A hidden object mystery that will immerse casual players into the thrilling exploits of famous mystery novelist Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett.
User reviews: Mixed (96 reviews) - 63% of the 96 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 9, 2013

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Packages that include this game

Buy Sinister Stories Bundle

Includes 8 items: Alex Hunter - Lord of the Mind Platinum Edition, Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome Collector's Edition, Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover, House of 1,000 Doors: Family Secrets Collector's Edition, House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster Collector's Edition, Nearwood - Collector's Edition, Shadows: Price For Our Sins Bonus Edition, Small Town Terrors Pilgrim's Hook Collector's Edition

 

Reviews

“Incredibly interesting who-dun-it storyline. Character artwork is nicely done. Lots of puzzle variety.”
4/5 – Gamezebo

About This Game

Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover is an investigative adventure game that will immerse casual players into the thrilling exploits of famous mystery novelist Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett. Over the span of five chapters the player will be tasked with finding evidence, tracking down suspects, and uncovering the truth behind the copycat killer responsible for staging murder scenes depicted in his novels.



Features
  • Interact with actual characters from the TV show.
  • First-rate visuals, dynamic sounds and immersive gameplay.
  • Adventure style navigation and interaction.
  • Persistent inventory with collectable items and usage puzzles.
  • 15 unique hidden object scenes and 15 unique puzzles.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, Windows® 8
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® processor (or equivalent AMD processor) 500MHz or faster
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® compatible 16-bit video card with 16MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0a
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX® compatible sound card
    Minimum:
    • OS: Macintosh® OS X 10.6 – 10.9
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ Duo processor 1.0GHz or faster
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 64MB VRAM
    • Storage: 400 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: The supported language for Castle on MAC OS X is only English.
Helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
I'm a fan of Castle and the dynamic between Beckett and Castle. So, when I saw the game on Steam, I've bought it. I've done two playthroughs: one in 2014 and another one yesterday, just because I needed to refresh my memory for finally writing a review about the game.

There is a serial killer that is recreating scenes from classic books. Castle and Beckett are on the case, along with Esposito, Ryan and Lanie while Gates is supervising everyone while Alexis and Martha are kinda behind... As you understand, this game is set during season 4, after Montgomery's death but before... well, as they're canon, the Caskett moment, the kiss at the end. Besides, it's the world of the edition that is targeted, hence the title Never Judge a Book by its Cover.

While the story could be converted into an episode, the gameplay is the standard one: list of items and puzzles. And while the hidden scenes are easy, the puzzles are really a brain wrecker. They're hard, except for a few. I must admit that it's one of the most difficult games that I had to play and where I skipped a lot.

Despite that, everything from the show is respected: the whiteboard with suspects, victims and clues, Castle's books or pictures, even some other references are in the hidden object scenes: the laser tag game, the writer's vest, the 3XK reference, the coffee.... And while the graphics are classic, they're respectful of the actors: you recognize easily the characters, it's always nice to see a well-represented Stana Katic as she's portraying my favorite character. My only little downside is the French translation. Indeed, you for us can be the you familiar (tu) or the formal you (vous). Castle and Beckett never used the you familiar in the French translation in the show, so, I was kinda expecting "vous" but I've seen some "tu" slipped. Besides, I agree that it would have been more logical to have a "tu" as Castle and Beckett considers themselves as best friends at this point but I don't know why officially, they've sticked to "vous".

Anyway, enough with my whining about language, I'm just sad that the original soundtrack from Castle isn't there. But well, the one in the game is still enjoyable.

Is Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover worthy? If you're a fan of the show, yes. If you're an hardcore gamer for casual gaming, yes. If you're a newbie, check Artifex Mundi's titles, they're easier in terms of puzzles, because Castle will probably give you a cold shower. At this price, it's perhaps a little too much.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2015
I recommend buying it when it's on a big sale.

Pros:
+ large variety of puzzles including creative and logical adventure game -style puzzles
+ very similar to the series - atmosphere, setting, dialogue
+ many areas to explore
+ interaction with lab equipment


Cons:
- Short = 5h total gameplay
- No "hint" option in puzzles only "skip" (apart from hidden object puzzles)
- No original voice actors
- Very poor animations
*Spoiler alert* - Some puzzles are silly - extinguishing fire with cold soda that you have to purhase or visiting someone in a hospital and stealing equipment for no apparent reason
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2015
Nice hidden-object/puzzle game related to the TV series.

+ Quite interesting and mysterious detective story.
+ Atmospheric sounds.
+ Dozens of scenes to visit.
+ Good variety of puzzles - I really liked the ones in the lab, although they could be quite more intriguing - and a lot of h/o scenes.

+/- Some inside jokes, though I didn't quite catch them, since I haven't seen the series, but they could be a nice addition to whoever has watched it already.

- No voice-overs, poor animation.
- The way you acquire some items is kind of weird and idiotic. For example, who would take (or steal to be exact) items from a hospital in order to use them in places they haven't even visited yet?
- Quite short - it took me about 4 hours to finish.

