Thunder Castle

Title Screen Level 1 Intro Screen Level 1 Game Screen Level 2 Intro Screen Level 2 Game Screen Level 3 Intro Screen Level 3 Game Screen
"The first thing I noticed was the fact that the title screen has a proper copyright symbol and says 'Mattel 1982' instead of 'INTV 1986.' Obviously INTV never got around to changing the credits, just like in Thin Ice. This must have been one of Mattel's first SuperGraphics games if it was in fact begun in 1982; I believe Masters of the Universe was released in 1983. One other thing I noticed recently is that the tip of the Wizard's staff on the second level intro spells the word 'Connie.' Look real closely at the screenshot.
"The graphics are indeed super. All sprites are hi-res, and for the knight and enemies, two sprites are combined to create multicolored characters. The dragon on the first level is expecially well-done, using four sprites instead of two. Animation is smooth, and the play control is pretty good.
"The game play is okay. Basically this is a game of cat-and-mouse, and seems like a cross between Night Stalker and Lock 'n' Chase. In each of the three levels, you, the knight, are being chased by one, two, or three enemies. Catching one of the bats that are flying around (a rat that runs around on the second level, and a skull that appears and disappears on the third level) has the same effect as eating an energizer in Pac-Man; the tables turn and you chase the enemies. Catch an enemy while you are invincible and he dies, and is replaced by a slightly faster enemy. The first of each enemy is green, the second is yellow, and the third is red. After catching all the red enemies, you advance to the next level.
"Scattered throughout the maze are bonus items that appear and disappear at regular intervals. Each item either earns bonus points or gives you a special power which is activated by pressing any action key, such as: instant invincibility; freezing the enemies; teleporting; unlocking doors and hiding from the enemies; temporary burst of extra speed; etc. There is also an item that yields an extra life (I think it's the candle.) and an item that deducts half your score (the comb).
"The maze is randomized every time you play, unlike in Night Stalker, adding replay value to the game. To avoid letting the chase degenerate into endless running around in circles, trap doors appear and disappear in fixed locations at regular intervals, just like in Lock 'n' Chase. Try to time the opening and closing of these doors to trap an enemy while you are invincible to finish him off.
"As a whole, the game is okay, but it gets tedious on the second level when you find yourself spending much of your time chasing down the rat, and is just plain too hard on the third level when you are running from three enemies while trying to pass a trap door that is about to close to separate you from your pursuers. Still, the BGM and graphics make this an enjoyable game to play, and I recommend it to anybody." Rating: 4/5 -- Mike Hayes
<-Go Back.