Before you start to play Hag’s Castle, know that this is a pretty straightforward first-person game designed in an old-fashioned way. It reminded me of Doom, although without all the pixels and red color. However, as you get deeper into the game, it more resembles other classics like the Dungeon Master.
As you saw from the trailer, Hag’s Castle seems somewhat childish, but actually it a nostalgia-driven game that will bring glee to many older players. The game was developed by Ed Sludden and his Switchpilot Games studio and was released for iOS and Android devices. The game features a simple 3D environment which fits the game perfectly.
The story takes place in the castle of Madam Hag, an evil witch whose minions stole a baby dragon from the wizard Greypoo. The wizard tasked you with a mission to sneak into the castle and save his Dragon. You are armed with the Moonsword andare ready to break some crates and examine dungeons of Hag’s Castle.
You will move through the game by tapping on the arrows on the lower half of your screen, which will leave little time to observe the actual game. The movement control is very rudimentary and can easily annoy you after a while, or bore you like it did me. Another thing I needed to get used to was that you don’t have an inventory but you use everything immediately like potions and cookies that replenishes your health.
The opponents are a bit unexpected and I think they could have done better by making them more serious. The first one you encounter is a cute bat with two fangs and flapping wings, that when I killed it with my Moonsword I actually felt bad. The opponents grow stronger with each level and quickly enough you will need more than a swing to overpower them.
Other than that, you move through the maze of hallways in the castle, up the stairs and pulling levers to open dungeon doors. When you stumble upon a key, it goes to the top of the screen until you encounter a locked door when it conveniently appears in the USE field in the middle of the screen.
Now, while opponents make funny noises when you battle them (they sound like Minions, FYI), there is no music during gameplay which I really missed. But no matter the cartoonish henchmen, you can still die so don’t underestimate them. After a while, you will find the baby dragon and it will help you take care of the enemies by shooting a blue energy beam at them. So now, you will have to refill the energy bar as well as the life one the right above the game controls.
I expected more of this game and thought that the atmosphere would become more sinister as I progressed. It’s the Hag’s castle after all, so I did expect some scary moments. But this is not that kind of game nor does it try to be. It’s not pretentious or dishonest, it really is an old-school 3D adventure that seems like it came from the past straight to our high tech phones. Therefore, if you feel nostalgic, buy Hag’s Castle and embark on the journey to defeat an evil witch and save a baby dragon.