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Dance Of Death: Du Lac & Fey

Posted by GG Goblin On April - 12 - 2019

A grown up point and click adventure with an emphasis on the narrative.

The point and click adventure genre is plentiful, with options for pretty much every taste. From whimsical worlds filled with cute characters, to more serious outings with puzzles a plenty, to the most serious of stories with religious undertones, there is a point and click adventure for you. Indeed, if the target was a gritty, grown up point and click adventure, then this game may well be for you. But, if you happened to be looking for a game in which a historical serial killer spree was investigated by a pair of Arthurian legends, aside from being incredibly specific, Salix Games’ Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey would pretty much hit the 19th century nail on the head.

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Jack the Ripper is not the lightest of subjects to approach, let alone make the focus of a point and click adventure game. Dance of Death however, takes this particular bone and runs with it as they put the player in charge of, initially, two characters on the trail of the infamous murderer. The developers have obviously put a lot of work into the authenticity of the setting here, beyond just the historically accurate crime scenes. Dance of Death is not afraid to approach the subjects of sex and prostitution from the traditional viewpoint of the time, and have crafted a world which is very different to the world we know now. It can be quite harsh, and much of the interest in the game will come from the simple settings and interactions that display this gritty reality.

However, the developers wanted to add a magical twist to this grim world, and so enters Du Lac and Fey, the two main characters. Sir Lancelot Du Lac is the Arthurian knight of legend and brings with him those knightly sensibilities. Morgana Le Fey is the sorceress from the same time period, but appears here in dog form. This is down to a curse apparently, but ties in well with the gameplay as it allows players to take advantage of some more varied skills. Du Lac is able to explore scenes, ask questions of the locals and occasionally get his hands dirty, while Fey uses her great canine sense of smell to seek out yet more clues, and is able to talk to animals, giving the player a further source of information.

Players are able to switch between the two characters as they see fit, giving them the chance to fully explore every scene and gather each piece of evidence. Further down the line, the player will have access to a third playable character in the form of the Ripper’s final victim, Mary Kelly. In this game Mary Kelly is portrayed as being psychic and, as such, is able to bring her unique abilities to foresee the future to the investigation.

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As already mentioned, Dance of Death relies heavily on the narrative. Fortunately, the writing in the game is absolutely superb, both with the overall story and the interactions between characters. The subject matter is very niche and will find a limited audience, but anyone with an interest in the Jack the Ripper murders will find great interest in this well crafted tale.

There is no denying that the enjoyment of the tale is made that much better by an impressive voice performance. Often in point and click adventures, the voice work is an after thought that leads to lacklustre and out of place performances. In Dance of Death it is the complete opposite. The voice cast are of a high standard and the deliveries are authentic and on point. It is rare that a point and click game offers up voice work of this standard, and the developers should be applauded from bringing this all together.

The same can be said for the visual style, as Dance of Death is a very good looking game. It is easy to see the effort that has gone into the visuals, it is all nicely polished with smooth edges and brilliant animation of the main characters. That being said, given the gritty nature of the game, I did feel that certain areas seemed to be too clean. The same could be said of the secondary characters in the game. I think I expected more dirt. There are also some scenes where the lack of movement from the background characters made it all feel a little unnatural.

There have been a few problems with the game since launch, one of which appeared to corrupt game saves. However, the developers seem to be on the case and addressing the problems as they come up, and a recent patch appears to have solved the save problem. There are still other bugs around, but I am confident that the most serious will be sorted out as soon as possible.

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Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey is a very niche point and click adventure game. This is a narrative adventure for grown up players, dealing with some very difficult subjects. If the whole Jack the Ripper period is of interest though, then Dance of Death has great visuals, voice work and a wonderfully written story. Sure, there may be a few technical issues, and the lack of puzzles does reduce the interest, but for those looking for a gritty, narrative adventure alongside a pair of Arthurian legends, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey would be worth looking at.




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