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Castle of Riddles

Acornsoft info 1983

Peter D. Killworth info
BBC/Electron info
Fantasy, misc.
1: Philosopher's Quest, 2: Castle of Riddles
Entered by:
ahope1, dave, Gunness, iamaran, Strident



"The adventuring trade just isn't what it used to be," you reflect gloomily. "Nobody seems to need a trusty sword or a keen intellect any more." You're down to your last silver piece, and there's tomorrow's dinner yet to be found. Sitting at the inn you contemplate earning an honest living for a change. Perhaps a steady income wouldn't be too boring, after all...

Suddenly, a cold draught and the slam of the door distract you from your train of thought, and seconds later, a tall, silver-haired figure in a black cloak slips on to the bench next to you...

So begins your magical adventure, with wizardry and hocus pocus of all kinds, booby traps and fiendish riddles to be unravelled along the tortuous route to the Magic Ring of Power. Your reward is to keep the treasure that you find on the way.


It has been claimed that much of this game is the bits that were cut from Philosopher's Quest when it was released for the BBC by Acornsoft. However, the claim has been disputed: "The two originals were Castle of Riddles and Countdown to Doom. The former feels very much like Philosopher’s Quest II, although it is a completely original effort and not, as is sometimes reported, derived à la Zork II and III from yet-unused sections of Philosopher’s Quest‘s mainframe source, Brand X."

An unofficial online version of the game is available, ported by John Chapman in 2016, featuring graphics, sound and a link-style parser/navigation system.

Copyright 1982, but not released until 15/02/1983.

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User Comments

Canalboy (13-05-2023 17:33)

In my journey through the vast minefields of the Phoenix canon the armoured spearheads have reached Castle of Riddles. This was a game that I had never managed to finish in the days of yore and now I remember why. Accornsoft naturally wanted it to be tough as old boots as it was one of the first competition games and Peter Killworth was only too happy to oblige. I can't decide whether it is tougher than his earlier mainframe Brand X or not but by crikey it take the p1ss. Maybe it should have been called Castle of Piddles. Even friendly NPCs inadvertently kill you in this game.

Canalboy (23-05-2023 14:49)

I have finally finished it. It only took me forty years. A problem with the rod which had me stumped for millennia has finally been resolved. It has two uses but the second use is not possible unless you have played the game previously, solved one of the mazes and then restarted with the knowledge gleaned, so freeing up the rod for the second puzzle where it is needed. This should make more sense in the playing than in the explaining. Review and map submitted to CASA.

Canalboy (23-05-2023 20:42)

Please note that the walk through by Richard Bos (which I did not view until after completion) neglects to point out that you can take the lamp into the fountain of youth room to recharge it so that the lamp timer really isn't anywhere near as tight as in say Philosopher's Quest and Acheton.