The original castle sim, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles. Engage in medieval warfare against the AI in one of two single player campaigns or online with up to 8 players.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (16 reviews) - 87% of the 16 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,544 reviews) - 93% of the 1,544 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 19, 2001

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April 25

New Language Support

Brazilian Portuguese Now Available!

For the first time ever our updated HD version of the original Stronghold (2001) is now available with full BR-PT language support:

  • On-screen text, subtitles and sound.
  • Over 1000 lines of spoken dialogue and 1.5 hours of new audio.
  • Hear your favorite characters insult you in your native tongue!
  • A first for Stronghold HD.

As with the release of the original HD update in late 2012, this new language is free for all existing owners of the game. To change the game language for Stronghold HD on Steam please follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your Steam account.
  2. Right click on a game from the Steam game library and choose Properties.
  3. Go to the Language tab.
  4. Select the language you wish to use from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click OK.

Please Note - Files for this language may need to be downloaded before you can play.

19 comments Read more

About This Game

The original castle sim, Stronghold HD allows you to design, build and destroy historical castles. Engage in medieval warfare against the AI in one of two single player campaigns or online with up to 8 players.

Story

With 21 missions to test your mettle and four renegade lords to defeat, it is up to you to reunite medieval England and take back your lands from the treacherous Rat, Pig, Snake and Wolf. Missions range from breaking sieges and capturing enemy castles to raising gold and holding off enemy attacks. Also featured is a full economic campaign, tasking players to gather resources and build weapons within the time limit.

HD Edition

With new high resolution graphics you have more control over your soldiers than ever before. The new HD battlefield view allows you to zoom out and play in real-time, with the whole map on one screen. Advance on the castle gates while flanking the enemy from behind, feign retreat and lead your foe into a deadly trap or just sit back and watch the destruction unfold.

Features
  • Join the fight for medieval England as you drive back the forces of the villainous Wolf.
  • Design and build your very own castle, with a working economy and brutal killing zones.
  • Battle through 21 story-based missions, defending against enemy attack and dominating your foes.
  • Besiege famous historical castles in unique game modes such as “Siege That!” or build to your heart’s content in the combat-free economic campaign.
  • High resolution graphics allow you to view the entire map on a single screen.
  • Steam Cloud support for saved games.
  • Updated for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8 compatibility.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
    • Processor: 1.6GHz equivalent Intel or AMD processor
    • Memory: 512MB RAM
    • Video: 64MB video card with hardware Transform & Lighting
    • Hard Drive: 2.5GB uncompressed free space
    • Sound: DirectX 7 compatible sound card or higher
    • Direct X: DirectX 9.0c (included) or higher
    • Multiplayer: GameRanger software will be installed for mutiplayer matchmaking support
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (16 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,544 reviews)
Recently Posted
damiankeithwatson
( 7.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Fun but know one plays multiplayer if u do and see this hit me up send me friend request
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rico
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
Good strategic game. Nice maps, awesome characters and good army characters and the economics system, You may build your own castle and create your own Lord in charge of you army :)
Just check yourself in the medieval universum :)
Be the Winner or the Loser of big medieval war :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KmDus
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 18
my all time favorite real time strategy game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
TheReakingDead
( 8.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
This is a great game however it does not allow the skirmish mode which means you are only left with singleplayer and multiplayer and if you are like me then multiplayer is really not my thing for this type of game. This is a great game but there is little to no replay therefor the game only gets 6/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Audish
( 8.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
It's strange that there aren't more castle-builder games out there. It's the thing that literally everyone who goes to the beach or gets in the vicinity of building blocks does, after all. But even after 15 years, we really just have the Stronghold series to fall back on. I've been looking at a lot of classic builder games lately and many don't hold up well at all anymore, but I have to say that the original Stronghold managed to surprise me.

As you've probably gathered, Stronghold puts you under the heavy brow of a king in command of a castle. Arranged much like an isometric real-time strategy game like Command & Conquer, most maps start you off on an undeveloped piece of land on which to place your keep and granary, and then fill in the buildings and walls from there. The maps are fake 3D, which is to say they're 2D tiles placed at elevations to give the illusion of 3D, but they work better than the imperceptible voxel messes of early Tropico games.

The development of your castle is a pretty interesting balance of peasants and resources. You have a respect rating with your people, and as long as it's positive new peasants will come to your keep to work for you. They'll man the buildings you construct, from woodcutter sheds to apple orchards to blacksmith shops, and produce the raw materials you need to build and trade. As long as you keep up with their needs for food and shelter, your castle can continue to expand into a sort of walled town, complete with social edifices like churches and taverns and little decorations like flower beds.

