Alice in The Secret Castle review (iPod/iPhone)

February 16, 2011

10 word description: Platform puzzler. Alice has a rod, it makes walls disappear.

10 word review: Brutal. Extreme retro graphics. Hardcore, unforgiving platform puzzles. No tutorial.

This is how Room 1 looks at the start…

… and this is how it looks when you solve it. And that’s the FIRST room.

It’s like: The offspring of an unholy union between the undead corpse of Toki Tori and Satan’s own 8-bit vision of videogame hell.

It’s better than: Playing casual games for the rest of your pathetic life.

Maybe only 3 people in the entire world will ever complete this room. And that’s a shame.

It’s not: Super bloody Mario.

Average game time: Before you hurl your iPod at the wall, oh, maybe a couple of minutes.

This is what the room select screen looks like after you complete a few rooms. But you never will.

Arcadelife verdict: As a free advert for what can be done with their sprite editor, it’s ok. As a game in its own right, this poses an interesting question: Are the people who designed this game utterly brilliant or just phenomenally sadistic? It doesn’t really matter what I say, because hardly anyone is going to play this game and, of those that do, maybe only a couple will actually keep it installed long enough to figure out the basic game mechanics. If you feel like trying it, and you really should, just remember: There is no tutorial. The first room is not an easy introduction to the way the game works. Precise timing is required. Doing anything wrong will either kill you or put you in a position where you cannot complete the room. It’s a harsh, terrifying reminder of how videogames started out. Here at Arcadelife, we enjoy stuff like this. You probably won’t.

iTunes link






  1. thanks for pointing it out, and for the warning! I’ve installed it, will check it later

  2. I’m addicted, trying to get a high score!
    Love this game

  3. I wish there were more retro games like this! A traditional side scrolling action game would be great if you know of any. I’m at Room 56

    • how did you beat room 7?? it seems impossible to me given that she can’t move horizontally when she’s falling….

      • Level 7 is possible. You need to move fast enough to move to the left then run across the platform to get to the door. She can move sideways if moving down on a platform.
        This game makes me want to tear out my own eyes!

  4. 37?!?!!?

  5. I just finished this game and it is difficult but eventually you will figure all the rooms out. I like games like this does anyone know of a similar game.

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