If you’re old enough to remember Dark Castle and its sequel Beyond Dark Castle, odds are that you played them from floppy discs on one of those original compact Macintosh computers with a 9-inch, 532 by 384-pixel, black-and-white screen. And you probably loved them. Dark Castle and Beyond Dark Castle represented some of the earliest “hits” in Macintosh gaming, presenting a 2D Mario-like game in which a nameless medieval hero runs through a haunted castle in a quest to defeat the Black Night. Along the way, the hero had to puzzle through levels, fight bats, goons, gremlins and haunted suits of armor, and pick up magic spheres, weapons, and other objects that might help out on the way.
Little known geek trivia: in order to get the game’s performance up to an acceptable level on those old 8 (yes, eight) MHz 68000 processors, Dark Castle did most of its animation by implementing its bitmapped graphics as fonts.
Z Sculpt Entertainment has been working on a new version of Dark Castle for years, and a version for mobile phones appeared in 2006, developed by Super Happy Fun Fun. Now, the companies have posted a demo of Return to Dark Castle, the third installment in the Dark Castle franchise, which should run on any Mac that can handle Mac OS X 10.3.9 or newer. The new game features more than 50 new levels, new secret rooms and mini-games, as well as redone versions of all 30 original levels from the original Dark Castle titles. The game also features new monsters and bosses, new power-ups and weapons, random labyrinths and mazes, and game recording so sessions can be shared between users.
Super Happy Fun Fun says the full version of the game will be available “very, very soon.” No pricing information has been announced.
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