Few games can be both simple and excruciatingly hard. Star Castle, a remake by Sokurah, accomplishes the task. The original Star Castle was a vector arcade game ported to the Vectrex game system in 1983 and made by Cinematronics. Aside from graphics and sounds, the primary principle of the game remains. You are a lone ship with one purpose, to destroy the “castle”. The castle is basically a stationary turret surrounded by defense rings that move around in a circular motion. The turret releases mines towards you and staying too long in one place will have it quickly firing a blast towards you.
Sounds easy right? Actually it’s quite difficult as your ship is slow to move out of the way. Not saying that the shots coming at you are coming any faster, because they are not. The catch is that it’s pretty much a one hit kill. Top that with the fact that you have only three lives and you are in for a tough time. The controls are pretty terrible and awkward to use. ALT moves your ship, and CTR shoots. Perhaps the most aggravating part of the game is how slow it moves. Personally, it moved too slow for me. I am used to crazy-fast bullet hell shooter, so this was well under the pace of what I normally play. The visuals of the game are far more impressive than the original, but are nothing special comparatively to other games these days. I understand the simple design though, as it is a simple-purpose game. For those who are interested, the game does support a leader-board.
Overall, I did not find the game satisfying in any way. The game did serve it’s purpose in being a viable remake to the original, and it is remade very well. Unfortunately Star Castle is an acquired taste, and I find that it will bore most.