While I’m generally not good at platformers, I have to admit that the sheer adorableness of the Mermaid Castle world piqued my interest. Mermaid Castle 2 builds on its previous game, but you don’t necessarily need to have played that for Mermaid Castle 2 to make sense. With a bright, cartoonish-style and adorable enemies to fight, Mermaid Castle 2 is a charming platformer for Nintendo Switch players.
Three mermaid sisters, Nixie, Luna, and Ava live in a castle that gets menaced on a relatively frequent basis by the Evil Current Magic, which manifests as a magenta cloud that eats mermaid castles. When the game opens, our intrepid mermaids have gone on a trip and are looking forward to returning home to their beloved castle. Unfortunately, upon their return, they discover that the castle has once again been destroyed. Next, a visit to the Wise Octopus, yes, that’s an actual character, reveals that someone has stolen her mystic scrolls. A quick nip over to consult Poseidon results in the discovery that Poseidon’s trident has been similarly purloined. Poseidon grants each of our mermaids a special ability in order to aid in their task of saving their ocean home.
After that, Mermaid Castle 2 plays like a basic platformer, with the added benefit of being able to shift between the mermaids to capitalize on their unique abilities. Ava, for example, turns invisible, which means that she can avoid enemies. Poseidon grants Luna a dash ability that allows her to pulverize blocks, and Nixie can shrink her size enough to get into tight spaces and rescue starfish. Each of the three mermaids can shoot a magic projectile, though each shot takes up a certain amount of energy that can be replenished either via the big, purple orbs that you swim through to replenish the entirety of your character’s magic bar.
You’ll spend a fair amount of your time dodging enemies, including comically grumpy sharks, anemones, crabs, and fish with anger management issues while also rescuing starfish from cages or from disturbing chains. You can also collect health orbs to replenish your health bar; each mermaid starts with three lives, which players can lose. You’ll therefore need to pay attention to your health bar.
The other big thing about Mermaid Castle 2 is that you’ll need to watch your coin counter, which appears on the top of your screen. Each level comes equipped with 100 gold coins, which may also be in the arms of the adorable starfish you get the chance to liberate. Collecting all 100 coins grants you a 3-star rating for the level, and these coins will be important later when the Wise Octopus rebuilds your castle.
Mermaid Castle 2 is very obviously intended for all ages, and as such, the puzzles won’t be too challenging as they’re meant for all players to enjoy. The art style is bright and cartoony with a very retro sound that takes you back to your own childhood playing games. The controls aren’t terribly complex, but there are definitely some elements that you’ll need to remember, such as which buttons do what. The levels are discrete, by which I mean that you complete them, and the title provides a natural break. That’s nice if you’re dropping in to play a couple of levels before moving on. Moreover, whatever you kill stays dead, so that makes going back to swim through an orb a much more practical solution than it might otherwise be.
Mermaid Castle 2 is a fun, lightly challenging platformer with cute graphics and an overall wholesome feel. Even better, it’s currently on sale via the Nintendo Store for $4.99, down 50% from its usual $9.99 through January 8th, 2024.
- I really love the Mermaid Encyclopedia. It’s adorable.
- The Shark Gang cracks me up.
- Seriously, Mermaid Castle 2 is a great platformer for kids. It’s cute with just enough challenge to keep them occupied but not so difficult as to make it entirely frustrating.
- Also, you get to rebuild your castle. Once you’ve finished the mystery, you get to rebuild the castle to make it even more beautiful.