The Count Lucanor review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Switch, Xbox One
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: Merge Games/Baroque Decay
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

For some reason, it always surprises me when 2D games are as scary — if not scarier — than their 3D counterparts. It really shouldn?t, since I have no shortage of experience playing 2D games that creep me out, but it does.

You can add The Count Lucanor to that list. It may not look like the kind of thing that inspires terror, with its retro-inspired graphics and top-down gameplay, but all it takes is one run-in with a carnivorous sheep, blood dripping from its snapping jaws, for you to discover that looks can be deceiving.

And good thing, too, because in terms of gameplay, there?s not much to The Count Lucanor. Playing as Hans, a 10-year-old trapped in a maze-like castle, you explore a series of rooms and hallways in search of the letters that make up the name of your captor, a blue kobold who?s far too obsequious to be trusted. The rooms feature puzzles of moderate difficulty, and you?ll probably spend more time wandering the castle for doors that open than you?ll spend solving any of the rooms.

The wandering around would be kind of boring if it weren?t so incredibly creepy. Blood-thirsty goats lurk around every corner, as do significantly more horrifying monsters, but you never know when they?re going to pop up on account of how little light there is inside the castle. This, in turn, points to the game?s actual purpose: making you figure out to survive with limited resources, a couple of candles, limited save opportunities, and nothing which with to defend yourself.

As I said, it makes for a delightfully scary game. The Count Lucanor won?t challenge you too hard in terms of its gameplay, but as far as the overall experience goes, you?re going to want to play with the lights on.

Merge Games provided us with a The Count Lucanor PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B+