My first MSX game to review and this is what I get: a program that looks more like a magazine listing than a professionally produced piece of software.
I do not exaggerate. You are Coco (of clown fame), and the game certainly makes you feel pretty foolish. The Creepy King has kidnapped your fiancee and you are supposed to rescue her.
There are nine screens, each of them exceedingly boring and none of them at all original. 'Awful Arrows' has Coco 'leaping' across chasms while arrows come "speeding" toward him. 'Sharp Spears' has soldiers thrusting upwards while Coco tries to leap across. It's like a screen that was thrown away from Hunchback. Other screens have Coco performing similarly unoriginal tasks.On one particularly tedious screen Coco has to cross a pond (or is it a puddle?) by leaping on the backs of turtles. These rise and fall from the depths with great sloth. Play it, and you'll understand their lack of enthusiasm: it's not hard, it's not original, and it's not at all pretty.
The graphics, though, are what first strike you about this game. They fill in on screen like the illustrations to an adventure game - incredibly slowly. When at last they have appeared, you will be amazed by their crudity.
The only good point about this program is the introductory music, which gives a jaunty lift to the player's spirits. Alas, the sound effects during play are awful.
If software compatibility merely means finding a lowest common denominator, MSX is not going to be the brave new world that was promised. Coco In The Castle is a rotten game. Let's hope the MSX circus can find some more entertaining acts.
If the MSX doesn't get better software than this, then its explosion into the British home micro market is going to be a damp squib.
This game is indicative of the types of programs that have appeared for all new micros since the dawn of the microchip - conversions, copies or hurriedly produced, uninspiring games.
The game idea is in fact a good one and some screens are playable but it would have benefitted from more work and depth. The ability to start at any screen is also a mistake since there is no incentive to get to the next.
Everything about this game is disappointing, the basic (and mostly green) graphics, simple sound and horrid control over the character.
The idea is okay but heads should roll for the execution of this one. Ten stages is nowhere near enough - particularly when you can start anywhere and the jumping/levitation/flying is rather ridiculous to control. I'm afraid my fiancee is going to have to wait a very long time if she wants rescuing from this one.