Developer: Baroque Decay & Ratalaika Games Publisher: Merge Games
Release Date: 10.18.2017
When I first came across this game, I thought that it is an incredibly perfect game to release as we lead up to Halloween. Scary monsters, death at every turn, suspense? Sign me up! I’m a horror movie fanatic, so a great horror/adventure game to play as I gear up for attending Atlanta’s scariest Haunted Houses seemed like the perfect way to spend my time.
Or so I thought…
I’m not sure if I just built the game up too much in my own head, but alas, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would. On the plus side, it plays much like a horror game should; blood splatters and creepy music with whispering voices. At first, the hairs on my neck stood up in anticipation of what would happen next as I lead Hans through this scary world.
|Hans, don’t be an asshole….|
As I continued through the game, it started to feel almost as if it were trying to convince me that it was a horror game. I personally don’t feel like a game should have to try to convince you of what it is, but that’s ok. I just found it to be more boring than scary. This may just be my personal opinion, but it is what it is. I can only write honestly.
The game had no suspense or scenes that made me jump…the main thing you look forward to in horror games. The deadly monsters were more of an annoyance than a thing of nightmares. If the graphics were different, maybe more like modern games, then it may have been different. It may have worked better. But when I can see terrifying monsters by candle light before I even reach them, it kind of takes away from the fear. With the retro and overall basic design of the monsters made it seem more like kids in costumes than murderous beasts.
|Watch out for the Chupacabras!|
One thing I do have to give this game is that the cut scenes are absolutely beautifully made. The pixel art is absolutely gorgeous, and I wish that the whole game had been made as gorgeous as the cut scenes. After playing Tiny Barbarian DX (whose retro graphics are breath-taking), these graphics definitely seem super basic. Take this with a grain of salt, though, because I definitely could not create anything even comparable to the graphics in Count Lucanor.
There may be an audience for Count Lucanor, and I’m sure there is as I have spoken with some people who have enjoyed the game, but I am clearly not a part of this audience. Which is a shame, because I love horror games.
But enough of my negativity, lets get in to the meat of this game. Count Lucanor revolves around a boy named Hans. His father has gone off to fight in a war and he is upset at being poor. The game opens on Hans birthday and he is disheartened when his mother doesn’t have gifts, cake, or even a special meal prepared for him.
Hans decides, at the ripe age of 10, that he is a man and he will leave home, “Just like dad did.” His mother can’t stop him, so she gives him her father’s old cane, all the money she has (3 gold coins) and some cheese. At first the game starts off simple enough and not scary in the slightest. You will encounter people who ask for your help (and don’t give you jack diddly in return). But as the game progresses, things get bloody (but at least people that need your help give you rewards in return).
Soon, Hans finds himself at Tenebre Castle and decides to prove himself worthy by accomplishing the Count’s trials. If he accomplishes it all, he will find himself with a worthy title…a title that means he will no longer be a poor little boy.
I won’t spoil the game past that, you will just have to play it to find out what happens to little, 10 year old Hans.
The game does feature some unique aspects and fun that I will forever remember. As they boast,
“The Count Lucanor features a soundtrack by the greatest composer of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach, that will remain etched in your mind forever. Using chiptune tools, the game features a transformed series of hidden gems from the composer to create a unique soundscape.”
That part is definitely a game after my own heart, as I am a lover of music.
Features that you will find throughout the game are:
* Exploration: Search Tenebre Castle, placing candles on the ground to light up your path.
*Conversation: Talk to NPCs to get important clues and learn the hidden history of The Count Lucanor.
* Stealth: Hide under tables and behind curtains to go undetected.
*Puzzles: Use the items you found wisely to progress
*Skill: Avoid traps and enemies in the castle by anticipating them.
While I may not have been the biggest fan of this game, I do see its appeal to others and how they may enjoy it. So don’t take my word on it, try it out for yourself and let me know what you thought about it in the comments below!