Castle Master by Domark


castle_master_01Publisher: Domark
Developer: Incentive
Release Date: 1990
Code: Sean Ellis
GFX: Unknown
Music: Matt Furniss
ZZAP64 Game Rating: 93%
Our Game Rating: 89%
Completed & Reviewed by Neil Collins
> CLICK HERE to Download emu file
> CLICK HERE Β to view the YouTube ending video
Castle Master is a Freescape puzzle / adventure game published by Domark, which takes place within a 3D castle. You choose to play the part of a prince or princess and your aim is to rescue your sibling who is locked away in the castle. Part of your quest is to collect ten keys while you progress through the game to gain access to the final area. You will need to learn the castle layout well in order to solve the puzzles and locate the necessary items which are hidden away within the castle’s many rooms.
It’s atmospheric and fun to play, although the filled in 3D graphics take a while to render, so the game is very slow. That’s not a problem though on an emulator as you can crank the speed up to 400% so that you can get around the castle at a decent pace. It’s a game that I would highly recommend if you haven’t played any of the Freescape games before…
castlemaster1
Dragon’s Lair(?) Is this the right game (?)
castlemaster2
Hmmm… a bed πŸ˜‰
castlemaster3
The End.
HOW WAS IT COMPLETED?: I followed various walkthroughs and maps that I found online. A combination of a few of them helped me reach the end.
SO WHAT HAPPENS?:Β Once all keys are collected, you can gain access to the final room. Once you open and go through the door, you enter a room with a large four-poster bed. A message appears at the bottom of the screen which reads ‘YOU DID IT!‘. Then follows a sequence of still shots of various rooms within the castle, which represent your journey back out of the castle to the starting point. The final shot shows the castle outer while at the bottom of the screen you are told your final score, the amount of keys you collected and the amount of spirits you destroyed.
COMMENTS:
Neil: A few shots of rooms you’ve seen before and a short text message. A very boring ending to a classic game. Very disappointing. 2/10.
Vinny: I remember all the original hype about the Freescape games. ZZAP!64 magazine couldn’t stop talking about them and seemed to mention them in every issue of that era. For me, they were far too slow rendering the screens and it didn’t take me long to get bored of playing them. All I can say now is: thank God for emulators!
As for the ending… hmmm… I didn’t really expect much and so I got exactly what I expected 😦 2/10 from me too.
Andrew Fisher: I really enjoyed Castle Master despite the slowness, an enjoyable addition to the Freescape series. Also an interesting idea to have two different ways of completing the game (as Prince or Princess) which alters how you tackle some of the puzzles.
The ending is perhaps a little disappointing in that it doesn’t do much, but quite clever in the way it shows you the rooms leading out of the castle. 3/10.
Frank Gasking: A bit of a shame that there is no 3D princess at the end to congratulate you (maybe get you on the 4 poster bed .. etc.. πŸ˜‰ ) The basic congratulations message is what I’d expect from a Freescape game to be honest πŸ™‚
Andy Vaisey: This (and other Freescape games) are very good in my opinion, in terms of ideas and design. As much as it pains me to say it, this is a case where the good old C64 just isn’t up to the job only *just* pulling it off if you’re patient. The ending is to be expected I suppose taking into account what has been crammed into 64K, running on 1MHz.
Gaz Spence: Freescape doesn’t quite work on the C64, but certainly all the games have great atmosphere – with my favourite Dark Side at the top of the list. The ending is ok, but just a simple recycling of the graphics that were already there.
Brendan Phoenix: Never played this until a year or so ago on an Amiga emulator and I instantly loved it – very atmospheric and I loved exploring the castle – as a concept, it still holds up well today.
I’m in agreement with the comments above about the ending – surely a blocky princess could have been squeezed in somewhere!
FINAL SAY: No 3D princess at the end of this, unfortunately.

G.E. RATING: 2 / 10

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One Response to Castle Master by Domark

  1. The only Freescape game I ever completed. I was pleasantly surprised it had an end sequence at all. I was just expecting a text screen. One cannot fault the Freescape team for trying to fit in everything they possibly could, even if these games were the definition of over-ambitious. Still, I think this one did brilliantly for atmosphere, considering it was rendering whole rooms with fewer polygons than you’d find in one of Lara Croft’s fingers these days …

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