Swords, whips, and “wall meat” are mainstays in any good dark fantasy metroidvania. Throw in a few lofty goals and lusty monsters, and you better make sure you stay extra hydrated. That’s because Castle in the Clouds from Libra Heart, Pixelteishoku and Critical Bliss, has you following the Bounty Hunter Lily, who after being ambushed by a gang of thieves, hears tell of a legendary treasure found in a mysterious castle, and sets out on an adventure to find it.
Through her titillating trials, she’ll run across busty beasts, daunting death traps, and pleasures untold, and we’re here to tell her tale!
In Castle in the Clouds, like Libra Heart’s other games, most of the sex scenes involve the main character and the monsters you’ll encounter as you play and progress. However, since this time around you play as a human, and not as a lust filled succubus on the hunt for the seed of any creature that’ll give it to you, there is more of an air of duress. Most notably during the scene where Lily is captured by the thieves at the beginning of the game. That said, aside from the odd tentacle and the occasional encounter with a slime, most of the scenes themselves feature straight sex and are relatively kink free. So, with that in mind, we landed on 60% when it came to the type of adult content in the game.
Each scene you do encounter, although technically not interactive, is a frequent mechanical component of the game, and features full nudity, masturbation, penetration, as well as fellatio and cunnilingus, so we thought the adult content fit nicely at a level 3.
In this house we love all things Libra Heart. We anxiously await the releases of the games they bless us with and Castle in the Clouds was no exception! It had been on our Steam wishlist for a very long time and it was a darn fine day once we were finally able to hit that purchase button. We’ve played Tower and Sword of Succubus and have Midnight Castle Succubus queued up and ready to go. Everything we’ve been able to play from Libra Heart thus far has been nothing short of top notch, naughty, retro style fun and I expected no less from Castle in the Clouds.
Whenever we’re looking to shake things up in our After Dark section, Libra Heart always delivers with their spicy NSFW take on classic video game genres. So, with me being a huge Castlevania fan, seeing that they were taking a crack at an action platformer inspired by the franchise, really had me excited.
I mean, Castlevania always had a vague sexiness to it with its approach to character and enemy designs. It’s where my love for the monster lady schtick stemmed from after all. So I was very curious to see what happens when you take an inherently sexy thing, and crank up the lewd. My guess was that it was going to be a gosh dang fun time!
As we mentioned earlier, the sexual content in Castle in the Clouds isn’t technically interactive, but you can trigger most of it by interacting with special enemy types. Specifically the “horny” ones that have hearts swirling around them. Once triggered, you’ll be presented with an animated sequence that you can try to escape by mashing the action button. Or, you know, you can ride it out, read all of the dialogue, and witness what happens when the monster finishes with you. The benefit of triggering these scenes is that once you escape, it acts like a full screen attack, damaging enemies and rewarding you with a lust point. Lust points can also be gained by finding hidden succubi in treasure chests, which will send Lily into a flurry of masturbation that will slow your actions down until she finishes.
For the most part, there isn’t much use for the lust points, but if you gain enough you can enable the ability to sell your body for money in the town. Of course, this can only be done once per resident per playthrough, so even then it’s not really that lucrative.
Unlike Tower and Sword of Succubus, Castle in the Clouds was much lighter in the adult content department. That’s not to say there weren’t lusty monsters around every corner, but there were definitely a lot less of them. Honestly, I appreciate that they didn’t try to force it in anywhere, and that does the story justice, as well as the gameplay overall. The main character Lily is not a succubus after all, so she wouldn’t, and isn’t, as inclined to put up with the shenanigans of men nor monsters.
There is a SFW filter that can be applied to the game overall if you’re just in the market for a more run of the mill metroidvania experience. The best part is, it doesn’t really hurt the game much since the naughty bits aren’t terribly integral to the gameplay and are easily removed without consequence.
The artwork, as always with any Libra Heart game, was one of my favorite things. The fact that the pixel art is so detailed and colorful impresses me every single time. With Castle in the Clouds in particular though, the sheer number of environments and bosses definitely kicked it up a notch. I loved seeing all the gorgeous boss monster ladies and how their style tied in with the theme of their level’s aesthetic.
Something else unique to Castle in the Clouds was the difficulty setting that really allowed any kind of player to enjoy the game to its fullest. We played on the normal difficulty and while it did make the enemies and bosses a little too easy, it also made experiencing all the naughty parts easier as well.
One thing I’ll say was a bit disappointing was the lack of variety when it came to which monsters were able to “capture” Lily. There were only three total throughout the entire game and they were just repeated in every level. With so many levels and different areas a few more libidinous baddies would have been nice.
One of my favorite things about Castle in the Clouds, and one of the things that makes all of Libra Heart’s games great, is the fact that they have a gameplay first mentality to their design, despite being an NSFW game. Sure, they’re not going to be quite as polished as a core Castlevania game, but from top to bottom, I’m always left wanting more. Truly it’s only an added benefit that it includes lewd content. Which honestly just makes it that much more exhilarating to play!
I appreciate that it borrows ideas from some of my favorite games in the Castlevania series, like being able to collect abilities, like a double jump, or seeing enemy hit points, that can be turned off or on in the menu! It even adds a few abilities of its own like being able to cling to walls, and ceiling, which really makes exploring and traversing each area exciting!
With all of that being said however, there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. Nothing major, but definitely things that if improved would make the experience that more more fun. For example, the map could be a bit confusing, particularly when trying to determine what doors within a dungeon lead to which section of the map. Or that when you jump, you’re committed to that jump and its arc and there’s no changing its direction nor its height once you’re in the air. The biggest thing however, with regards to it being an NSFW game, was that the lust mechanic really wasn’t fleshed out enough, and never really compelled you to seek out the sex scenes once you experienced its limited usage within in the town. It would have been interesting to see the devs use the stat like they did in other games, to cast magical abilities, or maybe even unlock further dialogue trees with the town residents.
Honestly, even if you’re not in the market for an NSFW game, Castle in the Clouds delivers on fun and exciting game play. Especially if you’re a fan of the Castlevania franchise and games like it. Top it off with a killer soundtrack, the potential for multiple playthroughs, and amazing boss fights, featuring some of my favorite curvaceous Libra Heart designs yet, and I don’t think you can go wrong. The best part is, it’s a satisfying NSFW experience that’s more than worth the price they’re asking, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Unlike my review writing cohort, I am not well versed in the ways of the metroidvania genre. I’ve played a few, and witnessed the completion of many, sure, but that still boils down my experience to a drop in a bucket compared to the vast ocean of even just Castlevania games alone. That being said however a good game is still a good game no matter what side of the experience spectrum you land on and I can say unequivocally that Castle in the Clouds is a good game.
I can absolutely see Patrick revisiting the game again and again to unlock all those achievements, endings, and gallery photos. That said, personally I felt one time through Castle in the Clouds was all I needed, even though I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it. It was an experience absolutely worth the wait and every penny we spent on it, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
One of our favorite parts about seeking out and finding quality NSFW games, is that we stumble upon games like Castle in the Clouds. Not only was it a quality experience and fun to play as a couple, but it was just the right amount of sexy too. Which in our book is exactly the type of games we’re hoping to showcase!
If you’re interested in checking out Castle in the Clouds for yourself, you can find it right now on Steam!
Have a curiosity for adult themed games, but are wary of what type and level of content they may contain? Use our at-a-glance After Dark Gauges, to quickly see if a game is for you! Check out the After Dark Gauges Primer page, for more information!