Review: Mr. Do!’s Castle (Atari 5200)

In this review, we hammer away at the Atari 5200 game Mr. Do!’s Castle. We find out if this survival game is worth playing.

This game was released in 1984. It is a port from an arcade game.

You play a character with a large hammer. The castle is being invaded by enemies. Using your hammer, you can knock out parts of floor to either land on top of them or knock out from under them in an effort to eliminate them from the map.

Once there is one left, the final enemy will move around faster and gradually multiply, so a quick finish is essential for an easy victory.

If you defeat all of your enemies on the screen, you’ll advance to the next stage.

While you have various ladders to help you move up, you can also fall down by an already opened up part of the floor. There is also teetering ladders that you can move back and forth. This can alter the necessary path enemies need to take to get to you. This can help you form strategies in an effort to bottleneck enemies into a trap.

In total, you have 4 lives to work with, though it can be fairly easy to go through them.

While it is fairly straight forward to learn this game, repetition can gradually set in. Even with the variations in the levels and the increasing difficulty, it’s effectively the same kind of game play over and over again.

Another problem I have with this game is the fact that the AI isn’t the greatest in this game. Often, I’ll set up a bottleneck only to see the enemies running back and forth endlessly. Even though there is a clear path, the AI struggles on exactly what to do next from time to time.

In addition to this, there is no high score system to really speak of.

Generally speaking, I found it somewhat difficult to really enjoy this game. While the movements and method of attack are somewhat novel, once you get past the basics, the game becomes repetitive rather quickly. I tried to enjoy this game, but the longer I played it, the more inclined I was to turn the power off. The glitchy AI didn’t help matters either.

Graphically, this game is OK. Unfortunately, it seems as though there are only two color schemes for the castle, so variety leaves a bit to be desired.

The music is decent enough and the audio is pretty good. Nothing that would blow my mind necessarily, though.

Overall, this is a pretty average game. With less than stellar AI and repetitive play, this game does suffer from pretty big setbacks. I found the game hard to get into despite the somewhat novel attack system. The graphics are pretty decent, but short on quantity. The audio is pretty good though. An overall average game.

Died on level 3 with that last enemy remaining.
High score: 24,680

General gameplay: 16/25
Replay value: 4/10
Graphics: 6/10
Audio: 4/5

Overall rating: 60%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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