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Castle on the Coast review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Klabater
Developer: Big Heart Productions
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No
ESRB: E

If backstories were everything, Castle on the Coast would be a pretty solid GOTY contender. The game is built around George the Giraffe, the mascot of Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera County, California, and was created so that patients at the hospital would have something to play. Now that it’s for sale, some of the revenue it generates will go back into the hospital.

In other words, you’d have to be heartless to hate the game. So, uh…how about that Castle on the Coast? Pretty great, eh?

Looking at it a little more objectively, of course, it’s not anywhere close to the best 3D platformer on the Switch. The jumps are a little too floaty, there are annoying invisible walls everywhere stopping you from exploring too much, and the voice acting is less-than-amazing

The game’s biggest problem, though, is that there’s no map. The worlds aren’t exactly huge, but they’re large enough and lacking enough in clear landmarks that it’s easy to go around and around in circles, trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing and where you’re supposed to be going. On top of that, the objectives aren’t totally clear, which means you spend a lot of time here just wandering around.

On the plus side, however, wandering isn’t so bad. Yes, the jumps are floaty, but the whole thing feels dreamlike with its vividly coloured world, so it kind of fits together. Further, Castle on the Coast is, ultimately, a collectathon, so the objectives are secondary to bouncing around the world, picking up everything in sight – and the given the sheer number of collectibles to pick up, it’s pretty easy to sink a couple of hours into just grabbing everything in sight.

And, again, it’s all for a good cause. Castle on the Coast may not be perfect, but its heart is in the right place. In this case, that’s enough.

Klabater provided us with a Castle on the Coast Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-