Crystal Castles – The Original 80’s Game

So you may ask, what is Crystal Castles and what’s so special about this game?  A very good question!

Crystal Castles was created in 1983 by Atari, famous for making such great games as Tempest, Asteroids, and others.  Other facts about Crystal Castles:

First 3D “perspective” game!  
Crystal Castles was the first widely distributed arcade game that featured 3D “perspective”!  All other games before it and even many after are flat 2D.  It’s only fitting that it’s also a natural fit for blending with a 3D game of today!


Although Crystal Castles wasn’t the very first to utilize a RollerBall (or TrackBall), it’s one of the few.  Other famous games that used it are Missile Command, Centipede, Marble Madness, and Arkanoid.   This unique feature allowed you to move your player almost as fast as you can move the trackball with your hand! (unlike online games where you’re slave to your ping! lol)   At some levels it also made for quite a hand workout!  But this was a feature that gave you a chance to avoid the slo-mo “inevitable” deaths that occurred in games like Pac-Man (when you’re trapped in a passageway with ghosts on both sides :(

Comparisons to Pac-Man
This is ridiculous to compare the two!!  They are in reality “no way” alike.  Although both characters pick up items (a feature found in quite a few games) but this is where the similarities end.  First of all Pac-Man is 2D and Crystal Castles is 3D perspective.  Pac-Man uses a constrained stick and Crystal Castles a free Roller or TrackBall.  Pac-Man has no way out when cornered and Crystal Castles offers jumping over enemies.  It’s like comparing a hotdog to a steak- ridiculous!  

Although not at all unique to Crystal Castles, they are compelling to see them in a game.  The simple movers in the game are not unlike games of today, like Unreal.

Creator of Crystal Castles
His initials are the default initials inscribed on the opening screen, FXL.  They stand for Franz X. Lanzinger.  Other games he designed were Gubble and Gubble 2, PC games.   Franz Lanzinger is now currently President of Actual Entertainment.