Castlevania: The Adventure — Yokoi Corner

I’m going to try to be nice to this game. It’s going to be hard, though.

I like Castlevania! It’s one of those classic franchises I remember playing when I was little. I think we rented it a few times, but I can’t be sure as it was thirty years ago.

I remember the second game, Simon’s Quest, more than the other two games. I know it’s popular to take shots at it now. However, back in the early 90s, I hadn’t seen a game like it.

I experience the game by watching my brother play it. It was one of the many times I had no idea what was happening, but I wanted to try it. It’s similar to the way I first experienced Final Fantasy.

All of that being said, The Castlevania Adventure on the Game Boy is disappointing. In many ways, it does everything that a Castlevania game should do. It’s creepy, it had some strange monsters that could come from the Universal Monsters or a Lovecraft story, and you whip things.

Unfortunately, it has miserable controls, and the transitions between screens are awful.

This was one game that I don’t remember any of my friends talking about it. It was one of the many games that just slipped through the cracks.   

TLDR: This is a bad Castlevania game. It looks good, though.


The game was released in 1989 and was the first Castlevania game on the Game Boy. It was also re-released on the Game Boy Color in Japan and Europe. The game has been included in a few collections over the years.

This game is set 100 years before the first NES game. You play as Christopher Belmont, and, of course, your goal is to kill Dracula.

In the mid-2000s, there was also a series of comics from IDW. They were based on this game. I think I read one of them, but I’m not sure.


If you have played one Castlevania game, you have played most of them. There are some minor changes in the side-scrolling game, but they are basically the same overall. It’s something that should be fun.

However, with this game, the two things that hold it back are the controls and the ropes that you use to go from one screen to the next. Controlling your character feels like someone coated the controller with molasses.

To go along with the controls, you also don’t have sub-weapons. This is very disappointing because that was one of the cool parts of Castlevania. I’m guessing they were removed because of technical constraints.

This was 1989, and developers were still learning how to exploit the hardware. You see similar things with NES games. As developers got better at making games for the system, they learned how to make fit more into the game.

The power-ups you get are:

  • Whip upgrades
  • Coins
  • Hearts

The whip upgrades act like the NES game. The difference is that if you get hit, your weapon gets downgraded. Hearts refill your health, and the coins give you points.

You are ill-equipped to handle the challenges you have to face in this game. The controls also work against you even more than the NES game.

Something simple like a jump attack shouldn’t be as hard as it was in this game. There is a chance that the inadequate controls were my fault, but it didn’t feel that way. It was disappointing that the game felt worse than the NES games.

You also have to deal with being knocked back when you get hit. It’s not a huge problem as I expect it to happen in a Castlevania game. There are other issues I have with the main character, though.

He is slow, his jumping does whatever it wants, and things don’t feel right. Usually, the Game Boy’s controls are good. In The Castlevania Adventure, it feels like they tried to make the NES game worse. Well, mission accomplished.


This is the part of the game that shines! When you think of a Castlevania game, you think of something like a horror film. I think of one of the Universal monster movies from the 30s and 40s. This game does that.

This is one of the best-looking Game Boy games I’ve seen so far. The backgrounds are great, the enemies look good, and the animations are good. From just looking at the game, I had my expectations raised.

I thought it was going to be great.

The atmosphere created in this game was very good. It looked like a horror film. This has been one of the best-looking Game Boy games I’ve played so far. It’s graphically impressive. I wish Konami had spent more time on the controls.


There are a lot of alternatives to this game. Especially now with the number of Castlevania games that have been released on handhelds and the Switch.

You have plenty of options with the number of Metroidvania games and other indie side-scrollers. Here is a shortlist of games that I think are a better option:

  • Castlevania Circle of the Moon
  • Castlevania Portrait of Ruin
  • Bloodstained Curse of the Moon
  • Ender Lilies Quietist of the Knights

I know this is a mix of retro and indie games. These are just some of the games that I like and would recommend.



I wish this game was better. I like the franchise, and I think if I got this game back in 1989, I would be happy with it. It’s a little hard to separate this game from all of the other games I’ve recently played.

The visuals are great, but the gameplay doesn’t hold up. The things you do in the game seem like they should be fun. You’re fighting monsters, getting power-ups, jumping around, and everything else you would expect to see in a Castlevania game.

However, it doesn’t add up with this installment in the series. I haven’t played the other two Castlevania games on the Game Boy, so I don’t know how this compares to them. My mind might change on how I view this one.

When I look at older Konami games, I think about where the company went wrong. They seem to have given up on making the games that people like and only want to make pachinko machines and NFTs of old franchises.

Maybe I’ll find out where they went wrong. I’m sure everyone has their own ideas of where it happened, or perhaps it was several places. Anyway, I’ll see if I can settle on where I think they went bad.

Published by Paul Werkema

Hi! I'm here to share my hobbies with all of you. I love video games and books, so I write about the books that cover video games or are novels about video games.

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