The Castles of Dr. Creep
|The Castles of Dr. Creep|
Strobs Canardly (2016)
Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
Windows, OS X, Linux
The Castles of Dr. Creep is a computer game for the Commodore 64 written by Ed Hobbs and published by Brøderbund in 1984. It was re-released via Steam on September 2, 2016 for Windows, OS X, and Linux.
The Castles of Dr. Creep is a platform game with a heavy puzzle element. It takes place in thirteen medieval castles owned by the eponymous doctor, and the player's task is to escape from each castle. One or two-player game is possible, allowing collaborative gaming for solving the puzzles.
When the game starts, the player can select from any of the thirteen castles, which have horror-movie-style names such as Sylvania, Carpathia, Callanwolde, or Lovecraft, or a tutorial castle (which, if counted, brings the total to fourteen). The player then starts from a specific room inside the castle, and must use his wits and skill to traverse through a vast network of interconnected rooms to find the exit.
The rooms consist of platforms on various levels, connected by ladders and sliding poles. Doors lead from one room to another. Some doors are locked, and the player must find a key to be able to go through them. Most doors are not locked but may be opened by a doorbell. However, in some cases, the doorbell is only on one "side" of the door (i.e. in one connecting room but not the other), and sometimes the doorbell is difficult to reach.
A central aspect of the game is the imaginative use of various contraptions and devices in the rooms. Conveyor belts, force fields, and laser guns hinder the player's progress. In some places he must avoid, trap, or kill mummies and Frankenstein monsters. Teleport devices are often required to navigate through a room.
The player in The Castles of Dr. Creep has an unlimited amount of lives. If the player dies, he or she re-enters the castle at the "start" door. The game constantly keeps track of how much time has passed, and when the player manages to escape the castle, the time taken is recorded into the Hall of Fame, but only if the unlimited lives option is turned off (in this case there are three lives). In the original Commodore 64 platform, saving and re-loading a game disqualifies a player for the Hall of Fame.
An unauthorized spin-off, named Dungeons of Dr. Creep, was released in 1985, made by a band of crackers known as Star Frontiers.
A game enthusiast worked on a faithful game engine remake for the game since 2010 via reverse engineering, source code is on GitHub under the GPLv3. The remake got released on Steam by the original author and the remake author in September 2016. Available for PC (Windows, OS X, and Linux platform) it is sold for $2.99.