The Count Lucanor PS4 Review

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

Publisher: Baroque Decay  Developer: Baroque Decay  Genre: Horror, Puzzle, Adventure  

Players: 1  Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The Count Lucanor is a pixellated fantasy game set in medieval times, which sees young Hans, a 10 year old boy, defy his mother in a rather bratty manner and head off into the deep dark woods for fun and adventure. However, what awaits him is something much more horrifying, and Hans is soon learning to grow up very quickly indeed in this coming-of-age story.

The game has a dark sense of humour, which makes it all the more endearing.

Because of the art style the game has a very nostalgic quality to it, with cutscenes that look like they were drawn in MS Paint, but ones that are still well animated and detailed. The game itself also has very basic graphics, reminiscent of 8 bit games, but don’t let the intentionally dated graphics deter you from giving this game a play through.

The graphics all add to the mystique and haunting nature of the game, which starts out innocently enough, with Hans helping various people on his travels through a sprightly forest full of cute animals, flowers and bright colours. That soon changes, and Hans enters a strange world where everything is out to get him.

After the short intro, Hans makes it to a castle in which the majority of the story is set. The Count Lucanor is a puzzle game, with your main task being to find several letters to guess the main enemy’s name. Puzzles are simple enough, though the drawback is the fact that the castle is crawling with ghosts and ghouls who are out to get you, and Hans’ only means of defence is to avoid them at all costs.

To help with this you can use candles to light passages so that you can see ghosts before they see you, allowing you to adjust your route. If a ghosts sees you, they don’t all cause an instant death, but are still a hindrance to your progress. To avoid enemies you can hide under tables, though sometimes they will still somehow know you are around. The variety of enemies isn’t very vast, though they are still creepy looking, and still manage to help build the tension needed for when you are wandering around the castle and anticipating that you could get caught.

As is usual with these types of games, you’ll find that you need keys to unlock doors, though thankfully these are handily given to you (depending on whether you help the people in the intro or not), so gameplay isn’t bogged down by too much exploration, allowing for more puzzle-solving, which is the emphasis of the game. Gameplay is straight forward and you’ll find that there is always something for you to do, though the only issue I found is that the save files are not very forgiving.

You’ll come across various people on your travels, all of whom have some handy tips.

It is advisable to save as often as possible, though the way in which this has been incorporated isn’t very convenient. Hans will find coins that he can use to buy certain items, but that can also be used to save your game at a fountain. You always have to find your way back to this fountain if you want to save. It is located centrally to the rest of the castle, so it’s not completely difficult to get to, though it does become an annoyance when you have played for a certain length of time, have become absorbed in the gameplay, only to end up dying and having your progress set back quite a bit.

There is substance with the story, and five endings for you to uncover, adding some replay value. Overall, The Count Lucanor is a fun game which harks back to the yesteryear of gaming, its nostalgic graphics, story and mystery managing to keep you compelled to play.