Castle Master is, along with Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse, and Total Eclipse II: The Sphinx Jinx, a 3D Freescape adventure by Incentive Software and published by Domark.
The Castle Master title picture.
The Magister is a very old entity and lord of Castle Eternity. It witnessed the creation of the world and the coming of dwarves and man. Back in those days it called itself Master of the hill, because it hid in a hill upon which Castle Eternity would once be constructed. First, druids raised a stone circle on that hill. Then the Romans came. They drained the bogs surrounding the hill and put up a palace on it that was later burned down by the Saxons. Finally the Normans built a castle with four towers upon the hill and excavated the tunnels underneath it. That awoke the Magister who was sleeping beneath the hill for the last centuries. The Normans’ construction work had weakened the Magister and stripped him of his godly powers which were transferred into the castle itself and the tunnels beneath it. So, he fled to the wizard’s hut near the castle to rebuild some of his powers. There he plotted his revenge upon humanity. He brewed a potion and when the king held a banquet he used it to capture the souls of all the people who attended it and entrapped them within the castle. Over time he hungered for more souls, especially for those of royal blood. One year ago he abducted another member of the nobility, unknowing that the twin of his captive would come looking for his sibling...
On the left are shown the player’s health and the keys he has collected. The spirit level on the right represents the strength of the evil souls. This should not go too far to the right.
The player takes control of either the princess or the prince and has to find his sibling within Castle Eternity. The four towers, the connecting passages and the dungeons beneath the castle have to be traversed. Within a number of items (e.g.: food, keys, potions) can be found to assist the player on his quest. In addition, hints can be found throughout the game. The presence of evil spirits (the souls trapped within the castle) increases over time, so killing them via thrown rocks is also necessary throughout the game.
Castle Master can be played via joystick and keyboard or just the keyboard. The player, who sees everything from a first person perspective, can look up, down, left, right, turn by 90°, or by 180°, crawl, walk, or run. Every move, except turning by 90° or 180°, is done in small steps. A cross hairs that is usually fixed to the center of the screen helps the player to orient himself during his travels. Pressing the space bar gives control of the cross hairs to the player, enabling him to aim and throw rocks at enemies, switches, and other installations.
|GRAPHICS - 9/10|
|The graphics are just great. Objects are very nice, but some details might escape the player due to the lack of color.|
|SOUND - 8/10|
|The music is very atmospheric, but the sound effects are not very special. Also the player can only choose between music and sounds as both are not played at the same time.|
|PLAYABILITY - 5/10|
|The good graphics and music have their price. Castle Master is very slow, especially in large areas. In small rooms or corridors, where there are not many objects, the game is somewhat faster. The keyboard commands can be a little confusing.|
|OVERALL - 7/10|
|Some patience is needed for this game. Luckily most of the enemy spirits don’t move around so targeting them is not too difficult. Some parts of the game are solved by the try–and–error method. The biggest setback however is the game’s speed which is just too slow.|