Review: Castle Master

Castle Master

ST Format Feature (previous issue)

ST Format Review

My Review

For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. On this occasion I’ve chosen Automation 247. This is another very simple intro – a nice digitised image, scrolly text and some actually quite decent music. On to the game.

So we get a castle with an animated dragon, and then we get to choose whether a knight is rescuing a princess or the other way around. You can guess which I chose.

Controls are… interesting.

So, I arrive outside the castle. Let’s see what awaits. As you can see, the geometry is far simpler than in Midwinter, though perhaps having a flat floor isn’t such a bad thing.

Somehow I remembered that to open the drawbridge one must throw a rock at the black button on the left. I think I saw it in the ST Format review or something. Anyway, onwards.

So I have to time my way past the brown block that’s going up and down. Just a brief word on technicals – sound is reasonable enough with simple spot effects but the frame rate is probably worse than Midwinter.

A quick wander into the courtyard and then into one of the.. I want to say tents.. takes me into a room where what I think is a bat attacks me. I throw some rocks at it. On vanquishing the best I find a really shit key.

Is that a horse?

So following adventure logic I click on everything (right-click does actions, left click throws rocks) and I find a key in the well in the courtyard, so I now have two keys. Time to find some more places of interest.

I enter the South East tower – let’s see what I find. The first door needs a key I don’t have but the second opens.

So I’m in the kitchen and it does actually look like a kitchen. Cheese on the table, a pot boiling in the fireplace. I’ll eat the cheese and see if it kills me. It doesn’t. There’s a key hung up in the room which I assume will unlock the room next door. This theory proves correct and I enter.

So I think this thing wants to kill me. There’s no RPG levelling up, no weapons, so I presume throwing rocks will eventually kill it. This does not work. I escape and make my way to the door at the end of the corridor.

I find myself in a plain corridor and there’s a sign on the wall. Right-clicking reveals this. Most of the signs seem to be similarly unhelpful. Following the path takes me back to the gatehouse and then back to the courtyard. Time to try another door.

I arrive in the chapel, which seemed to feature in a lot of review screenshots. Other than some cheese on the floor there’s not much to it.

If you want to see someone more skillful than me playing have a look at this walkthrough.

Overall it’s a fairly basic game, still rooted in 8-bit gaming. Not a bad game but I think the limitations of Freescape were beginning to show and I think they were probably right to finally milk it with the 3D construction kit and move on.

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