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Castle Wolfenstein

Published by
Developed by
Released
Platforms
Genre
Perspective
Theme
MobyRank MobyScore
Apple II
...
3.8
Commodore 64
...
3.1
Atari 8-bit
...
3.8
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Description

In this game, the player takes control of a lone prisoner who has been taking captive in a large castle occupied by the Nazis. Getting out of the cell and picking up a weapon is just the beginning; the ultimate goal is to acquire the war plans of the Nazis, and escape from Castle Wolfenstein alive.

Castle Wolfenstein is notable for being the first game that incorporated stealth-based gameplay mechanics. The player navigates the hero through the top-down corridors and rooms of the castle. The main gameplay challenge lies in dealing with the guards who patrol the castle and will be alerted to any noise made by the player. It is possible to shoot the guards, but the ammunition in the game is scarce, and some guards are very hard to kill, so the preferred course of action is moving without being noticed. If the player surprises a guard with a gun drawn, the guard will surrender, and the player will be able to frisk him for valuable items.

The player should also search the treasure chests scattered across the castle. Some of them contain war plans, which are essential for winning the game; others have useful items, such as bullets, grenades, bulletproof vests, and guard uniforms. The uniforms can be worn for disguise; however, higher-ranked SS guards will be able to recognize the intruder. Chests might also contain food and beverage; imbibing alcohol will result in a temporary loss of aim and balance for the player character.

The game's sound effects include some of the earliest examples of digital voice samples. The guards would sometimes shout out short phrases in German in an attempt to stop the protagonist.

Screenshots

Castle Wolfenstein Commodore 64 The Beginning
Castle Wolfenstein Apple II ... but the rewards can be pretty useful!
Castle Wolfenstein DOS the only good nazi is a dead nazi
Castle Wolfenstein DOS I'm safe ... in this moment.

Alternate Titles

  • "Wolfenstein 2D" -- Popular title
  • "Wolf2D" -- Abbreviated popular title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The original stealth game DOS Maw (849)
A game that shaped the world of gaming as we know it Apple II bowser724 (26)
Castle Wolfenstein is a classic action game of stealth, fighting and exploration. Apple II Droog (463)
Another early classic. DOS Ummagumma (73)

The Press Says

Freegame.cz DOS May 19, 2002 90 out of 100 90
The Video Game Critic Atari 8-bit Mar 08, 2003 B+ 83
Atari Gamer - XL-XE Game Review Edition Atari 8-bit Dec, 2013 8 out of 10 80
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Atari 8-bit Nov, 1991 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Commodore 64 Nov, 1991 1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars1.5 Stars 30

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Impossible with keyboard controls 6 Daniel Saner (2472)
Jul 30, 2013

Trivia

Legacy

This is the game that was the inspiration for id Software's Wolfenstein 3D. id even got a deal so they could use the name, since they couldn't think of anything better themselves.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #116 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • March 2001 (200th anniversary issue) - #3 Best Game of All Time (Readers' Choice)
  • Electronic Games' Arcade Awards
    • 1983 - Winner (Apple II & Commodore 64 versions, certificate of merit for outstanding achievement)
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz and Garcia.

Related Web Sites

  • The persistence of hyperbole (A artsy Shockwave hommage to to Castle Wolfenstein tracing the various version since it's beginnings in 1982 up to 2002.)
Contributed to by KnockStump (974), Brolin Empey (700), Kabushi (120577) and ZZip (798)