Baroque Decay’s The Count Lucanor was originally released on Steam in March of 2016, but on October 18th it was launched on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Also coming soon to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PS Vita, this title is a horror adventure that is not to be missed.
The perfect game to play over the Halloween weekend.
“Join Hans in a fantasy world and experience a unique adventure, full of surprises and challenges. Get hooked on an immersive tale, where every decision counts and every clue is a piece to solve the puzzle and get the treasure. Unravel the sordid secrets of the castle, meet colourful characters, and remember, horror always lurks beneath the surface.”
Developed by Baroque Decay, published by independent company Merge Games, and ported to the Switch by Ratalaika Games, The Count Lucanor plays great on the console/handheld hybrid. The graphics are described as “hallway between 8-bit and 16-bit,” (12-bit?) and are charming yet surprisingly make the game creepy because it goes from cute to horrifying in a flash.
“Inspired by classic games like The Legend of Zelda, Yume Nikki, Silent Hill and Dark Souls, The Count Lucanor is an amazing mystery and horror adventure set in a fairytale world.”
Riddled with puzzles, important choices, alternative endings, and weird happenings throughout the castle, The Count Lucanor makes up for its shortness with re-playability. When I began the game I found it to be adorable, with an awesome soundtrack- which is a chiptuned version of the works by Johann Sebastian Bach- and spent some time making decisions like whether or not I wanted to give up my only items. My casual enjoyment was quickly ruined when the game turned macabre and I was forced to run from a terrifying goat, of all things.
This certainly is not to say that this made me dislike the game, it just proved that looks can be deceiving and even the cutest game can scare the hell out of you. With most of the exploration areas being lit only by the candle in your hand, the farther you get in the story, the greater sense of impending doom and fear you experience. I made the mistake of telling myself that the creatures lurking in the dark would be rare and that I would have some sort of warning. I was wrong.
Not wanting to spoil anything, your goal is to explore the castle and figure out the name of the blue kobold that invites you to try and win the treasure of Count Lucanor. With interestingly odd characters, a merchant that sells corn, and a creepy raven that charges you one coin to save, the entire game has an archaic feeling that adds to the ambiance of the castle.
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.
Due for release in Autumn 2017, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita.
At only $13.49 on the Nintendo eShop, The Count Lucanor is one of the best horror games I have played. It’s charm adds to the scare factor, rather than taking away from it, and it keeps you guessing the entire time. At the very least, it will leave you afraid of goats.
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