A broken staff that has something to do with stopping a bad guy is spread all around the old castle. What else is left to do except exploring the isometric world solving platform puzzles? All of that in one of these games that seem to have ended in the wrong platform.
For some reason games like this one make me think on the Commodore 64. Isometric platform games, with exploration, puzzles and weird palettes do that on me. But no matter what reason makes me think so, you can be sure this is not what I expect on a NES game.
For starters it's long (for a NES game), and you can't save. I don't know what they were thinking. So you have a lot to explore again and again, if you don't use an emulator. Of course you can restart knowing what to do this time, but that's not fun.
All the inmensity of the castle is made by single chambers. Some are just decorative and you only have to walk through it, but others require solving some kind of puzzle, done usually with a series of complex jumps.
But it isn't all so simple. There are a few things mixed on all this. First the keys, that make doors open or objects appear on rooms. Then you have these objects, platforms, half eggs or whatever, that you can push or take to help you.
Yes, they can be taken, but not carried to another room. But to compensate there is a neat trick you can do with them, dropping the thing on midair and then use it to jump farther. And in case it's not enough, let's not forget about a few other things hidden around the place, like the magic boots to jump higher, or the switch that make bombs around the castle explode.
And the potions. A consumable you carry around, and that you'll be able to refill few times. They are four, beaing each a different power: stopping time, making you invulnerable, destroying any movable object (including monsters) and making invisible platforms appear. These effects dissapear as soon as you change room, of course.
Puzzles, jumping and now I'll tell you the other thing this game is all about: exploring. You press a button and somewhere there is a new door. You get a key and somewhere you can advance, you refill your potions and now you can go through that impossible corridor...
Tedious you say? Well, not only there is a map that helps greatly, but the place is really well designed and I liked exploring it. There are a few places that could become dead ends if you are not careful, but usually there are sideways and several places to explore as more ways are open to visit.
This all sums into a curious NES game, that not only is of a kind you wouldn't expect for the console, but that is also one of the best you'll find for it.