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Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX)

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX) Game Poster Image
Throwback action title is low on story, high on challenge.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Perilous quest awaits noble knight to save humanity, though his only course of action is killing everything.

Positive Role Models & Representations

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

Enemies burst into red mist when attacked by swords, but nothing really resembling blood, gore.

Sex

One boss has exposed breasts but isn't sexualized.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Set in the Spanish kingdom of Castilla during the Middle Ages, CURSED CASTILLA casts you as Don Ramiro, a chivalrous knight trying to close a gateway to hell that has been opened by a malicious demon. Your very soul and those of your companions are also at stake. It's all standard video game stuff, which is another way to say it's reminiscent of old myths and folklore. 

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. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why people like challenging video games. Is a difficult video game that's certain to frustrate you similar to a dense piece of literature or art film? Why, or why not? How are they similar? How are they not?

  • Why are there so many video games that only involve jumping around and killing everything that moves? What does it say about the medium that in 2017, games come out that are still very similar to ones out in 1987?

Game details

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