I think that, if you find it in a discount, it's a good game to try if you like h/o games and even more if you have seen the series in the past.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 31, 2015
This is a perfectly decent HOG, with a mix of mostly okay puzzles to spice things up. There are no bugs or issues I found, the hint system works correctly (as opposed to a couple of similar games I have played recently that just shuffles you forward and backward between two adjacent rooms in a few places leaving you to work it out or find a walkthrough), and the HOG scenes are reasonably naturalistic (no over-hiding of objects in unrealistic positions, or too many anachronistic/out of place items for the location). The storyline is fine and keeps things moving, but nothing too special (note I haven't got around to watching any of the TV series the game is based on, so I didn't get much benefit from the characters interactions, YMMV if you are a fan).

For me the biggest weakness of the game is the point and click sections in between the rest of the game - while it all works fine and is easy enough to play and you have the hint system if you get stuck on what to do next, most of the tasks you have to do are complete nonsense, illogical and immersion breaking - you will spend a lot of time solving puzzles and searching crime scenes not for clues, but for screwdrivers, fuses, batteries, hammers, oars (to form part of a jury-rigged ladder!), and most bizarrely there is an entire section where you solve puzzles, dig up plant beds and drain a washing machine in order to find $2 to buy a soda to cool down a BBQ to get a pair of tongs.

In a setting where you are trapped in a murderer's house, or in a tiny village miles from nowhere, or whatever, these sorts of scavenging tasks wouldn't feel out of place as you don't have any choice, but in a scenario where you are in the middle of a city and can travel about at will it make no sense that you spend 75%+ of the time while trying to track down an active murderer rummaging about for things you could buy from the local convenience store, or by having a toolbox in the back of your car. Joint worst for this goes to using a cotton swab found lying around at a previous crime scene in the crime lab (well no risk of contamination of the sample there!), and pulling the lever off the wall in the church which you later use to operate heavy machinery at a construction site.

If you can look past this though, the game plays well enough, so I would still recommend it if you like the HOG style of game, you just have to try to gloss over the why of most of what you are doing and go with it.
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30 of 31 people (97%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Having clicked 'No', I will add the proviso that I WOULD recommend 'Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover', but ONLY to fans of the 'Castle' TV series! Anyone else should probably avoid.

Whilst I enjoyed the game, that was primarily because, as a fan, I recognised the in-jokes to some of the episodes of the series and the faithfully recreated scenes from the sets of the show.

The gameplay itself is a bit lacklustre. Most of the game is spent playing the missing objects mechanic whereby you pick out a small list of items from a large screen full of stuff. A bit 'Where's Waldo', but fine, although this does get tedious rather fast. Of more promise are the many little logic puzzle games which are many and varied - most are familiar and simple, but some are a bit more challanging. The only downside to these logic puzzles is that the 'Hint' mechanic allows you to completely skip the games, thus rendering them utterly pointless.

And here we get to the big drawback to this game: the 'Hint' mechanic. In most games where hints are given, usually you get actual 'hints' to what to do, but leaving you to continue to work things out. In 'C:NJaNbiC' the 'Hint' machinic leads you around by the hand. Not sure what you should be doing? 'Hint' Go here, do this. Can't solve this puzzle mini-game? 'Hint' Solved. Really, the button should be labelled 'Bored Now' or 'Too Lazy'.

I bought the game with the understanding that there would be no animations, just still scenes, but I was disappointed that there was NO actual voice-acting at all. The entire game takes place in virtual silence, with some barely adequate, low-key synth music to fill the void of all the text boxes as the characters 'talk'. This is a real shame since the game is based on the 'Castle' TV show which has characters with distinct and charming voices, so why not get them doing some voice acting for the game? And the synth music is hardly inkeeping with the music used throughout the TV series, which is chock full of funky current music tracks. I guess the licensing costs too much?

As already mentioned, there were no animations, it was all character portraits and still scene imagery, but the game would certainly have benefited from animated characters and backdrops. But hey, costs, what can you do?

And finally, lets mention length. It's short. I played it through in 4 hours, and that was by doing ALL the puzzles. If I skipped through all the ones I had trouble with, that time would probably have been halved. Considering that the game is made without animation or sound content, could they perhaps not have made futher episodic iterations with new games or mechanics to it? Shame, as that might have made it worth the money, to have further stories to work through, like actually playing a season of 'Castle', with themes continued in subsequent episodes. That would at least have given the game a lift in it's simplistic and obvious storytelling.

Which leads me to what is probably the biggest issue I had with the game: the story. Without spoiling it, I will say that it was obivous from very early on what the situation was and who the killer was - Ok, so that reguarly occurs in episodes of the show where you can guess who-dunnit, but the story doesn't do anything clever with it, and comes to a boring and obvious conclusion. For a game based on a TV series with pretty decent storylines, and featuring a professional Author, it commits the ultimate sin of 'poor story telling', and that's the final nail in the coffin.

To summarise: the game has some fun little puzzles and recognisable scenes/characters from the TV series, but lack of good sound, animation and poor storytelling make it very bland, and the short, limited story is too brief, with no hope of any kind of replayability. For a casual game, it's... Okay. Ish. For a point & click game, it's... Poor.

One to avoid.
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