Your people also need security, which is what the walls and barracks and blacksmiths are for. Stronghold doesn't just look like an RTS, it plays like one too. Depending on the scenario you might have to fend off wolves or bandits on the regular, or you might be scrambling to build an impenetrable castle before a siege-ready army arrives. Fielding your army is as simple as producing their weapons and churning them out of the barracks, but commanding them can be a bit touchy as it often is in older games like this. The lack of detailed commands almost makes the game play like a tower defense, watching the enemies stream in from marked paths and positioning your own troops as effectively as possible on your towers and at your gates.

There are two full campaigns to conquer, along with numerous single missions and an open-ended Siege mode. The military campaign features an entertainingly British story of betrayal and intrigue, and missions that have you both building castles to withstand sieges and besieging other castles. The economic campaign is much thinner on story and challenges you to produce certain goods under not exactly ideal circumstances. The HD upgrade the game got awhile back makes the visuals quite crisp and pleasing, and the sound design benefits from some excellent voice acting, detailed sound effects, and a terribly appropriate soundtrack. In the end it's not such a bad thing that there haven't been so many castle-builders in the last decade, because Stronghold still stands as an excellent execution of the concept.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
tieio
( 1.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 13
Nope. I really only liked Crusader, the rest are garbage to me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ZaidusRecon
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
Excellent castle builder, good detail, gameplay can be slow at times. Just like those mobile games, seeing your kingdom slowly progress can be captivating, so I generally choose to not go with these kinds of games. I want intense gameplay, requiring skill and speed.

Still, this game is probably the best of its category. At least, from what I've experienced. Not that I've experienced much in this category, for the reasons above.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Miz
( 20.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
Horrible "narrative" experience, but it hasa very humorous English feel to it. More Monty Python than Game of Thrones of course.

This is a genuinely different take on the RTS genre. It's sort of a supply chain simulator + tower defense game + rts game.

You will mostly be making sure your inputs and outputs are efficient in your base area, and building defenses so that the enemy raids don't crush you.

The actual attacking part of the game plays a lot like any RTS from this era, and it's almost always the least interesting part of your time with this game.

Also keep in mind that none of this is abstracted. You will actually see the peasant walk from the dairy farm to the place where the food is dumped. If you put the food place (granary) to far away it could have an impact on your army economically. Maximizing your supply chain is *required* for victory on the normal difficulty in this game.

Yet

This focus on economy and tower defense means that this game is SLOOOOOOOOOW paced. You will spend the first 20 (real time ) minutes getting your supply chain worked out.

The A.I may then throw some weapon at you that you were not prepared for and your walls will be punctured and it's basically game over as they wreck your carefully tinkered economy.

You need a lot of time to beat this game on even a normal difficulty.

Great value game and also a gameplay idea that you don't normally see. The closest approximation would be the iphone typeof base builder games. But this is much more complex and isn't built with any of the fee-2-play mechanics. Also this game came out waaaaaaaaay before smartphones.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Piraja27
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
It is my own fault for not doing enough research but I was highly disappointed with this game.
Unlike Stronghold Crusader this game does not have the free selection of NPCs to fight against. You only get prebuild castles, fights and armies.

And I dunno what in the world this Ranger installion to make this work is all about, it seems iffy to ask us instal such things.

Either way, if I had to recommend you a game on this series, go with the Crusader one. The original one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BuTcHeR
( 17.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 2
Best 3.50 I ever spent. I didn't play the original, although I am familar with similar games, and I've already lost hours of my life to it.
5*
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
23 of 24 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
It's strange that there aren't more castle-builder games out there. It's the thing that literally everyone who goes to the beach or gets in the vicinity of building blocks does, after all. But even after 15 years, we really just have the Stronghold series to fall back on. I've been looking at a lot of classic builder games lately and many don't hold up well at all anymore, but I have to say that the original Stronghold managed to surprise me.

As you've probably gathered, Stronghold puts you under the heavy brow of a king in command of a castle. Arranged much like an isometric real-time strategy game like Command & Conquer, most maps start you off on an undeveloped piece of land on which to place your keep and granary, and then fill in the buildings and walls from there. The maps are fake 3D, which is to say they're 2D tiles placed at elevations to give the illusion of 3D, but they work better than the imperceptible voxel messes of early Tropico games.

The development of your castle is a pretty interesting balance of peasants and resources. You have a respect rating with your people, and as long as it's positive new peasants will come to your keep to work for you. They'll man the buildings you construct, from woodcutter sheds to apple orchards to blacksmith shops, and produce the raw materials you need to build and trade. As long as you keep up with their needs for food and shelter, your castle can continue to expand into a sort of walled town, complete with social edifices like churches and taverns and little decorations like flower beds.

