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Castle Wolfenstein

DOS - 1984

Also available on: Apple II - Atari 8-bit - Commodore 64

Alt names Castle Wolfenstein: The Most Interactive Game Ever!, Wolf2D, Wolfenstein 2D
Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Action
Theme Shooter, Stealth, World War II
Publisher Muse Software
Developer Muse Software
Perspectives Fixed / Flip-screen, Diagonal-down
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.63
4.4 / 5 - 106 votes

Description of Castle Wolfenstein

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Undoubtedly one of the best action games ever made, Muse Software's Castle Wolfenstein is a revolutionary action game that spawned a whole new genre.

If the name sounds familiar to you, your hunch is correct: this is THE game that inspired id Software's blockbuster Wolfenstein 3D. Apparently they liked the game so much that id negotiated a deal to reuse the name 'Wolfenstein' for their game. And if the 'fragmasters' at id acknowledge the game as their inspiration, then it must be something special, right?

Indeed, Castle Wolfenstein is such a veritable masterpiece that calling it "special" is a huge understatement. As its spiritual ancestor, the game's premise will be familiar to all Wolfenstein 3D: you are an allied soldier who's been taken prisoner by the Nazis. You must escape from their castle, avoiding or killing Nazi guards along the way.

The action is viewed from an overhead perspective, with 2D graphics for the objects and characters (hence its nickname Wolfenstein 2D by Wolf 3D fans). While not Earth-shattering, the graphics are more than adequate, and never gets in the way of the action. There are even different graphics to depict a dead guard, a dead guard with bullet-proof vest on, and a guard shot dead at his desk... talk about rigor mortis.

Of course, graphics alone doesn't necessary make a great game, and Castle Wolfenstein has plenty of action and adrenaline rush. You start out with a gun and one 10-bullet clip, given by a fellow prisoner. More bullets can be found by searching guards and breaking into supply boxes.

There is a lot of great ideas in the game, many of which are rarely used even in today's crop of 3D-accelerated games. You can, for example, hold a Nazi guard at gunpoint to search him for supplies (unfortunately, though, you can't hold the guard as hostage to facilitate your escape-- only for a short while). You can also toss grenades at guards and watch the gory effect (or as gory as 2D, 4-color CGA palette can get). The grenades can burst through (concrete) walls, and it's a lot of fun to time it so that the grenade will hit the unsuspecting SS guard on the other side of the wall. Evil fun :)

One thing that makes Castle Wolfenstein very replayable is the fact that the castle is randomly generated each time you play. If you are killed or captured, you can either attempt the same castle again, or play a new random one, which could very well be more impossible than the last. SS guards also tend to surprise you, thus adding to the adrenaline rush of escaping.

There is really nothing I can think of that's bad about the game. Castle Wolfenstein is a true pioneer in the now-crowded field of action games, and is a revolutionary game that remains, almost 20 years after its release, eminently playable (with slowdown program, of course). Two thumbs up, wayyy up!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

SEAWALL9 2022-10-06 -4 points Commodore 64 version

When using keyboard to play , which keys do what?

larry 2022-01-08 0 point

it's 2022 now and CW is still one of the most fun stealth style action games ever!

hammerheadjack 2021-04-01 2 points DOS version

Great memories...played this in 4th grade on an Apple IIc and a 5.25" floppy

blammo 2019-06-12 2 points

ctrl+F11 = speed down Ctrl+F12 = speed up

NickTheName 2019-03-24 1 point

I have this as a 5 1/4" for my apple //e

EldritchNexus 2018-12-05 4 points DOS version

In order to play this game without having to painstakingly adjust the cycles manually every single time, create a batch file with the following text in the game directory:
config -set "cycles=300"
And then open it with DOSBox or whatever emulator you're using.

Esfratch 2018-06-09 0 point

This game is not just for that plataforms original version is for Apple ii you can chack that on Macintosh Reposity if you have a Windows dont worry just download Basilisk ii is a emulator for old mac games :D

FlubberGaming05 2018-04-30 -1 point DOS version

Hey BACKINBLUE. Castle Wolfenstein is a super old game for DOS! This will not run on modern Windows unless you use a 32-bit DOS emulator called DOSBox. Thank you!

GuyFawkes 2017-11-02 1 point DOS version

Anyone know what a good cycle speed would be? Also which version has best graphics?

