Review by Xman490
"3D Retro Platformer with a Twist"
Caster is a 3D platforming game with a simple graphic style, but that's only on the surface.
Dangerous insect-like monsters called The Flanx (enemies) have infested the world, and you, a mute boy or girl caster, must save the world.
As countless other indie games have brought freshness to the 2D platformer genre that was popular from 1985 to 1994, this indie game brings freshness to the 3D platformer genre that was popular from 1995 to 2004. I, as someone who has grown up with a Nintendo 64, adore this. As it has been since Super Mario 64, you run across fields, move the "camera", and jump across gaps, but the running is fast enough to propel your caster over water, and the jumping is high enough to let you climb the highest cliffs... after upgrading those skills, of course.
Running, jumping, health, and experience absorbing range can all be upgraded after each mission. Experience for these and the magic spells you use to attack enemies are dropped by defeated enemies, blasted trees, and experience orbs (which have some special name that I forgot). You collect the experience for upgrading after every mission (or what one could call "level").
The magic spells themselves truly make the game unique. One spell makes craters, and another makes mountains. One spell slows enemies, and another strikes them. After upgrading them, you can get a feeling of massive power as you transform the world. It can be entertaining when you make a crater in a mission with a water, lava, or toxic waste elevation level and then run atop the liquid.
Techno music from Trance Emerson plays in most missions. The magic you and enemies cast usually make nice blasting noises on cast and contact. The sounds give the game a retro sense.
As with the old 3D platformers, the graphics are weak. The landscapes are often very blurry, yet colorful.
Invisible walls keep missions from being really immersive. The boundaries sometimes extend slightly into invisible land.
You can occasionally get stuck in the ground. In that case, you end up looking through the landscape into a void.
There are only 20 or so missions. The missions don't have much variety; they only require that you defeat enough enemies, blast a damaged tree, or collect experience orbs.
Caster is a game that expands on the 3D platformer, unlike most independently developed games. At a price of no more than $5 on Steam, it is a great game and perhaps a harbinger of highly advanced video game making technology being available to small groups of people.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 07/08/11
Game Release: Caster (US, 05/19/10)
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