Reviewed on Xbox One; Also available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
La la la, aw cute donkey, oh cute goat! Oh god! What has just happened?! Where has the cuteness gone!? Why is it so spooky?! – My thoughts at the start.
Upon starting The Count Lucanor you are greeted by a pleasant looking, 8 bit cut scene. Telling the tale of Hans, a poor boy who just couldn’t wait to grow up; to be an adult. It tells of him longing to explore castles for treasures and go on adventures. He can’t, however as he is staying to look after his mother. But today is different. Why? Because today is Hans’ 10th birthday. The age of a man. Or so he thinks.
It is Hans that you take the role of throughout the entirety of the game. You quickly tell your mum you are leaving home because you don’t want to be poor anymore. Sparked by the fact that your mum hasn’t been able to afford a birthday gift for you. Your mum allows you to go (which is weird) but she gives you some very vital items. Some food items and some coin. The only coin she has left. You set off on your ‘adventure’.
It starts off all sunshine and rainbows. No trouble at all. Not even a vibe of it, in fact. Now, confession time. I had no idea that this game was classed as ‘horror’ at all. I didn’t do any research before playing. So, as you can imagine. I was just like Hans, off on an adventure hoping to uncover some treasures! We see a donkey, some goats. We even have a picnic with the Shepherd! Then BAM! It all changes. You wake up in a graveyard… in the dark… The river we walked across has turned to blood. Those cute goats aren’t cute anymore and the shepherd is dead! Now we must set off on a new adventure. A much more chilling one then we originally thought…
Now, I’m not going to spoil anymore of the story for you. You must play it if you are intrigued. It’s worth it. I really enjoyed the story and uncovering what is actually going on. The game actually has 5 very different endings which gives it a little replayability as the story you can finish just shy of a couple hours. Especially if you know what you’re doing.
What’s more? For all you achievement lovers out there, it doesn’t take much more time to 100% this one. Hint hint, use a guide and get the 100% much quicker.
The Count Lucanor is a horror – adventure game that is said to be inspired by the likes of The Legend Of Zelda and Silent Hill. Although two extremely different games I can see these in every aspect of the game. Which makes The Count Lucanor a totally unique experience.
There’s puzzles to solve, traps to avoid and lots of rooms to explore. All in a huge castle. A huge, dark castle I may add. Why do spooky castles never have sufficient lighting? Hmph. Luckily, you can find candles in which you can place to light the way and if you’re clever, you can place them in a way that will stop you from getting lost too. Trust me, it’s easy to do. You don’t have to be worried about using all your candles up too, you tend to find lots of them throughout the game, whether they be in chests or just lying on a table somewhere. Just, don’t worry. I kept on going back to pick them up and then realised I had like 30 in my inventory.
There is no combat in the game, instead you have to hide under tables to avoid those things that go bump in the night. Very similar to Outlast in this aspect. Which made encountering enemies all that more terrifying. Another thing that is terrifying? No auto-save. Instead you have to use your coins you gather in a fountain. Which is interesting, you have to ration out your coins, if you will, deciding between saving the game and buying something from the Merchant. Be very careful here, I tried to save as often as possible as the slightest mistake could mean death. Especially if you don’t know what’s behind the next door.
I’d heard that people had encountered many bugs and glitches during their play through of the game. Some even meaning they had to start completely from scratch. Luckily I can say I didn’t encounter a single glitch or bug during my play through. The gameplay is pretty solid and makes for an enjoyable experience.
Also, I’ve never found a character more relatable to myself then this one…
Graphics & Sound
The Count Lucanor definitely has a retro feel to it which isn’t surprising considering the games it has taken inspiration from. It’s odd, it seems to fall between 8 bit and 16 bit but still manages to look… new? Every room you enter is different from the last and the detail in each of these rooms is crazy. Every table has something on it, pictures on walls, weapons hanging up. Everything! Nothing looks out of place or dull which I really liked.
The soundtrack for The Count Lucanor is eerie, intense and somewhat bouncy? Odd combination I know but it suits the game perfectly. Again, following the retro feel. There was never a point where I got fed up with the soundtrack nor did I feel that it wasn’t suitable in any given situation. There’s not much I can say about it other than, have a listen for yourself.
The Count Lucanor is certainly an experience, one that I enjoyed thoroughly and would suggest for all of you reading this to experience too. It’s both creepy and interesting in equal measure and with 5 different endings you can change the outcome just by reloading your latest save (All 5 endings are worth seeing). It’s also an simple game to 100%. I would suggest following a guide once you have already played through the game. You don’t want to spoil anything for yourself! Yes, it is a little short but the adventure is not. Seriously, give this little horror – adventure a go. You won’t be disappointed.