First, the good. The game has a solid game mechanic with being able to lift and throw defeated enemies that each have their own unique properties. The game's controls were initially a little difficult to work with (around?), but have since been patched so no worries there. At the heart of the game is some mildly fun platforming. The game's graphics are reminiscent of the SNES, although the control are perhaps more out of the NES era. The game has a leveling system that grants you greater strength and more life and possibly a higher chance to crit (can't confirm this). If you start a new game, you can go back with your level and kick some serious butt just for the fun of it. And perhaps most important of all is that this game is only $5. And for $5, I can understand limitations on content.
Unfortunately, the game feels like it has a laundry list of lost potential and areas lacking in refinement.
When throwing enemies, they often hit walls or ceilings due to level design. A good example is having to throw enemies in corridors that are as tall as the character. The big fat guys pack a wallop when you throw them, but they're often placed in areas where you have to kill them last, and since you're not allowed to jump with them, you're just kinda stuck in between two walls/ledges until you throw them at a random bat spawn, which is a waste, or nothing just so you can jump out. Often times, enemies exist just outside the game screen, and in areas where you have to drop down, it's not uncommon to land on enemies that you can not see before you get hit. Similarly, there are areas in the game (like stage 3) where the game has you blindly drop down on one brick to another, but then suddenly there's no more dropping. Instead, the next drop is to your death. Apparently, before you started dropping down the sequence of bricks, you were to understand to wait for each next brick to appear because at the very bottom only death awaited you. The game does nothing to convey this message (like maybe a sign pointed downwards with the words danger written so they know to proceed with caution?). In another part of the game (I believe also level 3), I hit a lever, and a fat Abobo-type guy spawns on me and hits me while the camera is focused on the wall that was destroyed by me pulling the lever.
Princess Sarah's main attack has a very poor hitbox. In tight areas, enemies crowd near you, and can get on top of your character after a first hit. At this point, when you most need to hit an enemy before your invincibility runs out, you can't because her attack doesn't strike within her own sprite (or hardly at all if it does). This means you often have to gain range on your target to hit it. While this might sound like a mechanism allowing for tactical depth of gameplay, it simply makes most fights or even striking of torches a tedious chore. I'm quite sure even Simon Belmont could strike candles that he was standing over in the original Castlevania.
Similarly, the lifting mechanic seems to be underwhelming as once you pick an enemy up, all you can do is either jump or throw the enemy, not attack. So the game is reduced to picking up a corpse/item, and then throwing it at the next bad guy. You do have to occasionally attack enemies, but often throwing does significantly more damage so you're incentivized to do the same thing: lift, throw, lift, throw. It often matters very little which corpse you pick up or which enemy you throw it at. You just pick up and throw, rinse, repeat.
You can't set enemies down, at least not of your own will. But the game let's you put enemies down inadvertently if you let yourself get hit. So why can't the player set what they're carrying down? Perhaps in that case the despawn timer on the enemy could be much longer allowing for more strategic gameplay. Alternatively, why not let the player carry one lifted item in an inventory for later use? Or what about having some control of the arc on throws? If the defense for why these things don't exist is some blind faithfulnes to retro platformers, I'm not sure I agree in this day and age where we've seen many great platformers like Mark of the Ninja, Guacamelee, and even the 20-year-old Super Metroid.
Enemies start showing up pallette-swapped pretty quickly and by chapter 4 it felt like I had seen just about all the enemies I as going to see. I may be wrong, but I didn't feel like trying exploring the game any further to determine if that was the case. This recycling of characters also means a recycling of the same throw abilities as those are derived from character type. Thus the limiting of enemies is also a limiting of gameplay depth.
And finally, one big complaint I still have about the movement/platforming is that this seems to violate the one fairly consistent rule of platforming that if any part of your character is on a ledge, your character won't fall off. This means you often see your character standing like normal, but with a foot over the edge. In this game, your character seems to fall if any part of her is off the ledge which creates an awkward required timing for jumps.
I want to like this game, I really do. It has a lot of potential, but it just seems to be half done. This would be amazing for an alpha or beta release. But as it is, I begrudgingly trudged through stage 3 only to get an idea of the content presented by the fourth stage. When seeing it was just more of the same, I decided to turn it off.
In the end though, there are other platformers out there that may cost a little more, but you get far more bang for your buck. Out of the 3 hours I spent on it, nearly hafl were just so I could rewrite this review after the patch, and most of those were spent wishing I were playing a different platformer.