Average Playtime: 1 hour

The Castle Doctrine

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About

The Castle Doctrine is a massively-multiplayer game of burglary and home defense. It's 1991, and things are bad. You're a guy with a house and family. Other players are coming to take what's yours. Build security to stop them. Study their houses, buy tools, and break in to take what's theirs. Everything you do is permanent.

I'm Jason Rohrer, and The Castle Doctrine is my 10th game. It's a bit hard to describe, because there's never been anything quite like it before. It's a brutal game in terms of its perma-death and perma-destruction consequences, and it is turn-based, so it's rather Rogue-like. But building such a brutal game in a multiplayer context, with absolutely no cushion between players to stop them from brutalizing each other, is quite strange and new.

Everything is real in this game. When you rob someone, you are actually hurting another player in a permanent way by destroying and stealing their hard work. When someone dies in this game, they lose everything and start over. If you devise perplexing security systems, you can perma-death other players when they come to rob you. Watching those security tapes, where someone gets what's coming to them, is an exhilarating experience. On the other hand, you just killed someone and perhaps caused them to lose days of their hard work. And you've been on the other side too, losing everything because of some thoughtless move you made in someone else's house.

But there is no randomness in this game, so everything is fair. When you die, it is always your fault. When things get dicey, you can always retreat back out the front door to save your own neck. Of course, human folly will get the better of you.

Here's what you get when you buy the game:

  • A lifetime account on the central world server that I'm running.
  • Access to the full game source code (after launching the game on Steam, go here).
  • Everything you need to run your own game server (requires a PHP/MySQL web server, download the source bundle to get started).
Platforms
Metascore
58
Release date
Developer
Jason Rohrer
Publisher
Jason Rohrer
Age rating
Not rated
Website
http://thecastledoctrine.net/

System requirements for Linux

Minimum:
  • Processor: 900 MHz
  • Memory: 40 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 10 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Standard Audio
  • Additional Notes: Binary was built on Ubuntu 12.04

System requirements for PC

Minimum:
  • OS: XP or later
  • Processor: 900 MHz
  • Memory: 40 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 10 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Standard Audio

System requirements for macOS

Minimum:
  • OS: 10.5 or later
  • Processor: 900 MHz
  • Memory: 40 MB RAM
  • Graphics: Onboard Graphics
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 10 MB available space
  • Sound Card: Standard Audio
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Last Modified: Aug 28, 2019

Where to buy

Steam

Top contributors

Sinkler

1 edit
42

The Castle Doctrine reviews and comments

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The Castle Doctrine At Its core, it's actually a puzzle game. You have $2000-to create the most complicated Puzzle possible to protect your Safe and Family. If your Property is secure, you set out to rob other Players. The Community seems very lively at the moment and so in Principle you have an infinite Pool of new Levels. The Game offers a unique Concept that can be frustrating, but still lets you try again and again. The permadeath component makes Castle Doctrine extremely exciting, with every Mistake leading to Death. Even with the Test Runs of your own Safety System, you will have to die again and again and start again. This is very frustrating and the Ability to save Layouts for Traps is missing unfortunately. For this Reason, most of the Game is spent from scratch in Construction Mode ... The whole Layout of the Game is kept very simple. Unfortunately, this is why some of the simplest Comfort Is missing: There is no Full-screen option (as far as I know). There is only one setting that can be changed (Music an/off). You have to painstakingly scroll page by page through the List of Opponents, an Option to jump to the start/end of the List would be handy. On a Scale of 1 to 10, I give Castle Doctrine 7 Points because the Concept is new and exciting. The WIeder Game value is very high as long as the Community remains active. For this Price, however, the above Deficiencies should not exist.
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Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
The Castle Doctrine is truly unique, although technically it is not the yellow of the egg. The Basic Principle is quickly explained: You build a House which protects your Family and money and then go on a Rampage yourself and try other Players to steal them and steal well and when you go on it you have to start completely Anew. It is perhaps very frustrating and unfair at first, especially because there are no Tutorial or Tips in the Game. I recommend looking around the Wiki and watching one or the other YouTube Video, because there is not even an Explanation of the individual Tools in the Game. However, once you have out there, what you have to pay attention to, then you can have a Lot of Fun. Well, Clear you can't immediately steal the richest Players so easily, but with the right tools and several Attempts, every House should be cracked, as each player has to complete his Own house once without Tools before going on a Rampage. By the way, taking a look into a House does not mean "all or nothing," as you can always step through the Front Door to break off the Rampage. Some complain that you have too little Money at first, because I always spend 1600$como of 2000$ at first) and with me no one has come to my Safe without Tools. I have also read that the Family only disturbs, but since the Woman always has 50% of the Money with her and no Consideration has to be taken in the test run as to whether one gets to her without Tools she is very useful. A very cool Feature is also the Possibility to watch the Surveillance Videos of his House and see how the Burglars behave in your House and where your Security Vulnerabilities are, the Players who Die in your House also bring you a small Amount Money one. By the way, if you're offline, people can still try to break in with you. Technically enhanced, but Playfully an Insider Tip
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