Your people also need security, which is what the walls and barracks and blacksmiths are for. Stronghold doesn't just look like an RTS, it plays like one too. Depending on the scenario you might have to fend off wolves or bandits on the regular, or you might be scrambling to build an impenetrable castle before a siege-ready army arrives. Fielding your army is as simple as producing their weapons and churning them out of the barracks, but commanding them can be a bit touchy as it often is in older games like this. The lack of detailed commands almost makes the game play like a tower defense, watching the enemies stream in from marked paths and positioning your own troops as effectively as possible on your towers and at your gates.

There are two full campaigns to conquer, along with numerous single missions and an open-ended Siege mode. The military campaign features an entertainingly British story of betrayal and intrigue, and missions that have you both building castles to withstand sieges and besieging other castles. The economic campaign is much thinner on story and challenges you to produce certain goods under not exactly ideal circumstances. The HD upgrade the game got awhile back makes the visuals quite crisp and pleasing, and the sound design benefits from some excellent voice acting, detailed sound effects, and a terribly appropriate soundtrack. In the end it's not such a bad thing that there haven't been so many castle-builders in the last decade, because Stronghold still stands as an excellent execution of the concept.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 15
This is a great game however it does not allow the skirmish mode which means you are only left with singleplayer and multiplayer and if you are like me then multiplayer is really not my thing for this type of game. This is a great game but there is little to no replay therefor the game only gets 6/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 14 people (57%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
My granary stocks were too low sire.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Good strategic game. Nice maps, awesome characters and good army characters and the economics system, You may build your own castle and create your own Lord in charge of you army :)
Just check yourself in the medieval universum :)
Be the Winner or the Loser of big medieval war :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 8
Excellent castle builder, good detail, gameplay can be slow at times. Just like those mobile games, seeing your kingdom slowly progress can be captivating, so I generally choose to not go with these kinds of games. I want intense gameplay, requiring skill and speed.

Still, this game is probably the best of its category. At least, from what I've experienced. Not that I've experienced much in this category, for the reasons above.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
266 of 280 people (95%) found this review helpful
77 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2015
More than 15 years old and still a better strategy game than Stronghold 3...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
199 of 209 people (95%) found this review helpful
218 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2015
The axe cutter dude is probably the most blood thirsty, savage, over powered unti in the whole game. I've seen that guy do crasy ♥♥♥♥ just to get fire wood for me including killing enemy axe cutters, destroying enemy catapults to collect the wood that the catapult is built with, and taking arrow fire just to get the last tree of the land. I respect these men.

10/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
358 of 452 people (79%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
131.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 11, 2014
caaaaaan't place that there milord
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
110 of 117 people (94%) found this review helpful
Recommended
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2013
An oldschool RTS focused on resource management, Stronghold is probably still one of THE most accurate castle simulations you'll find, as more focus is given to castle management than elemination of enemy units.
The novice RTS users or those who generally lack patience need not apply, as a lack of steam overlay (patch supposedly in progress) and general resource management focus means plenty of focus being required to see to the incredible intricacies.
All of this said, avoid Stronghold Legends since it ends up just NOT being Stronghold, and avoid Stronghold 2 since it ends up being about where the series falls apart due to hitting the polygonal 3D ceiling pretty hard.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
92 of 96 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2014
Overview

Ahh, Stronghold... A slice of nostalgia, and a damn fun game to boot. I'm going to go on a bit of a rant here, to be perfectly honest, so for anyone remotely interested in this game I'll give you a quick overview right now. Stronghold is a classic real time strategy game with a focus on replayability, base building/management and careful positioning over the micromanaging tactics that tend to dominate many RTS games today. If that sounds up your street, I'd buy it at full price. The game is WELL worth £3.50 and I must have sunk at least 40 hours into creating new and interesting siege maps and swapping them with my friends to challenge one another alone.

8/10

Onto the more detailed rundown...

Graphics

Ummm... Yeah, this isn't why you should be playing this game. It was made back in the early 2000's, and it looks like it. This 'HD remake' does little to help it there. There's no reworking of the graphics or anything like that, and the opening cinematic still plays in a hilariously tiny box in the middle of a great big black void. Fortunately, in-game itself is treated very nicely indeed with the new resolutions... There's definitely a charm to the animations, and the little details like the cinematics that play out on your minimap when you select certain buildings or to mark events are welcome... But there's not much here to recommend beyond the rustic medieval design of the game's interface as a whole, which still stands up to some degree despite the game's age. I suppose one bonus of this is that you certainly won't have to worry about upgrading your rig to meet any requirements...

