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TUAW at E3: Castle of Magic hands-on


Gameloft was kind enough to show us their whole upcoming stable of iPhone and iPod touch titles at E3 last week, and the most impressive game we saw in their "party bus," parked outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, was Castle of Magic. It's a 2D platformer with colorful and great-looking 3D graphics in which you play a young wizard trying to get a girl back. So it's pretty well-tread ground, especially as platformers go (so named because you spend the game jumping from platform to platform), but it's one of the first straightforward examples of the genre on the iPhone.

The game's controlled with a virtual d-pad right on the screen, as well as two ability buttons that change depending on whatever powerups you have at the time. And powerups are found throughout the game world -- there are five themed overworlds to choose from (space, water, ice, forest, etc.), and three levels each within those worlds, and while the kid can pick up some abilities any time (a magical beam to shoot enemies with is a pretty common one), each world also has its own ability (you can be a spaceman in space, Robin Hood in the forest level, a swordfish while swimming, and so on). The game's graphics are immensely charming, and given that, like most platformers, there's plenty of doohickeys to collect, there's a good amount of replayability here as well.

The game's due out by the end of June (it'll be the last of Gameloft's announced releases so far), and it should land on the App Store for $5.99. It's a very impressive little platformer -- gamers and kids alike will probably enjoy giving it a spin and finding all of the different abilities and places to explore in the game.

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