The Dink Network

Cloud Castle

CC_nieghbors CC_Start CC_Fairies
August 7th, 2009
Score : 6.9 fair
This DMOD could've been a much more satisfying quest, had more care been taken to balance the gameplay. The story is not bad; Dink has bought some estate and hopes for some peace, but as usual, there never is. People are getting kidnapped, and a strange dream draws Dink to rescue a girl in a blue dress.

The Good:

The story is good, and the subplots are not bad for a relatively short quest. There are one or two secrets that need to be uncovered by careful observation; this is not a game where you can just storm through the hordes and hack-n-slash your way to the end. The graphics are also not bad, although they could be better.

The map layout is compact, which prevents pointless wandering. The endgame is a bit too linear, though. One would expect a castle to have a more branching layout than just a straight path through to the end!

The Bad:

The second part of the game is a quantum leap in difficulty level with no warnings. There is no return; so Dink pretty much has to be clairvoyant (read: the player has to play through once and start over and make use of prior knowledge) to know how to prepare for it. The guards are OK once you have the clawsword, but the wizard is almost unkillable in v1.2 because you can no longer stock up on berserk potions. There are no other potions or helpful items besides the steelskin potions, which are expensive (gold is very rare in part 1). The only way I managed to defeat him was to hide behind one of the Ancient machines (abusing the fact that the dink engine lets you strike across a hard object whilst fireballs and monsters are blocked). The fairies are impossible to beat in v1.2 for the same reason - I could not complete the game.

There are also minor issues: some hardness errors, walking over houses, etc., but nothing too major. Some things could be implemented more thoroughly (e.g., activating the stone at the fairy ring should at least mention something about the portal keys the player is carrying; otherwise the connection is only tenuous at best).

Overall, this DMOD has potential, and the story is promising, but it falls down in its execution. The subplots, although not badly done in themselves, fail to integrate with each other (they feel like obstacles the author arbitrarily introduced just so the player has to do something to earn the object). The difficulty balance really needs some work; just offering the player a clawsword doesn't quite cut it when the final bosses are several orders of magnitude tougher than what came before! This makes for a very frustrating game instead of a satisfying quest.
September 10th, 2002
Score : 8.5 good
Peasant Male United States
Destroying noobs since 1999. 
Honestly, I didn't expect as much out of this d-mod but it did offer quite alot. Lets go through and look at all parts of this d-mod.

Story: What looks like a story line has a nice plot built into it (not as deep as Prophecy, but deep for a quest). Stemming off of the main story are several sub-quests that directly relate to the plot. The sub quests are tierd and boring either, and some (like finding the dang tree root) challenge you to use you head.

Graphics: No new graphics, Sabre did use the ghost knight but the mapping will make up for that.

Sounds: Nice midi, sets the mood and does it's job but nothing more. No new sound effects, but hey, it's a quest, not a epic.

Mapping: Sabre and Arik kicked butt. The maping is relitivly complex, but not so complex that you will get lost or confused. The old dink sprite were nicly put together to make a unique map.

Scripting: No relolutionary scripting, but a nice mixture of simple to medium-complexity scripting. The scripts have no bugs (always a plus) and fit very nicely into the d-mod.

Overall: Good d-mod, great map, good sound, comedy, but no new graphics. 8.5
June 8th, 2002
Score : 8.0 good
Peasant Female
Cloud Castle is a short D-mod about Dink getting his own estate. But people on his estate are kidnapped and Dink has to save them.

Storyline and map: It is a well worked out D-mod, both in storyline and map. The D-mod is small in map-size, but that prevents you from walking through endless screens without anything on it and with nothing to do but wander - and wonder what to do next.

Graphics: The cloudtiles are well done. The titlescreen is quite sober in that way that it gives you the perfect impression and tells you all you need to know without using any superfluous frills.

Music: Not that bad, but not that good either. The music around Dink his house is really annoying and was getting on my nerves after a while. In general, the music fits the situation, but is not outstanding.

Bugs: I didn't encounter any crash- or other bugs. There are some small hardness errors with trees and a house you can walk over. When inside a couple of houses you can see tiles behind the walls showing some trees that are supposed to be black.

