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 (115 reviews) - 65% of the 115 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 9, 2013

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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



“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.

  • 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

Mac OS X
    • 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
    • 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.
Customer reviews
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Mixed (115 reviews)
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69 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
35 of 38 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
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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34 of 38 people (89%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 16, 2014
I received the gift of Castle: Never Judge a Book by its Cover, from my husband a few days ago. (Thank you, Love.) I set to work playing it last night and into the early hours of today. I had a blast with it. For starters, I am a huge fan of the TV series, and have loved the Mystery & Classic genres as a whole for many years. So in this case, I got to have my cake and eat it too.

The game does a great job of capturing the essence of the show, from Castle and Kate's respective apartments, the Police Precinct, Morgue, and various other locations along the way, right down to the charming banter of all the cast of characters that we've come to know and love. The plot, storyline, and script are solid, and actually quite believable as the tale progresses and unfolds. The hidden objects are well placed, puzzles are well thought out, and if you get stuck at any point in time, there are helpful hints, skips, and maps to get you back on track.

If you have just randomly come upon this title, and don't know anything about the source material, fear not! I think there is enough well done mystery here to keep you intrigued.

The gameplay has NO BUGS that I could find, which is outstanding in and of itself! It also has very few faults, if you even want to call them faults... The music scores/themes are well done. However, they can get a bit distacting after awhile, especially when working on some of the harder puzzles. Simply turndown the volume controls if it seems off putting. The only thing that would have made the game an out of the world experience for me, would have been to have the stars lend their voices to their character counterparts. That being said, I have to congratulate the powers that be, for not giving us any vocals at all, if the original cast was unavailable or the cost to high....

Simply put this game is fun, intelligent and wrapped in a Castle ribbon.
Well done!
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28 of 33 people (85%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
Make no mistake. This is a hidden picture game. If those are your cup of tea and you love Castle, then this game is for you. Great work on getting my interest in a genre that normally does not have it. Thanks a lot.

For those who are not familiar with the show, it features a novelist who teams up with the cops to solve murders as an inspiration for his novels. It is hard to resist his charm as Nathan Fillian oozes with it, even in his video game likeness, which the developers managed to capture quite well.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
It wasn't till today i realized Castle had a game! I was really excited and decided to buy the game at the first chance i got. I was blown away by the characters and the story plot. It was such a twist! Really enjoyed it! Better than i expect it! Music may repeat itself from time to time entering a new cast but you can overcome that, So far best crime solving game ever! #CaskettAlways
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 19, 2015
Despite its title, the cover doesn't lie in this case: here we have a standard point'n'click detective game, not a bad one but in no way contributing something new to the genre. Written, designed and soundtracked well enough; features a good deal of hidden objects scenes and puzzles, though they are rather stereotyped, and a piece of literature and science education. Can be recommended for the fans of said TV show and/or point'n'click enthusiasts, for whom there are an evening or two of the criminal investigations; if usually it's not your cup of tea, then better miss it as there are better examples of the genre for non-dedicated players.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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14 of 20 people (70%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2014
While it's an hidden object game, it plays more like the classic P&C adventures, with a lot of backtracking between the scenes and weird logics that one should follow in order to unlock the puzzles. Story is well written, animation is decent. The only thing lacking in quality is music, but that is easily solved by opening this page in your browser http://www.listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=OdVawImj_oE in the background. All in all, it's just like a good episode of Castle, with Rick proclaiming "I've got it!" just after you realize who the killer actually is.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: May 29
I'm a fan of both Hidden Objects Games and the Castle TV series and after playing through this game a couple of times I would recommend it to fans of either category.

As a game based off of the Castle series, the artist's renditions of the cast are spot on, as well as some of the familiar locales used such as Castle's loft. There is no voice acting of any sort, which is a bit of a disappointment, and would have made this a "must have" title. However, I understand that getting the actual actors to read their parts would have been far too expensive for a game of this genre, and at least they didn't try to get impersonators to read for the characters, which would have been worse. The writing isn't terrible, and it is easy to read the lines with the inflections and personality of the show's characters so that the whole game plays out like an episode of the series.

Even if you are not a fan of the HOG genre but still a fan of the show, this game is worth picking up. The HOG style lends itself well to the investigatory story style of Castle and as the Hidden Object category is a casual genre, you don't have to be good at any particular gaming skill to be able to fully enjoy this title.

As far as a Hidden Object Game goes, it's a pretty decent title to play through. If you are not a fan of the series, the characters really aren't introduced all that well, and the nuances of the characters' personalities wont come through, but those are more added flavor for the game rather than something which would impede understanding of the story as it progresses. The artwork is crisp and beautifully drawn and detailed making the actual hidden object scenes a pleasure to complete. The stand alone puzzles are nicely varied, challenge-wise, between hard and easy. There are a few real brainteasers in there which is a refreshing change from most of the elementary-only challenges that many HOGs offer. However, the item pickup and placement puzzles are where this game really falls short.

As mentioned above the hidden object puzzles are well done in this game. Not only are the pictures easy to see and objects easy to identify what they are ment to be, but there is also the added option of choosing to swap between a word list and a shadow outline of the hidden objects. I especially like this option, because if it becomes difficult to locate a particular item it gives me the opportunity to get a clue as to what the game wants me to look for before having to resort to the "hint" button which just gives the answer outright. There are also a few interactive items on each list where you have to figure out little mini-puzzles to get the correct item to show (which are a fun way to make the hidden object scene not just a clickfest for those who can't be bothered to actually find the objects in the scenes).

