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BATTLE PRINCESS MADELYN from CASUAL BIT GAMES can be played with a Full Screen or in a Windowed Screen, either way you get a positive, as clear view as possible, of the characters; the heroine 'Battle Princess Madelyn', Her Guardian, Her Pet Ghosty and the myriad of bomb-shooting flowers, stone throwing Giants and sword wielding fantastic fantasy creatures.

You can play in ARCADE or STORY mode though both are fairly similar as far as the visual and sound effects go.

If you have a hand-controller for your PC then use it because this is a very difficult game to control using the keyboard buttons.

BATTLE PRINCESS MADELYN is a side-scroller of the highest order. It is fun and fast as you run Madelyn through various scenes fighting a whole lot of deadly and often 'dead' monsters (some of them are even in walking coffins). Madelyn can throw spears in straight lines, horizontally or vertically and one hit usually dispels any monster they hit. She also has to dodge pod-shooting plants, beanstalk type monsters that come up through gaps in the path with their sharp teeth filling gigantic maws ready to bite her in half.

Madelyn dies easily if you aren't clever in combat and she also cannot swim, so falling into water doesn't do her any good (no good in this case meaning 'death').

Along the way Madelyn collects coins and can sometimes find Regal looking armour and weaponry that makes her truly feel like the Princess she is.

Along on her journey she has, for a while, a friendly mini-ghost and a knight - though he soon disappears when the going gets tougher. Smashing vases (by firing at them or hitting them) generally brings more coins and occasional pick-ups. Like virtually every side-scrolling game this is about collecting and surviving.

The backgrounds are extremely well detailed, though a little repetitive, but the character and monsters are good old pixellated blocks that look better small and from afar than larger and close up. Retro game styles are the current trend and Battle Princess Madelyn fits in directly well with it. I am not a great techno-phobe and can hardly keep up with things that PCs or watches (especially watches) can do, but I do know that although it is good to sometimes watch an old 1940's black & white movie or fondly remember an Atari 400 game they are things of the past, but with the cost of PCs now, all built up with quad-core, 2TB HDDs (my first PC had 40MB HDD) Virtual Reality, Hi-Density, 32GB graphics cards etc etc etc playing pixel-block side-scrollers is not really something I want to be doing.

I look at games like Red Dead Redemption © or Call of Duty © and see how they make use of todays computer's power and then I compare them to games like this and I just wonder why.

But that's just me, the way I feel. As far as side-scrolling retro adventure genre games go, Battle Princess Madelyn hits all the right buttons and in its own way should be commended for sticking to its guns and presenting a blast from the past that runs smoothly and competently on the PCs of today.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015