Good: It is original on several points:
1. The authors used the graphics in a new way. For example: the kitchen inside the Cloud Castle reminds me of a shoarma-restaurant because the 'old' graphics are used in a new way.
2. When inside a house, you can see the door leading outside. The door could be a bit bigger, as to fill the dooropening, but putting a door inside is in my opinion quite logical - although nobody has ever done that before (as far as I know) - because when you are inside a house you will ofcourse see the frontdoor.
3. When you talk to people, you get a description of what they look like, what kind of mood they are in and what they are doing. Because there are not that many people-graphics to choose from to show differences, that adds a personal touch.
4. There are some intermezzo's; set up in short movie-like screens. One of them is a flashback in which is explained how Dink got the estate. Usually you are told at the beginning of the D-mod what happened before the games begins: this is a nice change. At the beginning of this D-mod there is a dream that doesn't explain anything, so the flashback is really good. The dream itself is also good because it is really how you dream: in short flashes, changing rapidly.
5. You can get healed by resting: that reminds me of the RPG Quest for Glory in which the hero can't go on for ever, but needs a nap now and then too. It's a nice change to do that instead of going to a healer, fountain or such.

There is a savebot right at the startscreen which I particullary like, because the first thing I want to do once the game has started is to save.
The end is nice too. It is not just 'kill the End Boss and that's it', but there is a nice - and funny - ending.

Not so good: There are not much potions to be found, so you merely have to level up. Since there aren't that many baddies, that is quite timeconsuming, especially since the foes in the castle are enormously strong, in large numbers and there are screenlocks with them and the End Boss is extremely strong.
Gold is not found easily. You don't need that much for necessary items, but it is quite handy to buy healing potions. You don't get that many goldhearts either, so since your lifepoints aren't that many, once again you have to settle with levels.
Once you enter the fairy circle there is no way back. I think there should be a way back in case you aren't strong enough yet (and forgot to save before entering!).
There could be a healing heart just before the End Boss. And placing a savebot in a room with baddies, right before the End Boss, is not really handy.

Remark: Although the authors claim that loads of things have scripts, there aren't that many. The ones that are there, are for getting information on how to proceed: those are very well indeed.

Overall: I really enjoyed playing Cloud Castle. It has some original features, but it also shows that you can do new things with old stuff. Cloud Castle is a fine example of the fact that new graphics aren't necessary to make an entertaining D-mod.

Fit for: If you're looking for a huge map and you like to wander and wonder endlessly than this D-mod is not the one for you. But if you want to play a rather straight-forward D-mod with some nice suprises in it, it is certainly worth the download.
June 21st, 2014
Score : 7.0 good
Peasant Male Australia
(Tag Line) How long is this line. 
Ok where to start.

-Some of the tile set in the Castle looks quite nice
-Funny Drunk guy
-A trailer for CC2 in the library(I just wish sabre included that in CC2 for a trailer of CC3 or some other D-mod)
-Really annoying soundtrack especially when present in the town
-Don't get a weapon until in the castle
-The beginning is very boring
-Screenlocking for respawning enemies.
-No spells
-Lack of variety in the weapons just a clawsword that's it.

So my final verdict do I recommend this d-mod?
YES especially if your preparing to play the sequel next.
May 20th, 2007
Score : 9.4 exceptional
Introduction: Cloud Castle is a d-mod where Dink Smallwood purchases an estate wheras the citizens get kidnapped.

Story:8.1:Good: I liked the story with Dink Smallwood having to fight the soldiers of Nerux to release the villagers from the prison. Dink dosen't know who Alessa is, but he knows he must free her.

Graphics:5.0:Fair: I found no new graphics.

Style:9.8:Exceptional:I absolutely loved the endless humor, with the wizard in the tavern, but I also liked the fact there were no 'major" bugs only a few with the Dink sprite which seems to walk on the roofs.I loved also that you could interact with almost anything in the game.

Music:6.3:Fair:A few mdis that fit the situations but other than that nothing special.

Other:I liked that there was a save machine when you started and another right before the end boss. AlsoI liked that there was a conclusion after the end boss that was funny.There were alot of scripts and I enjoyed that.

Overall:9.4:Exceptional: I loved this game while I was playing it, but i did not there was a sequel, after I found that out, I was very happy.

Fit For: People who don't want to waste their time downloading lame huge empty d-mods, but more fore normal people, but especially for people who want to have fun with Dink Smallwood and like suprises and jokes.

April 14th, 2007
Score : 8.5 good
This is part of the best trilogy ever!!

Story: Very good story! If you do not look to some places, you don't understand anything. But if you talk to every/thing /one\ you'll understand everything.

Music: Good! I disapointed in Cloud Castle, though.

Overal: A very good d-mod!

