Developer: BulkyPix
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Immediately Cardboard Castle catches your eye. Its visuals are truly luscious with a delightful, child like hand drawn style that reminds you of a picture book rather than a game. Indeed, the entire game feels like a title that you could play alongside your children working your way through each short but sweet level. That’s not to say that it doesn’t hold value for adult gamers too.

The idea behind the adorable graphics is simple – players must help the brave Knight across the screen by overcoming various obstacles. These range from the obviously solved such as cutting things down with axes to more intriguing puzzles that require you to guide bulls towards gates and switching day to night at numerous junctures. The imagination behind each puzzle is quite clever at times with the ‘paper’ needing wetting as well as being put on fire at times.

Controlling the game is fairly simple. You simply tap on one object then tap it on the object you wish to interact with. For example, one of the earliest things you’ll want to do is cut open a few shapes in order to take them off the background of the screen. The puzzles start out fairly simple but as time goes by, they become more thought provoking and the learning curve gradually steepens. It’s never hugely difficult though and it only takes a couple of hours at most to complete the game. For the price though, that’s not bad value at all.

If you do find yourself stuck on a puzzle, you can use coins, that are collectable throughout each level, to unlock clues to advise you on your next move.

Cardboard Castle is pretty good fun, even despite its relatively brief length, but it does suffer from two annoyances. The camera doesn’t scroll with your finger as well as you’d like, stuttering a tad along the way. More annoyingly, there’s no Undo button so if you mess up solving a puzzle, you have to start back at the beginning again which makes levels feel a bit like trial and error. There’s also no real reason to replay it as there aren’t any global leaderboards to compare your best scores for completing levels in the fastest time.

Despite this though, Cardboard Castle is charming fun. The puzzles are entertaining to solve and throughout, you feel relaxed playing it. It’s soothing which is sometimes just what you need from a puzzle game.

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