Title: Gargoyle’s Quest
Publisher: Armor Games
Cost: $3.99 (on Nintendo eShop)
AKA, the “Nonexistent Difficulty Curve”
I’ve wanted to play Gargoyle’s Quest ever since I found the Nintendo power card with Firebrand (Red Arremer if you’re a stickler) on the front of it. Described to me as mix between an RPG and an Adventure game, it seemed to straddle that “Zelda 2” spectrum of early Ninentdo games. And while you do walk around in an overview, and there’s a few command prompts, it’s really an action game through and through.
I loved my first gameboy. It was my first videogame system, and I literally played it until it died. But even as a child I knew the controls weren’t the most responsive thing in the world. There’s a button-input delay, but I didn’t care. And usually it worked out alright, because most games worked around it. When making Gargoyle’s Quest, they either didn’t realize this or didn’t care. It requires pin point precision in parts that can be absolutely infuriating. This means that in classic Ghost & Goblins tradition, the first tower is ridiculously hard. It wouldn’t surprise me if three quarters of the players dropped right there.
However, despite this early difficulty spike, the game becomes significantly more enjoyable as Red’s abilities start to increase. For example, the hover ability at the beginning is more a hindrance than a help. However, later on you can float in place and pick off enemies one by one. Play towards the end gives that same feeling as a powered up Mega Man X with a bunch of E-Tanks in reserve. In fact, most of the abilities in the game: floating, clinging to walls, power-ups, are prescient of what would become staples in later Capcom classics.
So in the end, alls well that ends well.
Review: 3 stars (out of 5)
Memory: It’s the only game I can remember that doesn’t provide development credits at the end