Fit for: This is the kind of trilogy everyone has been waiting for! PLAY IT!!
If you haven't.
March 1st, 2006
Score : 9.0 exceptional
I just finished this D-Mod, just so I could review it!!

Graphics. Ok, nothing new- oh, except the ghost knight.

Music. Weeeeeeeee

Sounds. Were there some? Oh there was. Bonca.

Story. This is what the D-Mod gets its main score from. I got stuck, but I solved it just for reviewing this...

Humour. I like it.

Map. It's strangely enthusiastic.

November 16th, 2005
Score : 7.0 good
Peasant Female
Could not finish it. Too much walking back and forth. No clear story to follow. Played for a few weeks before I realized you have to have the 3 things to through the failry ring. Stuff added that means nothing like the demon god in the garden that twinkles. Not to many ways to build defense or strength. Have to chase around too much to talk to people that do not give you and answer you need until its time. Finally got to Cloud Castle, fight is too hard. The only way I could kill have of these enemies in any part of this game was by staying on the frame of the screen where they could not get me and let them beat the hell out of each other until one enemy was left then I would go in to fight. Also I had to keep buying this guy a drink in the bar for the defense potions, at least 7 of them after I started the game all over when I knew I did not have enough to defense to get through Cloud Castle without the defense. I got so far as to fight the solderies at the savebot in the Castle and then got killed several times by them and the wizard, then after all that dodo and all that fighting only to get killed by faires and slimes which I thought was unfair to add in this scene close to the end. This mod left me frustrated so bad I don't think I can play another dmod unless it is a new one, these are all old.
March 14th, 2004
Score : 9.0 exceptional
A nice little save the girl DMOD. The author didn't go overboard with the map size, just enough space for everthing with no aimless wandering. I liked how you could get a responce from alot of the background items instead of just "WHAT?". The music fit but nothing new. The boss at the end was a little hard with the lack of leveling up and good weapons, took me 3 tries. I loved the end, very funny.
January 8th, 2004
Score : 9.9 exceptional
Peasant Female
A Very nice Dmod indeed!!

Story line: Lots of clues in books and talking to people also helps a lot. The boss very intresting twist and unexpected.

Map: No Endless wondering around. Lots of detail.

Hardness error: I was able to walk around the back of the tavern over some trees and stuff, no biggy.

Overall: great gameplay, I liked the detail of person you're talking to and the conversations. LOVED it!!

April 11th, 2003
Score : 9.1 exceptional
This is the first episode of the Cloud castle series.

STORY:Very good but a bit strange. You won't be able to understand everything, so don't be surprised ! I like the humor of the game.

MUSIC : Very good. There are musics from Final Fantasy.

GRAPHICS : Some nice tilesets by Mike Snyder and a ghost knight by Striker.

GAMEPLAY : STRENGHTS : I didn't find any bugs. There are some new potions. A lot of things have been scripted. You should look at every bookshelf you will see, it's very interesting. WEAKNESSES : The bosses would be almost impossible to beat if you haven't got enough bersek potions. There is no magic in this game, and it's a shame, because I think it would have been very useful to beat the bosses. I hope the player will be able to use magic in Cloud Kingdoms.

FINAL VERDICT : 9,1. It's a great DMOD you should really download. Congratulations SabreTrout!
October 29th, 2002
Score : 8.8 good
Peasant Male
This d-mod seems to have many good points in my opinion. I would say that the plot, music and mapping are all very well done, and that the authors do some cool set pieces (like the hallway of knights). There is also some good humour at times. The way the conversations are done is cool, especially the little descriptoin of the character you are talking to. This makes a 2d world seem that little bit more real. The bosses are cool, though they are extremely hard compared to the rest of the game! The main problems were the difficulty, the lack of combat (though the story makes up for this somewhat) and a few annoying bugs and bad ideas (savepoint with enemies next to it anyone?). Overall...a very nice game, that perhaps should have been a bit bigger.
September 3rd, 2002
Score : 9.5 exceptional

Well this D-mods is realy great!Not too hard,the plot is easy,so you could play it to relax after a big game like FIAT or POTA or any other

the map didn't have too much empty spaces like it's saying "let's get to the point boy!".
Little humour like when hit the mushrooms) "I can't be bothered to say annything witty."
The plot as I sayd earlyer.And I heven't encounter any bugs!
Bad:It gets REALLY hard in the castle especialy the knights.I think someone made their hp bigger then usual.

