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Castle Doctrine game overview

Castle Doctrine
Game genre: MMO Strategy
Available regions:
Game setting: Real Life
Release date: October 1, 2013
Game class / Title: B
Game engine Unknown
Jason Rohrer
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Castle Doctrine is an intriguing pixelated 2D isometric camera survival game developed by the renowned indie game creator, Jason Rohrer. Released in January 2014, the game offers players an immersive experience where each participant is tasked with defending a small house against a myriad of threats, including zombies and other players. Available on multiple platforms such as Windows, macOS, and Linux, Castle Doctrine has garnered a dedicated player base that appreciates its unique blend of strategy and survival mechanics.

Players begin with a budget of $2000, which they can allocate towards various defensive measures. These include conventional weapons, traps, dogs, alarms, partitions, and an assortment of furniture. The game’s dynamic encourages players to not only focus on defense but also on offensive strategies, allowing them to rob their neighbors' houses. However, be prepared for a challenge, as your neighbors will have their own set of defenses and surprises waiting for you.

The goal is to reach the neighbor's safe, take the cash, and successfully return to your house to bolster your defenses further. The game’s permadeath feature adds a layer of intensity—if you die, either in your house or while robbing another, you lose everything and must start anew with another $2000 and an empty house. This adds a significant level of challenge and replayability, appealing to hardcore gamers.

Castle Doctrine was designed for a niche audience that appreciates indie games, the 2D aesthetic, and a focus on atmosphere and hardcore survival mechanisms. The game has a stable online community, with approximately 500 daily active players and about 180,000 players annually. To date, the game has been played by around 1.5 million gamers, making it a notable title in the indie survival genre.

Castle Doctrine's development was a labor of love, spearheaded by Jason Rohrer, who took about two years to bring his vision to life. The game was built with the goal of appealing to the indie gaming market and hardcore survival enthusiasts. Despite its niche appeal, the game has managed to create a loyal community of players who appreciate its unique mechanics and challenging gameplay.

Review from MMOTOP.ORG

Castle Doctrine is a unique entry in the survival genre, offering a blend of strategy, defense, and offensive gameplay that keeps players on their toes. The pixelated 2D graphics may not appeal to everyone, but they contribute to the game’s distinctive charm. The permadeath feature ensures that each decision carries weight, adding a significant level of intensity and replayability.

However, it’s worth noting that the game’s steep difficulty curve and permanent death mechanic may be off-putting for casual gamers. The lack of a storyline may also deter those who prioritize narrative-driven experiences. Nevertheless, for players who enjoy a challenge and appreciate indie games, Castle Doctrine offers a compelling and hardcore experience.

Overall, we rate Castle Doctrine at 55 out of 100. While it may not be a mainstream hit, its unique mechanics and dedicated community make it a worthy addition to any hardcore gamer’s library.


What platforms is Castle Doctrine available on?

Castle Doctrine is available on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

When was Castle Doctrine released?

Castle Doctrine was released in January 2014.

Who developed Castle Doctrine?

Castle Doctrine was developed by sole developer Jason Rohrer.

What is the main objective in Castle Doctrine?

The main objective is to defend your house against zombies and other players while also having the opportunity to rob your neighbors' houses.

How does permadeath work in Castle Doctrine?

If you die in the game, either in your house or while robbing another, you lose everything and must start anew with $2000 and an empty house.

Game information last update: 02.04.2024

Castle Doctrine System Requirements

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