle [Remastered] certainly looks old. Or at least in stills, anyway. In motion, its beautiful animation assures you that this is a game for the modern age. Its gameplay also blends the old with the new, keeping you on your toes with its instant deaths while also being so lenient that it doesn’t put you off.
Mysterious, that’s what The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is, and it’s all the better for it. Thrown into a strange world, you’re forced to make a choice between two protagonists. Whichever you choose, you’re pretty much left to figure things out for yourself in an environment that quickly presents itself as hostile. What’s really surprising though, is that after completing the first level as such, you’re given some choice as to what order you tackle those which come after.
Playing The Eternal Castle [Remastered] reminds me of classics such as Prince of Persia and Flashback. It’s a platform game with huge amounts of atmosphere, and it’s very reliant on trial and error. Early on in the game you might be puzzled by a car suspended in the air via a rope, for example, and wonder what it’s there for. You’ll discover that rolling into a contraption underneath it causes it to fall, and also results in your death. The moral of the story? Don’t mess with things unless you really need to. And shortly after, you might just discover a use for other strange vehicles that are suspended in the air anyway.
Thanks to frequent checkpoints, the trial and error nature of The Eternal Castle [Remastered] never wears you down though, and you can take quite a beating in the game’s combat sections until you find yourself out for the count. What I’ve played of The Eternal Castle [Remastered] up to now has been challenging, but never so much of an uphill struggle as to cause undue frustration. Even its bosses I’ve fought haven’t made me curse under my breath.
If you don’t mind your games a little obscure then, and value style over visual spectacle, you should really give The Eternal Castle [Remastered] a go. What I’ve played of the game up to now has really blown my socks off. 2019 may have only just begun, but if The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is indicative of what’s to come, we’re going to have plenty of great experiences to fill our spare time.
The Eternal Castle [Remastered] is available on PC from 5th January.