EldritchNexus 2017-07-27 1 point

The game that started it all. :)

kin9pin5 2017-01-13 -2 points

It's best to download and run the game in DOSBox. DOSBox config file can be configured to run at a certain cycle speed in the DOSBox config file. You can find the config file in the box that pops up when you launch DOSBox, it tells you where its reading the config file from. Go to that file, open it with notepad, find the cycles and set it to 'fixed ###' with ### replaced with the cycles you want to play it at. My i7-4790k needed 99 cycles to play it at the speed that I remember the original being played.

BackInBlue 2016-11-16 -10 points

Hey I'm running on a windows 10 pc but i REALLY want to play this it says "This app can't run on your pc

SLOW DOWN CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN 2015-07-04 1 point DOS version

To everyone playing on DosBox, if it is going to fast you just need to slow down the CPU cycles. Press Ctrl+F12 until it enters a reasonable game speed.

Acr515 2015-06-20 0 point DOS version

Yeeah, anyone figure something out about the speed? seemed to nail it on that

Priv 2015-06-06 0 point DOS version

I tried to play this game on an old 8086....and it was too fast!

Miyos 2.0 2015-06-05 1 point DOS version

Pretty much only downloaded this game 'cause i love MGS. Didn't regret it.

Monstertomete 2015-05-28 2 points DOS version

I know it can be run in DOSBox and that I may get problems with the speed.
But is there a way to fix them?

Anonymous 2015-04-29 1 point DOS version

You may play it by using DOSBox. But you may get problems with the speed.

Capt Blazkowicz 2015-04-26 -4 points DOS version

when i try to play the game, it tells me that the version of the game isn't compatable with my computer. i need a 32 bit or a 64 bit version it tells me. Please Help

Monstertomete 2015-03-10 -4 points DOS version

I try playing this awesome game in DOSBox, but somehow it is much too fast. Any idea how to configure DOSBox to make the game run as I want to?

Baldy Old Fart 2014-09-01 -1 point DOS version

READ THE HOW TO PLAY ABANDONWARES just below the "Send Comment" Button - It will send you to:
Where you will discover that DOS Games DO NOT RUN IN WINDOWS! - You MUST have a DOS Emulator such as DOSBOX - which is linked to from the page above.

whegger 2014-08-18 -1 point DOS version

i could not get it to work

Billy 2014-05-19 1 point DOS version

Ah, I remember MEETING Silas A. Warner when I was a kid and he was writing more levels for a friend of mine for this game! This game will live forever as one of the best as Muse really did a great job of advertising this one!

Thanks 2014-05-12 0 point DOS version

Thank you

Harbinger 2014-04-09 0 point DOS version

wait an see

Moran 2013-10-08 -2 points DOS version

Where can I download the Mac version of this game?

Tae 2013-05-19 0 point DOS version

I tried playing this game but I am not able to slow down the processor speed on a MacBook. How do I do this? Anyone know? Please help!

eragon 2013-04-07 0 point DOS version

friggin awesome!

Orctooth 2013-02-13 1 point DOS version

The number of times I had to clean the computer room when the principal caught me and my comrades playing this. A must for the old school players. :)

DC 2012-11-27 1 point DOS version

CTRL + F11 - decrease procesor speed
CTRL + F12 - increase procesor speed

Austen 2012-10-03 0 point DOS version


Downloaded the game for my 7 year old. I loved this when I was a kid. The only thing is now when I am playing it, eveyrthing is moving extremely fast. Like 10 times the speed it should. It is very hard (almost impossible) to control. Any idea how to sort this out?



Slatyex 2012-01-01 0 point DOS version had to run into the wall to put away the gun! And that zingazh(*&(*ing! was so annoying when you touched the walls...why did they do that too? So you touched a wall! Big deal! Great of my utmost favorites!

Federer 2011-12-28 0 point DOS version

Veri good

Toshiro 2011-12-04 0 point DOS version

cant wait

Lerxst 2011-05-29 0 point DOS version

Loved this game back then

Gibsaw 2011-03-06 0 point DOS version

Not quite the beginning, but a re-release of "the beginning" on the IBM PC.

I suppose it seems obvious that it would be re-released for CGA IBM PC, but given the popularity of the original Apple II version, I never even realised this version existed.

nice to see they added in the most obvious omission from the original, which was a key to put away your gun. Why that was never fixed in the original Apple II version, I don't know. MUSE waited until "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein" to fix that on the Apple II.

fredlord 2008-08-20 1 point DOS version

The beginning!!

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DOS Version

Apple II Version

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Atari 8-bit ROM

Commodore 64 Version

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