Chocolate Castle: First Look

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Chocolate Castle: First Look

 

Lexaloffle, a developer out of New Zealand, has introduced Chocolate Castle, a casual game chock full of fun and challenging puzzles.

 

Each puzzle board is a grid that contains chocolate blocks in any of four colors, pink, light brown, dark brown, and white. The board also has tiny bears, in the same colors as the chocolate. Your goal is to clear the boards by having the bears eat the chocolate that's the same color as they are. When you drag the pink bear over a pink block, for example, it devours that block and any other pink chocolate blocks that are adjacent to them. And then the bear disappears, too.

 

That means that you have to try to connect the chocolate blocks into bigger pieces of one color, so the same-colored bear can eat them all at once. But once you stick chocolate blocks of the same color together, you can't unstick them. As the puzzles get more difficult, walls, magic bricks, snakes, and other obstacles can get in the way. But the interface always lets you pause to see the instructions again (in case you can't remember what a specific special block does), and thankfully, you can skip over any puzzles that are too difficult. Which I had to do with puzzle No. 3. (OK, OK, and No. 4.)

 

I have no idea what to do in this puzzle (Room 15 in the Hard section). Luckily, the game lets you play the puzzles in any order. Because extreme frustration just...isn't fun.

 

You can play in fullscreen mode or in a smaller window. Alt-Tab doesn't work in fullscreen, so if you want to polish off a puzzle or two while you're still quote-unquote working in other windows, choose to play in a window (found under Options). Playing in fullscreen mode also caused my Desktop icons to jump around to new places on my screen. This game's graphics, music, and sound effects won't blow you away, but they still exude a retro charm reminiscent of 8-bit NES games.

 

The full game has 120 total puzzles, divided into Easy, Medium, and Hard sets. The games are untimed, but keep track of how many moves it takes you to clear the board. If you get sick of the 120 included puzzles (which would take quite a while, as some of them are tough), there's also an easy-to-use puzzle editor for making your own. And you can even upload your puzzles to Lexaloffle's online bulletin board, as well as download other players' creations. So this is really the game that keeps on giving, especially for its asking price of $19.95. (A free demo version has 12 puzzles and lets you try the editor.)

 

Finished all 120 puzzles in the game? (Well, aren't you special...) Head over to the BBS to download puzzles other fans have made, or to offer some friendly help to players who are stuck on one board or another.

 

Chocolate Castle requires Mac OS 10.2 or later, and can be downloaded from lexaloffe.com for $19.95.

 

 

 

See a full walkthrough of one puzzle after the jump...

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Original decision - interesting, it is necessary to try

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