Castlevania Puzzle Encore of the Night review

Castlevania Puzzle: Encore of the Night

iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad

Konami Digital Entertainment

Puzzle adventure

£2.99/$4.99

Yet another classic gaming franchise hits the App Store. Winding walkways, creatures from the depths of hell, and of course, falling blocks. Welcome to the world of Castlevania Puzzle Encore of the Night.

Veterans and newcomers alike will be lost in the labyrinth that is Dracula’s castle, as it has been drastically altered from the first time players trekked through its hallways. The games’ drab atmosphere is helped along by a brilliant soundtrack, giving the classic feeling, and a kick of nostalgia. Alucard progresses through the story with the help of an overview map with lines connecting each room. The only way to traverse through the maze along said lines.

At first, this may seem a very linear system for a series that has lately been renowned for it’s exploration. However, this is not Castlevania at it’s core, but a puzzle game. Every now and then, you will be faced with taking down an enemy, who, at first may seem too powerful, but once you start racking up experience points, become push overs. Of course, Alucard may stumble across new weapons or armour parts in the building’s countless rooms.
The enemies are classics from Symphony of the Night, who, sadly, have seen better days. Ranging from Fleamen to Marionettes, the enemies vary depending on what part of the building you are in.

The system for defeating these enemies seems easy on the face of it, but has a lot of depth. Falling blocks in two’s, ala Dr. Mario, fall from the top of the screen. Tapping the screen will rotate the blocks, and sliding down with your finder will drop them. Connecting three of the same colour will cause them to disappear. Certain blocks cannot come into pay unless you make a connection adjacent to it. A sand timer at the bottom of the screen will turn periodically, when it flips, both you and the enemy attack each-other. The amount of blocks you have left on your side of the screen will determine how much damage you take. The opposite effect applies if many blocks remain on your side at the end of a turn.

Defeated enemies will often drop food items, such as Frankfurters or banana’s, each with differing health effects. Using these in a battle will cause them to fall as inactive blocks, so will not be used unless a connection is made nearby. You can, of course use said food items out side of battle.
Another way of regaining Alucards’ health is by finding a Safe Room. These rooms will not only refill all of your health, but act as teleporters to other Safe Rooms in the castle, which prove as valuable time savers, when exploring the game’s colossal world.

I will be honest with you. The main draw for me, was the name ”Castlevania” attached to the app, and without it, would not have caught my eye. I am glad I picked it up, and will more than likely play other games in the franchise.

This is a stellar attempt at bringing the genre to a wider audience, succeeding with flying colours. Anybody who enjoys either Castlevania or this genre should not pass it up, delivering the best of both worlds.

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