The Count Lucanor Review
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The Count Lucanor brings another indie puzzle title to the table, but this one attempts to bring some horror with it. But, how does it hold up in a popular genre, which has some great games already?
The story of The Count Luncanor follows a young boy named Hans. Hans lives alone with his mother in a sort of hut, reminiscent of the medieval days, and is excited as it has hit his 10th birthday. However, that excitement soon dissipates because Hans family is in an impoverish state, and he does not receive the sort of gifts his friends have received for their birthdays. Due to this he decides to leave home to chase the riches of the world, and strangely without much of an argument or persuasion his mother lets him. Hans doesn’t get too far away from home before he is knocked out, but when he wakes up the world he is in has suddenly changed evil. Soon Hans is running away from goats (you walked past previously) that have now decapitated the farmer, he finds himself in a castle he has never seen before. This is where the game opens up, you need to complete the puzzles set about the castle – which for me brought to mind my favourite movie of all time Labyrinth.
As you enter this castle, you are greeted by the host, who you followed to the castle. He is the one who informs you that you need to complete the puzzles in the castle. The castle seems open to exploration, even though the story will lead you on a linear path towards the end. The puzzles are very similar to what you expect to find in point-and-click games, and where some puzzles can be satisfying, most of them are simple and don’t take much thought at all to resolve. But, this is not a bad thing as you want to move one and find out more of the very odd story that is unfolding around you.
There is no combat in the game, the only way to survive is putting candles down to protect yourself from the darkness or run and hide under tables and use other environmental items to starve the enemies that are trying to stop you progressing through the castle. Now some players might be annoyed by the slow nature in which Hans walks, but this becomes part of the difficulty of the gameplay. Many of Hans enemies have attacks that will draw him towards them, adding this to the limited mobility makes strategy a big thing, and also adds to the horror and tension. The final element that adds to the tension of the The Count Lucanor is the saving system. In order to save you need to use the in-game currency and save points are limited, so when you complete a harder and more dangerous puzzle the tension is there not to die before the next save point.