Castle Boy may have actually seen a release, but in very limited numbers. The game was offered for sale as part of a GEMS compilation pack by Digital Dynamite. An advert was listed in Issue 61 of Zzap, with a review of just the text adventure game which came as part of the pack of 4 games. The adventure game managed to find its way out though… http://www.gamebase64.com/game.php?id=9297&d=18&h=0
The game is a simple single screen platforming game, where you must simply kill all enemies on a screen by having enough energy at the time. If you run low, you need to pick up small E blocks to build up your energy.
Sadly it seems that the idea of 4 mixed games genres of unknown quality in a mail order advert for £8-11 wasn’t a great idea, and so Digital Dynamite disappeared without trace, and it seems not really anyone picked up a copy.
But regarding saving the game – we hit luck with Andrew Rodger, Duncan Kershaw and Mark Wilson all had copies. Duncan started things by digging out some photos of the GEMS collection, and then Mark Wilson followed recently with the disks themselves.
Mark had backed up the game to D64 images – and has very kindly passed these onto GTW to include and show Castle Boy and Stratagos for the for the first time. It is very possible that only those involved on the project ever got a copy in the way of a complimentary copy. What is warming to learn, is that all the developers seem to have got paid for their work – but the company themselves just didn’t make the money and Digital Dynamite was no more. A shame!
Ian Coog has pulled out the music for HVSC, which you can find here. It is a simple Soundmonitor tune, but currently we are unsure if the coder composed it or not.
Castle Boy isn’t anything too special, but it is great to see the game saved from obscurity. We hope soon to get some scans of the inlays and bits!
Case almost closed!
Contributions: Andrew Fisher, Andrew Rodger, Duncan Kershaw, Mark Wilson, Ian Coog
- 13/01/14 – Added scans confirming existence of GEMS pack
- 15/02/14 – Added Gems pack download!
- 16/02/14 – SID file added thanks to Ian Coog + cracked edition added
I tried to order this compilation from Zzap’s own store back in the day, which boasted it could get any game from anywhere. I was kind of excited to get it, even marking it on my calendar as “Gems coming soon!” but they just wrote back to me and said “nobody stocks it”.
This is a great little find. I’m looking forward to playing it and also playing with the code :-)