The Micro User

Crystal Castles

Author: Jon Revis
Publisher: U. S. Gold
Machine: BBC Model B

Published in The Micro User 4.11

Too little, too late

The original Crystal Castles was an Atari arcade game. Now this Pacman variant has found its way on to the BBC Micro - about two years too late.

Pacman - as you will remember - was designed around a maze in which the pathwayswere covered with dots. Crystal Castles uses this same idea but divides the maze into squares.

These are then raised up to create ramps and towers. Some of the taller towers can only be reached using lifts, others have tunnels running beneath them.

Crystal Castles

Controlling a small character who looks a little like the devil, you run round the maze collecting the dots, or rather gems. Clear the maze of gems and you move on to the next.

Life is made difficult by the presence of an entourage of evil characters.

The first of these are the red balls. There are only two on the first screen but they are quite cunning in the way they lure you into corners.

Crystal Castles

Screen two sees the arrival of the trees which operate in the same way as the balls but in greater numbers.

Other nasties include gem guzzling caterpillars, a skeleton and a wicked witch.

Dawdle for too long on any screen and a whirlwind appears from on high just to add to your problems.

Crystal Castles

On the plus side there is the wizard's hat - collecting this will provide you with temporary immunity against the effects of all nasties.

Having sped through the first six screens I was asked whether I wished to load a new set of castles.

If you want to amass a huge score then reply no to this question - you will be returned to screen one and allowed to run through all six screens again with no increase in difficulty!

Crystal Castles

The three dimensional effect may have been clever two years ago but is nothing special now. The animation is smooth but some of the characters are poorly defined.

If you're feeling nostalgic and would like your own copy of Crystal Castles then be my guest.

On the other hand unless you want an old fashioned game that wouldn't keep the average termite amused for more than five minutes then stay well clear.

Jon Revis

Other BBC Model B Game Reviews By Jon Revis

  • Chip Buster Front Cover
    Chip Buster
  • Galaforce Front Cover
  • Game Core Front Cover
    Game Core
  • Pipeline Front Cover
  • The Big K.O. Front Cover
    The Big K.O.
  • Thrust Front Cover
  • Firetrack Front Cover
  • Cavey Front Cover
  • Bruce Lee Front Cover
    Bruce Lee
  • Paul Daniels' Magic Show Front Cover
    Paul Daniels' Magic Show