The stand alone puzzles are well done also. Each puzzle has an information tab which clearly describes what needs to be done with the puzzle, as well as a reset tab to start the puzzle over from scratch. And, if a puzzle just gets too complicated or frustrating, there is always the skip button to bypass the puzzle all together. As I stated before, this title offers a nice range of difficulty in its puzzles and actually had a few of the hardest puzzles I've come across in this genre. I found it refreshing that the puzzles are more geared towards adults than the over-simplified puzzles (like matching shapes or colors into their correct locales) that so many of the games in this genre seem to offer.

And then there are the item puzzles . . .

This is the one area where the game really doesn't hold up well. The item gathering and usage is simply a random mess and, as many simplistic items (like Q-tips and umbrellas) are stolen right from crime scenes, really detract from the story. It almost would have been better to drop the item-gathering-and-usage style of this genre and just tell a story inbetween the other puzzles than try and make sense of the items you do get and use in the game. There is far to much pilfering items from one crime scene to tamper with another back and forth travelling in this game. No one would travel three seperate times to a crime scene at one end of town just to get some mundane piece of tape or basic tool to then drag back to the other side of town and immediately dump off for one double-A battery or another mundane office supply. It really felt thrown together and was not thought out at all. Too bad, because this title could really have been a truly spectacular entry otherwise.

All in all I would give this title a B- or perhapse a C+ for a grade. It does have it's shortcomings, but it also has some pretty well executed features as well. This would definitely be a game to purchase when it's on sale.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 16, 2015
It's a crime!

Actually, the game is a HOG(Hidden Object Game). Dressed partially as an adventure with some surprising game mechanics like, how the interview of the suspects is commited. The HOGs are simple, and at times far too easy. The riddles are a different matter, they are quite well developed and one or two of the riddles will come quite challenging.

The story itself is a bit messed up. For a crime investigation there are too many jumps to early conclusions, too many stuff that are red herrings and can ruin this game for fans of the genres "crime", "mystery" and "adventure".

And then there is the pricetag. There are far better HOGs around for a lower price with a higher value in what you get for your money. As much as I would like to recomend the game, I probably can't because my conscience is repeating the same sentence over and over again: "Too high a price, for so short a game!"

And don't forget - it's a ripoff of a well acclaimed TV-Series, this game again isn't keeping up the high spirits of the series, sadly so.
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5 of 6 people (83%) 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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Recently Posted
3.4 hrs
Posted: September 24
LIke many people here I would state that, like most games based on a particular fandom, the game is not fully for everyone. It would be more enjoyable for people who are fans of castle. However for fans of HOG and those who like a tinge of mystery with them I would also claim that they may enjoy it even if they do not know the characters.

Like most HOG it is short, I beat it in relatively three hours time. Some of the puzzles I will admit need more instruction or confusing but there are no penalties for skipping puzzles you can't understand (The game has no achievements so you don't have to worry about losing an achievement because you can't solve the puzzle) and the hint counter is steady and while some objects aren't decernable in some areas (a backpack being hidden behind a few objects) there is no fear for hitting a hint and going WTF that is NOT what that is as I have seen on some games.

The only major complaint I have is the amount of running around you have to do. I had to get wires from three different scenes to unlock a puzzle at a location where no wires were found to begin with.

I recommend it. TO those who aren't a fan of Castle I will say that I think it is at least a decent HOG for those who are fans of HOG's to give a shot.
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3.9 hrs
Posted: August 31
I love Castle, I've been a huge fan since there was only four seasons and binge-watched them all in 9 days during summer, that fateful year. So I was really excited to buy this game. However. I don't think it's going to be enticing to anyone but Castle fans, so if you're not a Castle fan, I wouldn't recommend this game. I do appriciate the point and click HOG clicker that is a pen, I thought that was cute. And I love how each charcter makes jokes and sounds like their show-counterpart. But the game is a little dull and I still haven't finished it because even though I love the characters, it's a little bit boring and not the best HOG I've encountered. But if you're a Castle fan, go for it:)
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Magick_Lady 🐱
9.8 hrs
Posted: July 21
If you like an hidden object game that feels like an R.P.G game play wise . this is something for you
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6.6 hrs
Posted: June 25
a lot like the facebook version but no waiting for an hour and no adverts , also different stories , im happy with it.
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7.4 hrs
Posted: May 17
the graphics were average and the game it self a bit bland. Another case of my expectations being higher then the game itself.
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4.4 hrs
Posted: May 10
As a huge fan of the TV show and knowing about this being a hidden objects game, I had high hopes.

Yet, I feel underwhelmed.

Its biggest flaw is the presentation. No music from the show's extensive score? At least they got the likenesses and the writing down, even if it's without voice work.

The riddles are ok, but the actual hidden object parts lack of variety. You'll quickly see how many items repeat themselves over the course of the game.

Get it at a discount. It's just way too short with a single case stretching over five chapters.
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3.8 hrs
Posted: May 2
completed it super quick, although still nice, wouldnt pay full price though, i got it part of a bundle so worth it.
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6.6 hrs
Posted: April 28
Everything is just okeyish about this game....
recommended to buy on sales
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8.7 hrs
Posted: February 10
no sooner started than it was over not enough hidden object items
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