A fine short D-mod with a little humour and lots of fighting.
July 17th, 2002
Score : 8.5 good
This DMOD is well done. Besides a very good plot, Sabre and Arik incorporated some nice graphics and music that seemed to fit perfectly. Cloud Castle makes you think and do things a little diferently than most DMOD's, and I enjoyed trying to figure out the plot with the clues given. The map is thoughtful and well laid out, and there is at least one secret to be found. I thought, however, that towards the very end it got a little confusing as to what do to, or who to kill next. There was a bit of a twist at the end, and the final boss was well done and tough to finish off. The authors did a great job on their first DMOD.
June 25th, 2002
Score : 7.6 good
Peasant Male Australia
An interesting DMOD. Quite well done for most of it - once you figure out what to do next. (Hint read the books a number of times!). A quest with humour.

Graphics - nothing new, although the Ghost Knight makes an appearance - at least according to the end credits. (I didn't find it) Score 7.5

Music - Generally unobtrusive which is good, but nothing that really helped set the mood. Score 8.0

Mapping - Very good most of the time, with attention to detail which is nice. Some small hardness errors and the little doors in the rooms looked funny. Score 8.0

Story/Plot - overall a nice plot, but it's execution is where it falls down. Too unclear as to what to do. I eventually had to go thru scripts and maps as I got severly bored walking around looking for what I had to do next. As for the end boss thing. Mildly inventive, but I'd seen spawning badies and enemy shooting magic stuff before - heck I saw them in SOB. Score: 6.5 ('cause I had to go to scripts/map edit)

Gameplay: Very hard at first - just go and fight the ordinary monsters to level up, couldn't find many secrets to help with that. Talking to people... most talk back although eventually their answers don't progress which is annoying. Score 7.0

Bonus: The humour. Definetely a plus. Score 9 out of 10 here.

Total: 7.6

June 24th, 2002
Score : 8.2 good
This is a nice short dmod. There is a quite fitting plot in the game. It has almost all the good elements for a small dmod to be succeed. Like Paul, I particular liked the final boss although part of the scripts can be improved a little in my opinion.

However this game is a little too hard for me. I had to cheat a little bit here or there to survive. Since I usually saved the game not so often, I died many times and needed to go through part of the game over and over.

A few small bugs, not life threatening though.

With a tweak here or there and an easier difficulty setup (more bonus portions or more easy-to-kill baddies), I would recommend this dmod without any bad commends.
June 24th, 2002
Score : 8.6 good
Noble Female United States
Daniel, there are clowns. 
Hereís my review:

Graphics: The cloud tiles look suspiciously like one of the Windows default backgrounds. So, there really isnít anything new; not that there's anything wrong with that. Oh yeah, thereís also that thing with the doors not fitting in their doorways, but thatís just a minor flaw.

Music: Average. Some are great; others, annoying. Most fit the atmosphereÖ though I did have a hard time getting used to Blankaís theme in the caves.

Challenge: I found this d-mod to be surprisingly well balancedÖ for me, at least. I actually had to use some elixirs to get through (hint, hint). Even hard-core, veteran dinkers will find this one to be challenge. Others may find that this is just one of those games where you have to cheat.

Story: People are disappearing and itís up to Dink to save them; a normal d-mod plotÖ or so it seems! What appears to be your average d-mod is really a hilarious romp in disguise! In my opinion, this is the probably one of the funniest d-mods out there. Itís like Stone of Balance without the painful number of sex jokes.

Overall: Very well done, especially for a first d-mod. Itís short and not very big, it took about an hour to finish. The ending is classic and has almost Ed the SCV flavor to it. So, if youíre looking for a d-mod thatís funny as well as challenging, I highly recommend you download this.
May 23rd, 2002
Score : 9.0 exceptional
Its a cool DMOD.In this DMOD you have your own village, but some of your peoples are kidnapped.Its a little bit tricky. Like, how to teleport in fairy ring: you must do , like just say, read from a bookshelf 2 times. 1 time you read about somethin not intresting, and second time you have new option- lokk up for that nad that book. But in this DMOD you will find some bugs, like going straight to the wall and something like that.
Bot this is a good DMOD, and i give 9,0 points to it.
April 21st, 2002
Score : 8.5 good
Peasant Male United States
Now that the bugs are taken care of in v1.1 this is a very nice dmod. It not the longest but it's well thought out and very playable. My worst complaint is that it wasn't always clear what you were doing. But you just had to explore and it became clear. The "boss" was a pleasent surprise too. I won't spoil it, but it's more than just a tougher monster. For a small dmod it has a lot to offer, some humor, clever quests/puzzles and a few novel effects.