An Englishman’s Home: Mysterious Castle

By Adam Smith on December 23rd, 2011 at 11:31 am.

Yes, let's loot some corpses.

It’s Christmas eve’s eve, which is cause for some excitement, surely? What better way to celebrate the imminence of gift-exchange than to accept this freebie from me? More accurately, it’s from Jeremy Jurksztowicz, the chap who made it. Going by the name Mysterious Castle, Jeremy’s game is a graphical blend of roguelike and turn-based tactical combat. There are loads of exciting plans for the future, including random quests and defined lair-like areas, but it’s already a fine piece of work, with a simple and convenient party system and plenty of monsters to biff. Download it for free, right here.

Jeremy claims that as he continues to work on the game he may begin to charge for it, but always on a pay what you want/can basis, with a minimum buy-in of nothing at all. That is very much demonstrative of the spirit of sharing. I shall certainly be following the game’s progress but I must stress that doesn’t mean it’s not worth grabbing now. I hope it will become bigger and better but it is more than capable of providing plenty of fun times as it is.

What further gifts await from family and friends? Maybe you’re like me, unable to stop yourself from giddily running around, shaking every box that you can find to try and ascertain what’s inside. I’m in quite a state. I was rattling what I thought might be a brand new boardgame this morning, only for a terrible crunching to emerge from within. Had I broken some fragile objet d’art intended for my mantelpiece? Turned out it was a box of cornflakes. Always check for Christmas-themed wrapping before making gift-related assumptions is the lesson you should take from that.

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25 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    thekeats1999 says:

    Will grab when i get home. Looks nice. Reminds me a little of the Shinning series of games on the saturn.

  2. InSaNe-O_o says:

    I just cant resist those graphics :D
    I love this kind of pixelated oldschool goodness :)
    (also: ROGUELIKE!)

    • cafe says:

      Same here, these kind of graphics always remind me of ultima and therefore of some of my greatest moments in gaming.

      Sometimes i wonder if I love old video games because they were amazing or because they were the first games I played in my childhood and thats why they got stuck in my head. Then i think about modern games and realize that no old game ever felt incomplete to me. I never played ultima or Moo2 and thought “damn they stopped developting the controls half way through” or “oh yea this game looks really nice so its gameplay is gonna suck” or “this game has amazing rpg elements but the combat system is UNBEARABLE (looking at you dragon age, skyrim)”.

      I do remember that many remakes of old games today use new UI and control elements because the old elements never worked well in the first place, so I can’t really say that all old games were perfect in the matters that suck most about modern games. It just feels like that most old games used to deliver a more complete package than modern games do.

    • Nick says:

      As with anything, some of them were and still are amazing and some were just seemed that way at the time.

    • Reapy says:

      Cafe I wonder the same thing about games… and women. ;)

    • BigSmallFeet says:

      @Cafe It’s not just because they were the first games you’d played.

      I didn’t play Beneath a Steel Sky until about 5 years ago and the game had been out since 1994 already. One of the best games I’ve ever played, and I’m not even into adventure games.

      Also what Nick said.

    • pipman3000 says:

      Sometimes you can return to play an old game and it’s way worse then you remember like when I replayed Might & Magic 1 and find things I didn’t remember as a kid like sometimes the music would cut out and be replaced with this weird otherworldly screaming until I restarted or that dude named something like Caine who would force himself into your party and start killing them off every combat round until he was the only one left and then the screen would change to a hyper-realistic picture of my family as skeletons.

      I tried to look up some answers on GameFAQs on how to beat that one dungeon where all the walls are made out of flesh and the “music” is some weird heavy breathing sound projected right into my eardrums but all the FAQs suck and don’t even mentioned it. That skinless man with blackness filled eye-sockets keeps kicking my ass and Caine isn’t really helping :(

      I think it must be something they added in the NES version of the game.

    • andrewdoull says:

      It’s great to see another game putting the David Gervais tile sets to good use.

      Edit: D’oh! Should have looked down thread.

  3. Premium User Badge

    cairbre says:

    To be fair I think it has more to do with your age when you played those first games and sense of wonder. I loved last ninja when I was young on C64 and it broke half the time and wouldn’t load the next stage. I would go ape shit if that happened now!

    I think we have seen so much that we are becoming slightly jaded and cynical or level of expectation is huge now. I think the next ten years of gaming are going to be very interesting I really don’t know what to expect but you would have to think AI is the area most in need of development I mean graphics have come a long way from the kings quest days.

    I also used to love super cars and lotus esprit. Happy days………

  4. Premium User Badge

    cairbre says:

    Sorry abut the typos I wrote that comment on an iPad and now can’t seem to clean it up

  5. Mirqy says:

    Wait, you got cornflakes for Christmas? I want cornflakes. :(

  6. eclectocrat says:

    Hey! I’m Jeremy, the developer of this game. It’s a fine day indeed to be mentioned on RPS!
    It’s supposed to be a hybrid between Tactics Ogre and Zangband, I call it a Tactics-Roguelike. Hope you enjoy this work in progress. Please feel free to ask/flame me anything.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Although I’ve not played Tactics Ogre, I’m a sucker for SRPGs, (of which there aren’t many western ones,) so I’m sold.

    • lord_heman says:

      Oh wow, that has defently gotten bigger, since I first got a hold of them!!
      Thanks for the reply.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, has one of the best stories in a game I’ve ever encountered. It may be the best, depending on what you value in a narrative.

      However, I prefer Final Fantasy Tactics’ multi-classing system; it may be woefully imbalanced, but it’s far more satisfying to cobble together characters than to operate almost purely within the confines of a rigid–albeit extremely finely honed–class system.

      Still, I’m going to give this a shot! We need more games like this to combat the stacking madness of King’s Bounty and Heroes of Might and Magic.

  7. Unaco says:

    Those sprites look like the set I use for ZangBandTK these days. Looks interesting, might give it a try sometime, probably after the festive period.

  8. lord_heman says:

    @Jeremy

    Well, i’m actually prette interrested in knowing, where you got the graphics from?
    I’m a game programmer myself, and have used those tilesets plenty of times in my games, but i have never gotten a chance to thank the person who made them, allthough I’ve had them for over 5 years.
    I’m guessing we have the same tilesets – 7 monster tilesets, 1 weapon, 1 armor, 1 misc, 1 townaction, 1 wand, 1 unique, 1 undead ect.

  9. deadly.by.design says:

    It’s unexpectedly nice to see someone releasing an OSX version before Windows. (I have both, but… just sayin’)

    • JFS says:

      He seems to have developed it with touchscreens in mind, and of course Apple are the only one with those. Everyone knows that. :)

  10. GuideBot says:

    Graphics are from here: http://pousse.rapiere.free.fr/tome/tome-tiles.htm under “Dungeon Odissey tiles”.

  11. zeroskill says:

    Giving this a shot for sure!

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