When I purchased the Humble Voxatron Debut a couple of weeks ago, it came with a puzzle game known as Chocolate Castle, by Lexaloffle. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I decided to give it a try.
The premise of the game is simple: you have some little critters, a kitty, a dog, a pig, and a bear, and you want them to eat all of the chocolate on each level. However, the critters can only eat chocolate once per level (I like to imagine that they get sleepy afterward), they can only eat chocolate of a certain color, but all adjacent squares of chocolate are also consumed. Thus, the trick is to move the chocolate around the room until it is all continuous and then munch away.
Whenever two like-colored blocks of chocolate meet, they cannot be separated. This can be handy for limiting the number of moves that you need to solve a puzzle and to get a new personal best, but they can also put the puzzle into an unsolvable state. Fear not, as Lexloffle has included an “undo” button, which allows the player to take back any number of moves. Die-hard puzzle fanatics may frown upon this, but I would get frustrated to move 30 pieces only to have to restart the puzzle on account of a mis-click.
In addition to these basic mechanics, there are also a few other mechanics that show up, such as snakes that refuse to go exactly where you tell them to go, and blocks that can only be moved once, and blocks that can only be moved in a limited number of directions. Each of these adds a bit of variety to the game, though none are groundbreaking.
I don’t know that the game mechanics offer anything exciting and new to the genre. The action of arranging blocks based upon color is hardly a breakthrough, but what sets Chocolate Castle aside in my mind is the presentation: the game only runs at 640 by 480, but the character of the critters is nice, and it’s fun to watch the chocolate get chomped up. The music is light and heavily synthesized, but it never made me want to turn it off.
I like the game, though I don’t think that I will play it too much. I’m not huge on puzzle games, but this one does have a certain amount of charm. I can see myself playing it while another game is installing or when I only have a few minutes to play something while food is on the stove top. The game accomplishes what it is mean for: a basic, spirited, puzzle game.