Voodoo Castle on Commodore

A long time ago when my brother Chris and I were kids, we played a text-based adventure game on our Commodore 64 computer. Prior to owning a Commodore 64, we had an even older computer, the Commodore VIC-20. I am uncertain which computer we played this game on, as it was available for both machines. The game was called Voodoo Castle and it was released way back in 1980. At the time, there were no graphics or special effects to speak of. As I said, this game was text-only. We had to use the power of our imaginations to create the imagery in our minds. In many ways, it was like participating in a “choose your own adventure” book.

This past Christmas, in 2010, my brother and I recanted tales of this long lost game. At first, we struggled to even remember what the game was called. After doing some online research, we are now certain the game we once enjoyed was indeed Voodoo Castle. I don’t exactly know the time-frame in which we originally played it, but it was popular in our household at some point around 1983-1984. This game is probably where I mastered my typing skills as a young lad.

Voodoo Castle was released on a plastic cartridge that you plugged into the back of the computer (image below). As such, there was no way to save the game! Once we turned off the computer, all progress was lost. If you’re too young to have used a computer in those days, I’m sure you can’t even imagine what that was like. Well, that was the reality for games that were released 30 years ago. We simply didn’t know any better!

I have no recollection of how the game ends. I do vividly remember repeatedly reaching a point in the game where it told us, “You are lost in a maze of passages.” At that point, you are virtually screwed and no exit can be found.

I’m excited to announce that the complete game is now available on the Internet for free. You can play it in its entirety in your browser via a Java applet. I have played it, and it really took me back. Try it yourself!

Voodoo Castle cartridge

Voodoo Castle cover art

Author: Craig Tisinger

Snarf!

4 thoughts on “Voodoo Castle on Commodore”

  1. Never played this one in particular but I’m a sucker for text-based interactive fiction. Ill have to check it out. I was showing a coworker an android app that lets me play z-code based IF. I went on and on about how awesome gaming using only your imagination was. They were unimpressed.

  2. Craig, I remember you and Chris playing that game for hours. I just tried to play and
    I don’t know how the two of you could concentrate so long on the screen without
    pictures to keep you interested. My hat is off to both of you.
    I didn’t know how smart you both were as children.

  3. Actually, you could save the game to tape. And that cartridge is for a VIC-20. I’m pretty sure Voodoo Castle was released on tape or maybe even disk for the Commodore 64, if it was released at all.

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