Review – Helen’s Mysterious Castle

The Good

This game was a huge surprise. It’s well reviewed but I had never heard of it so I was skeptical. This game is absolutely awesome.

The game has a unique battle system that is fun to discover. The system requires you to manage which ability you use based on your enemy’s next move and in how much time they will use their ability. By studying your enemy’s skillset you can trick them into using specific abilities which would you put you in a better situation. For example, if you start the battle with a quick attack they will start with a defense ability that lasts a while which gives you plenty of time to cast your spells. Learning how to juggle your foe is awesome.

The game also has very well designed levels. Nothing feels inflated for the sake of increasing the game time. Not only do the levels feel right, there are secret passages that lead to new items — it rewards exploration. The secret passages are super obvious but there are visual cues that hint at something, so if you’re attentive you’ll be rewarded!

Another aspect that I loved about this game was the story. While the game starts off light on story, it’s unravels itself as you explore the castle. I wanted to keep playing to find out what was going to happen next. This feeling was intensified by the awesome cast of characters. If I were to describe them in reference to another game, I’d say they are UnderTale-like. The type of characters I wouldn’t be surprised to find in a Saturday morning cartoon. Fun and full of personality.

The Bad

While I loved the characters, I think some of the charm is removed by the naming convention.  The protagonist is Helen. I mean, might as well call it Brittney’s Mysterious Castle. It’s not a huge deal but it is a little immersion breaking, doesn’t quite fit the setting.

Some of the translation was a little sloppy. There were a few typos (albeit not many) but quite a few broken characters.

The Ugly

Let’s be honest, the game makes use of some of the default assets. That’s a bit of a turnoff and is one of the reason I was skeptical when I was going into the game. While Satra designed extra frames for these characters, they are still part of the default assets, it is quite the turn off.