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Free Ghost'n Goblins homage Maldita Castilla is a worthy spiritual successor

"I've missed games like Ghost'n Goblins for many years, so I just decided to make one by myself."

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Spanish indie developer Locomalito has released his wonderful free Ghost'n Goblins-esque retro throwback Maldita Castilla.

"I've missed games like Ghost'n Goblins for many years, so I just decided to make one by myself," said Locomalito on the game's official site.

After playing 90 minutes of it, I'd say he's done a remarkable job at capturing the essence of Capcom's 1985 classic. The gory, pixelated sprites, fiendish difficulty, varied level design, and inventive bosses hearken back to the good ol' days of pumping quarters into arcades.

Thankfully, you won't have to do that anymore as Maldita Castilla is absolutely free. You won't have to start all the way back at the beginning after losing all your lives either as the one concession it has to modern gaming is that it grants infinite continues.

It does shame you after having to continue four times, though, and I suspect there's a special surprise for those who can beat the game in less. Then again, I'm not positive about that and I don't necessarily want to know. Part of the appeal of games back then was that they had several obscure secrets and Maldita Castilla is no exception with its various hidden trinkets that must have some kind of mysterious consequence, even if I'm not sure exactly what it is.

While Ghost'n Goblins is clearly the most obvious inspiration, Locomalito cited several other influences like Tiger Road, Black Tiger, Shinobi, Rygar, Karnov, Trojan, European myths, and the medieval Spanish tome The Amadis of Gaul.

Maldita Castilla is a splendid assortment of oldschool masochistic fun as well as a cost-effective way to spend the weekend after you've spent all your money on holiday gifts. Give it a go here.

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