[Beyond PlayStation] Castle Of Heart Review
Castle of Heart from 7Levels is a 2.5D action platformer that will probably remind you of the Castlevania series. Find out if it’s worthy of your time in our Castle of Heart review!
In Castle of Heart you take control of a knight who has been cursed by an evil but powerful ruler who didn’t like how the knight tried to stand up to him. He has turned the knight to stone, and the evil sorcerer even stole the woman the knight was trying to protect – his one true love. But thanks to one of her tears landing on him, the knight is brought back to life, curse and all. You must take on an adventure to reach the dark ruler’s castle to save your love before it is too late. The catch is that the knight’s body, being now made of stone, will deteriorate, so you must continuously defeat enemies to recover your strength and keep going before it is too late. Suffer enough damage, and you might lose and arm, along with your ability to wield extra weapons!
You move with the left analog sick, while the D-pad is for changing inventory items, which are used with the R button. You attack with the Y button, while ZR button is for rolling out of harm’s way. You jump with the B button and throw a weapon, or shoot with a long-range weapon, with the X button. Blocking, which is very important in this game is mapped to the ZL button. The A button will be used for interacting with objects, such as switches and levers, as well as to pick up items. The minus button will allow you to check the pieces of heart you’ve found which help to increase your strength while slowing the curse. Pressing the L and Y button at the same time will unleash a special and powerful attack that can break down some walls, but it will also drain some of your health.
The first area in the game will teach to the basics, allowing you to run, jump and attack as needed, activating a switch here while grabbing a secondary weapon over there to double your strength, damaging you to show you how at certain health thresholds you will lose your extremity, and how grabbing health crystals will heal you for a bit, while reaching a checkpoint will heal you back to full health while also saving your progress. You will also learn about blue gems that act as experience points, helping the knight level up to boost his health bar. It is here you will notice that the Castlevania resemblance is closer to old-school “finish the stage” releases than those of the Metroidvania variety since this is a rather linear adventure.
You’ll need to get used to how the knight moves, runs and attacks, since he’s rather gracious and light on his feet for someone who is now made of stone. This is particularly evident when you’re running and gain some extra momentum when going downhill to then press and hold the B button to jump, which sends the knight up in a nice arc that sends him on a fall that takes longer to land on the ground than you’d expect from a hefty guy that is now made of rocky parts. You’ll get the hang of it by the second stage of the first chapter, but I did want to mention it.
As I said before, the game is pretty linear, only allowing you to go high or low in a stage as you search for extra blue gems to boost your experience, or to find one of the pieces of heart hidden in a level. There are five pieces of heart in each of the game’s 20 levels, so if you want to 100% this one you need to always be on high alert, searching for walls you can destroy or spots on the floor that signal how with a good downward hit or a well-placed bomb you can open the way to find some extra blue gems, some health recovery pick-ups and the aforementioned hidden – and not so hidden – pieces of heart.
Castle of Heart is a linear but good looking and fun 2.5D action platformer on Nintendo Switch that is worth a try. The game has been improved considerably from the version that was originally released by 7Levels on Nintendo Switch, and while you can certainly feel the Castlevania influence, the game has more to do with Super Castlevania IV than with Symphoni of the Night, so be ready!
This Castle of Heart review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by 7Levels.