Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

What if WarioWare style games were popular back in the NES days?  Then Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio is what you’d get!  You play as Tcheco, a man…boy…not sure…who must venture inside the Castle of Lucio which isn’t much like a castle at all.  You must travel through single screen rooms quickly figuring out platforming challenges to nab keys and make it to the exit of each area.  But each room is weirder than the last!  The game has been available on PC for some time now.  In fact, five years ago my friend reviewed it for me on Steam!  But now you can play it on consoles as well (reviewed on Switch here).

As Tcheco, you can run and jump and that’s it.  Each room has obstacles for you to avoid and keys to grab which will open an exit somewhere in the room.  Reach the exit to make it to the next level.  Sometimes you must simply avoid enemies while other times you may need to solve a quick puzzle.  Like kicking a soccer ball to a goal, or timing your movements so you enter a stone head’s mouth to come out its nose as a platform moves by.  In other areas you must utilize items like a skateboard or jet boots.  Or a helpful spring loaded jet powered poodle (think Rush Coil or Rush Jet from Mega Man).  Every so often you must fight a boss, like a giant genie baby who rains fire down on you.  You never know what to expect next, and that’s what makes this game fun.

There are two modes of play.  In “Classic” you get an energy bar which goes down with each hit.  And when it all runs out, it’s Game Over and you must start from the beginning again.  The other mode is “Try Harder.”  Here you only get one hit, but you just start over at the last room and can try as many times as you like.  Believe it or not, the second mode is easier and you can even continue where you left off.  The graphics and sound really make it feel like a long lost 8-bit NES game.

It could’ve used a few more modes, though.  Like maybe one where you can pick from any room you’ve completed and practice it, or a mode that randomizes the rooms so it’s different every time.  Play control also doesn’t feel responsive in some areas either.  The game is challenging, but has that ‘just one more try’ feel to it that makes it fun.  If you want a weird, NES style game to play, you can’t go wrong with this one.  I certainly would’ve rented it back in the day.

Kid Factor:

Tcheco in the Castle of Lucio is rated E-10 with an ESRB descriptor of Fantasy Violence.  If you get hit by an enemy or obstacle, you just let out a muffled 8-bit scream.  The Game Over screen shows Tcheco’s head turn into a cartoony skull, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill isn’t needed, but younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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