A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Perilous quest awaits noble knight to save humanity, though his only course of action is killing everything.
Positive Role Models
Knight tries to save humanity from being extinguished, but he has to kill everything in his path to accomplish his goals.
Ease of Play
Simple controls; easy to learn, but considerable difficulty can't be adjusted.
Violence & Scariness
Enemies burst into red mist when attacked by swords, but nothing really resembling blood, gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One boss has exposed breasts but isn't sexualized.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cursed Castilla is a downloadable action-adventure game. It's made in the style of old-school brutal '80s adventure Nintendo titles such as Ghosts 'n Goblins. The game's eight stages are designed to put your skills to the test and remind you the only way to proceed is by rising to the challenge. You'll jump, dodge, and throw swords at all manner of cursed beasts, with a minimal story. Enemies explode into red mist when struck by swords, but there's no realistic blood or gore shown. There's also a boss with exposed breasts, but she's not sexualized.
Is It Any Good?
This is a simple and super-solid action title that's an obvious throwback to classic video games. The above comparison to old '80s Nintendo games is apt and a shorthand for a game that wields a brutal challenge but thankfully a few modern concessions. For example, although three hits will kill you, you have an endless supply of continues (an option not afforded to retro gamers back in the day). Cursed Castilla has a certain charm that comes from its much-appreciated and welcomed different setting. There aren't many video games that reach a broader mainstream audience set in Middle Ages Spain (Don Quixote makes an appearance, even, as a boss), and there aren't that many games with windmills and other vibrant, interesting locales.
Still, the guts of Cursed Castilla is paying homage to older games, and the challenge is considerable. While it's not as out-and-out frustrating as other titles, you will curse the game and chuck a controller at more than a few points: For example, the only way to proceed is by learning the patterns of each stage, each enemy, and each boss. It's a tough but rewarding game that clocks in at maybe two or three hours, so if you're itching to not be coddled by a video game for a change, it's bite-sized, plausible, and doable.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.