From Jason Rohrer, developer of Passage and Sleep is Death, comes an MMO about home defense and home invasion, where players are pitted against each other as both victim and perpetrator in a viciously endless cycle of violation.
It all starts with a house. With a starting budget of $2000, an assortment of items to choose from and a large, empty space to work with, players must set up a series of tricks and traps to fight off home invaders after their family vault. The complexity of these security systems can range from mere probability – what’s behind door number two… oh… an angry pitbull – to actual puzzles involving pressure plates, toggle switches and electrified flooring. And no, you can’t just surround the vault with pits and trapdoors. Your system must actually be breachable without the use of tools, adding another layer of difficulty to an already intricate and well-designed game.
In the Castle Doctrine, you’re not just arming your own fortress or protecting your own family. You’re also tasked with breaking and entering into other players’ homes, outwitting their traps, and ideally, walking away with their money, which you can then use to improve security on your own house.
Die at the hands of another player’s (or your own) deathtraps, though, and you start over from scratch. Elaborate security system, family savings, items… all gone.
Although still just in alpha, The Castle Doctrine has a lot to offer. It’s a game of risk and strategy that manages to do a lot with just a little. Even after playing for a while, I’m amazed at some of the systems people have been able to come up with. I’ve read some interesting things about Rohrer’s intentions with the game’s grim theme and political relevance, but I’ll save those thoughts for a full review.
Buy The Castle Doctrine here for $8.