3/10

Story

So we're talking about the campaign then! Honestly, the campaign isn't why I ever played this game... But it helps. Particularly on returning to it, I'm surprised at how good the campaign story gets once you get into later sections. This is a simple story of revenge and honour in a historically ambigious version of England. And yet the game does manage to go beyond a simple framework that leads your nameless character from point A to point B to fight Lord C because... Well because Daddy issues. No, it actually manages to create something that you can invest in to an odd degree. Mostly though it's use of larger than life, fun characters.
Your two main advisors are a fun pair of Lords that bounce off each other in a way that's mildly amusing, but it's primarily the villains of the game that get the best moments. The four lords, The Rat, The Snake, The Pig and The Wolf (going by their nicknames) are each clearly defined, given backgrounds and range from freaking hilarious to pathetic to loathsome. The game does a great job throughout of giving you great reason to want to crush these four villains both in and out of gameplay itself, with the dialogue not stopping once your in-game itself. (Apparently medieval Skype calls were a thing. Who knew?)
The voice acting for these parts is... Well, this is going to be the divisive bit. It works for me, in an odd way. But if you've got any kind of ear for actors, you're quickly going to pick up on the fact that there's basically one, maybe two (three at a push) guys voicing EVERYTHING IN THE GAME. And yes, I said guys quite intentionally, as this includes the women. The game, however, appears to be well aware of this deficiency and plays it up for all it's worth (Most notably in the case of the mother's wondering around your keep who let you know how lovely the morning is in their best Monty Python impersonation) with some success. It's a matter of taste, but I find it pretty entertaining, and within the campaign itself it does add a kind of charm to the whole proceedings in regards to the storytelling nature of it's plot.

7/10 (6/10 if you don't appreciate hilarious voice acting.)

Gameplay

Ah. Here we go. This is what it's all about. Simply put, Stronghold is a fantasticly fun RTS. There are a variety of units that serve basic purposes, but the game knows not to go too far with it. When the time of a siege is approaching fast and you only have limited moments to decide whether to split your resources between your economy, your castle walls or your military, it's important that you know exactly what every soldier is there to do. The game does an excellent job of setting up a simple, but useful roster of troops to choose from. Without going into extreme detail here, just be aware that this is one game where zerg swarming the weakest units isn't going to get you very far if you're trying to siege anything beyond a very basic wooden set-up... Not if the defender is at all smart with their pitch and engineer set up, that is...
There are counters to pretty much any unit type, and as of such this often becomes a game of out manouvering your opponent or careful planning rather than sudden quick decisions. The siege mode which is entirely focused on the combat and a single siege (obviously) is certainly more exciting in that sense, but even during battles the game is not a fast-paced affair. It is exciting primarily in the scale and degree of strategy you must deploy to break through seemingly impregnable sets of walls and defences, or ensure that those damn trebutchet don't get set up out of your archers and crossbowmen's range... And if they do, whether it's worth sacrificing your precious few knights in a charge to try and destroy them this early on. All in all, Stronghold is an oddly relaxing game inbetween battles. Every decision matters, but the game's soothing soundtrack and charming graphics, combined with the focus on placement and management over micromanaging and quick reflexes gives it a very laidback feeling compared to a lot of modern RTS installments. If you haven't played a game like this before, this may seem a bit 'off' to begin with, but give it some time and I think you'll soon grow to appreciate it. Unless, of course, you're a twitch gaming junkee that just needs his next fix, in which case why are you even looking at an RTS review? You weirdo. Sheesh.
Oh and I suppose we should talk about replayability. You want to talk about replayability? This game comes out, walks up to most games that talk about replayability and just slaps them across the face and then suplexes them into the corner, screaming like it's Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior's unholy love child. Stronghold's map creator is probably one of it's best features. The base maps themselves within the siege and invasion modes are already great fun, but the map creator allows you to basically do whatever you like, however. It's a standard other RTS games should look to achieve.
If I were to lay any complaints at the floor of Stronghold's gameplay, they would all come from dated limitations. It is possible to flatten the world and look at structure layout by pressing spacebar, which helps make sure that you haven't missed any gaps but camera positioning IS an issue. For the most part, it's fine, but I am now spoilt by modern games that give full use of a camera that allows seemless positioning and zooming. This game allows you to switch between looking at the map from four different directions when you hold down right click and select a compass. And yes, I know that I've been particularly fair on the game given it's age before this point, but this IS the game's one major failing. It's not a big one, honestly, but it's one that should be mentioned. All I can say is, thank god they thought to add in the spacebar option.

8/10


Stronghold is a very good game. Have I said that yet? I think I have. Maybe I'll say it again? Yes. Stronghold is a very good game, any limitations it has mostly come down to the game's age, but with this HD remake it's greatest limitations (actually being able to play the damn thing on a modern computer screen) have been fixed. I would HEAVILY recommend it given it's reaonable to the point of criminal price.
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