I think it´s safe to say that Baroque Decay has done a really great job with their adventure/horror/puzzle game “The Count Lucanor”. A game which (in my opinion) is like a mix of “Zelda A Link to the past”, old-school “Silent Hill” and “Dink Smallwood “(minus the ability to kill everything that moves). That´s a really great combination with no doubt, but in all fairness. I didn´t really expect “The Count Lucanor” to be all that much fun (or “all that much” of anything for that matter). And why is that? Well, I mainly felt like that because there are a lot of indie developers who pump out retro looking games into the market at the moment (they try to cash in on our nostalgia memories and feelings). And since many of those titles are mediocre at best, I thought that “The Count Lucanor” might be a title like that. However, thankfully enough that was not the case (and thank the Gaming gods for that).
And please allow me to tell you why, for starter. “The Count Lucanor” has a really interesting plot. You see. You play as a ten-year-old boy called Hans. And on his tenth birthday, he decided to revolt against his own mother (Hans is fed up with being poor). Long story short, Hans left his mother and his home to head out in the dark, evil and cold world in search for adventure, exploration and riches. And I couldn´t help to laugh when all of this unfolded in front of my eyes, because even though Hans is just ten years old. He still sees himself as a full-grown man. Even so, I could not deny the fact that Hans has a hardcore dedication and passion to become successful. And that´s something which I really admire and respect him for.
So I found a liking to Hans very early on, and I really felt like I wanted to keep him safe at all times. And that´s of course easier said than done. Especially since it doesn´t take all that long before all hell breaks loose. In the matter of fact, it took me less than 15-20 minutes before I encountered one bad omen after another (ravens, evil sounding names and so on). In a way, “The Count Lucanor” is like a very dark version of “Alice in wonderland“. Because just like “Alice in Wonderland”, everything starts off with laughter, happiness, sun shine and day dreaming. However, little by little the world around Alice starts to become very dark and hellish. And in Hans case, his world is even more brutal, evil and Grotesque.
And everything you do will affect the outcome of “The Count Lucanor” (for good or bad). For example, you can choose to help people in need (in one way or another). You can also choose to trust or not to trust people (it´s up to you to figure out who´s good and who´s bad). And since you can´t turn back the clock you better think twice before you act (if you made a bad decision you will have to live with it throughout the entire game, unless you have an older save point which you could load). And I would recommend you to follow the very same advice when it comes to exploring the castle and the outside world as well, because you will find traps and monsters all over the place. And since you die rather easily in the game, it´s most definitely a good idea to save your progress every now and then too (you do so by paying a raven a gold coin).
It would also be a good idea to pay close attention to dialogs (look for clues) and useful items. Because you´re going to need all the items you can find, in-order to survive (you eat different kinds of fruit and foods to regain health), open doors and solve puzzles (later on in the game the main goal is to become the count of Lucanor. And you need to prove yourself to be worthy of that title, thus all the quests and challenges). So, with that said. What would my final verdict be then? Well, all in all, “The Count Lucanor” is a really nice mix of horror, adventure and puzzle elements (despite the flaws which I have listed further down the page).
SoI really enjoyed my time with “The Count Lucanor” (I will upload part II and III of my gameplay series shortly!). And I would recommend the game to anyone who enjoys horror/adventure/puzzle games. Trust me, you´re going to have a blast! You don´t even have to take my word for it either, just check out my gameplay video further down the page.
+ Beautiful retro graphics
+ The Zelda and Silent Hill vibes are very pleasant
+ Funny and interesting dialogs
+ The NPC characters are very colorful and memorable
+ A handful of different endings
+ The bizzare humor
– Why isn´t there a run command in the game?
– I wish that there would have been more horror scenes and jump scare moments in the game
– The lack of a world map haunts you throughout the game (you will get lost from time to time)
– No weapons?
Replay value: 4/5
“The Count Lucanor” is a really nice mix of “Zelda A Link to the Past”, “Silent Hill” and beautiful retro graphics. So if you´re a fan of retro-looking horror/adventure/puzzle games, then you should try “The Count Lucanor” as soon as possible!
Title: The Count Lucanor
Developer: Baroque Decay
Resolution: Highest possible for PC
Release date: 2016-03-03
Spent time: 10+ hours
Average grade internationally: 85% Gamerankings.com
PEGI/ESRB age rating: PEGI 12+/Teen
Price: 10 Euros via Steam
The review code was provided by Baroque Decay.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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