Crystal Castles®

Crystal Castles
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Crystal Castles®

The 80’s was a golden era for arcade games. Innumerable arcade games were introduced during this era, many of which were so successful that they are still being played and enjoyed by millions.

Crystal Castles® is an arcade game released by Atari, Inc in 1983. The player controls a cartoon bear by the name of Bentley Bear, who has to collect gems located throughout trimetric-projected castles while avoiding enemies out to get him.

The Gameplay

The gameplay of Crystal Castles® involves maneuvering a bear through castles and collecting gems while avoiding enemies. Gems are collected by simply walking over them, and a bonus is given upon collection of the last gem. If touched by the enemies the bear will lose one of his lives. Any gem collected by the enemies also results in a lower obtainable score for that screen. Likewise, if the last available gem is collected by the enemy, the player also loses the last gem bonus. Enemies can be avoided by use of the maze and its constructs, or by making Bentley jump over opponents with the jump button.

Each maze also randomly includes a hat or honey pot, which serve the dual purpose of awarding points and providing Bentley with the ability to defeat specific enemies. Other villains present in the game include: “Nasty Trees” which become more ornery as levels progress, a ghost that will usually appear in the Hidden Spiral levels, dancing skeletons, “Gem Eaters,” and also the devilish “Crystal Balls” creatures that in later levels tend to follow Bentley Bear persistently as he collects gems.


Each of the castles consists of a maze of hallways filled with gems and bonus objects and also includes stairs, elevators, and tunnels that the player can use as shortcuts. The hat collected during the game is worth 500 points and will make Bentley invulnerable for a few seconds and allow him to eliminate Berthilda the witch, who appears in the last maze of each level.

Difficulty Levels

Crystal Castles® has nine levels with four castles each, and a tenth level which features a single castle, the clearing of which ends the game.  Losing all three lives will end the game.

Interface and Controls

The interface and controls are very easy. Use the arrow keys to move the bear around and the control key to jump.

Crystal Castles® is notable for being one of the first arcade games with an actual ending, whereas most games of the time either continued indefinitely or ended abruptly.

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Crystal Castles® © 1983 Atari Interactive, Inc. ©2011 Atari and the Atari logo are registered trademarks of Atari Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved. Used under license.