Doomsday Castle is the sequel to The Pyramid. Often follow-ups lack the flair of the original, but in this case the same excellent graphics have been used and added to. The scenario has also been enormously expanded, and the cassette is accompanied by a long, highly amusing and informative inlay of instructions which clearly explain the various roles of the 5 different alien creatures you will encounter, the layout of the castle halls and passageways.
It's a long scenario, but in brief, it seems that the Elves, ever hopeless at keeping their magic rings and crystals, have allowed the infinitely evil Scarthax to house 6 large elfin stones In Doomsday Castle, where their dangerous power can be harnessed for his own nasty ends. Super hero Ziggy has been sent in to find the stones and escape with them. Some hope! Each chamber is filled with Urks, Garthrogs, a Googly Bird, Nucleoids and Orphacs. Ziggy, in his by now familiar defence capsule, has to laser Urks to death to keep up his laser power, which he needs to blast away one of the four red exit doors. Most of the time these doors are protected by the Garthrogs, who sail up and down on lifts, shooting blindly at anything. Only when a Garthrog is 'up' can Ziggy get in a shot at a door. When the door is sufficiently destroyed, Ziggy will be sucked through. Each chamber has an anteroom which may contain a crystal or one of the 6 ancient stones. Only these 6 give you scoring points, which are being eaten away the longer you remain in the castle. High scores are coded and may be sent to Fantasy for publishing in their list of top 1000 scores every 6 months.
Control keys: 3 options - see review for The Pyramid
Joystick: Fuller, Kempston, AGF, Protek, Mikrogen
Keyboard play: very responsive - Ziggy floats downwards under his own steam, so you have to work hard at this one
Use of colour: excellent
Screens: 25 halls, 49 passages
'What makes this game fun to play, is the complex relationship between all the creatures. Googly Birds only want to sleep, for instance, but Urks keep trying to wake them up and make them fly about, so it becomes as important to shoot Urks to prevent this happening as it does to shoot them for laser replenishment. Added to that, there are numerous routes through the castle but not all are as useful as others, so there as an adventure and strategy element thrown in. Mind you, coping with the furiously fast arcade element is quite enough for me!
'The graphics are excellent, smooth, detailed, animated and amusing. Not only must you survive in a hall, shoot out the door, get the crystal and move on, but you get shut in a passage with a time-locked door, where you must survive for as long as possible against the Orphacs before being released into another hall to do battle again. A great follow up to The Pyramid, and another challenge to Ultimate's great game name. All I can say is BUY IT! '
'Fantasy certainly seem determined to drive people nuts with immensely long games at impossible odds. Not that this is unplayable, quite the opposite, it's great fun, with good graphics and good sound. To offer any real criticism one would have to play for months! Excellent value.'