CastleDoctrine.pngI am convinced that Jason Rohrer's The Castle Doctrine is not an interactive dystopia determined to critique contemporary society. It is simply the product of our dystopian era. A product of fear and the rampant fetishization of guns. A game that doesn't wish to offer any sort of hope or alternative, but seems to instead perversely enjoy the current state of things. A dark and pessimistic game, that, thankfully, is stylized enough and strongly focused on its mechanics to not allow its dark soul become apparent and for that I am thankful; I wouldn't have otherwise been able to enjoy this brilliant and utterly innovative example of game design.

castledoctrine2.pngIn the freshly released alpha version of The Castle Doctrine, you see, setting is merely a backdrop. Cut-out scenery merely existing in order to support the ingenious multiplayer mechanics, in which each player tries to simultaneously build an impenetrable house in which to protect his or her cash and family, and invade and rob other peoples' places. A game in which, essentially, players attack each other by creating the most devious puzzles they can think of; puzzles that have to be solvable at least once and are not wholly dissimilar to elaborate Rube Goldberg contraptions.

Interestingly and to add even more depth to its mechanics, besides the core rob/protect idea, The Castle Doctrine makes sure that each house you design has to be a clever balancing act of discouraging (preferably murdering and looting too) invaders and providing decent escape routes for ones family members should the burglars overcome its security. So, uhm, intrigued yet? Good.