Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chocolate Castle

Title: Chocolate Castle
Author: Lexaloffle
License: Commercial
Website: http://www.lexaloffle.com/choc.php

120 wonderful, challenging puzzles. That is all you really need to know about Chocolate Castle. A simple set of rules yields a diverse set of challenges. The level design is excellent. I am amazed at the variety of the puzzles. The levels are divided into three categories: easy, medium, and hard. One review said the 40 easy puzzles were "for kids". I have to say a few of these easy ones caused me more than a minutes thought. The 40 medium puzzles form a good challenge. The 40 hard ones are hard. They took me a couple of weeks to finish. The pacing of the levels is great.

Chocolate Castle does everything right. You can play any level at any time. The interface is so good, you do not even have to think about it. Unlimited undos. The graphics are simple, but effective. The audio is minimal and helpful, but does not get in the way. There is a level editor. I have no complaints about this game.

Oh yeah... the game. The goal of each level is to eat all of the chocolate squares. There are four types of chocolate and four corresponding types of eaters. By moving an eater to a group of chocolate of the same color, it eats all of the chocolate in that orthogonally connected group. The restriction is that each eater can only eat once. After eating, it disappears along with the chocolate. The heart of the game is moving around groups of chocolate so that they become connected and can be removed at once. Once one group of chocolate is moved next to another group of the same color, they become connected and must be moved together from that point onward.

There are only a few other game items. There are blue groups which get in the way but do not stick together. They give rise to some Rush Hour like puzzles. Purple groups which can only be moved once. Clear tiles which once move keep moving until they run into something. Snakes wind about. There are bombs and cats to explode them. That's all.

Again, the levels make this a great game. Each of the game items is fully explored through the 120 levels. Chocolate Castle is well worth $20.

One last thing, check out the Lexaloffe's BBS. It contains all kinds of good stuff including optimal scores.


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