Once upon a time there was a nice castle full of nice people. But there was someone bad called Morgath who wasn't nice and decided to take over the nice castle and get rid of the nice people. Thus, the castle became Not Nice Castle. Sorry, The Castle of Madness. You, being the rather nice chap(ette) you are, decide to stumble awkwardly into this castle and do something beneficial for society as a whole. And thus your quest begins. The arrow keys guide you around the castle and for the first few minutes you will be truly lost, the way you move around is a bit odd. The direction you are facing is shown below the display panel as North, East, South or West and can change each time you move to a different room, so in many cases pressing left, then right does not leave you where you started. It makes sense after a while as pressing back repeatedly gets you to the start of the maze, but it takes some getting used to.
This is a game which should rather a lot on language, but the descriptions are minimalistic to say the least. Room descriptions are usually only a line of text and the graphics do little to fill in the gaps, as most rooms look identical bar a few sparse decorations. Items can't be examined at all, depriving you of that little bit more of a hint what they might be for if you need it, but the most description you ever get is a simple drawing and the name of the item in question. Although this may seem like a bad thing, it's honestly not missed that much though, the puzzles are never complicated enough to need to know anything more than roughly what the objects are in order to use them appropriately. The hardest thing is figuring out where you are as all the rooms look the same.
The combat is without a doubt the biggest weakness of the entire game, not only will you have no idea how well a weapon will do against an opponent until you go to the enemy, look at the stats and then run away, but the very limited options of what you can do mean you tend to either just attack over and over, or block then attack then block over and over. Still despite this simplicity, you still get quite tense when having to do battle with the (admittedly very limited number of) creatures of the very orange Castle of Madness.
And that's about it. It's very simple, but it's intuitive and gets you into the story very well with excellent art and music. The in game graphics are nice enough, although some variation in each of the rooms would help in keeping track of where you are but overall it's a solidly enjoyable experience to clean up the mess that has been left around the castle and make the world a better place, but once you've done it, it's not something you'll come back to for a bit.