Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 15.04.2019 1

Review for Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on PC

The point and click genre is one that lives and dies by its narrative. While good puzzle design will always ensure that a point and click will be worthwhile, a good story or script does wonders for any given entry in the genre. This is not to say that a solid story can just coast by without the game design to back it up, however. Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey boasts a fairly tight script with excellent presentation, but it does falter in terms of its puzzles. At the same time, it doesn't falter to the extent that the experience is ruined. At least not in terms of its core design. Rather, Dance of Death is a title plagued by the perpetual enemy of any video game: technical errors.

By all accounts, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey should be a point and click worth playing. It doesn't feature the most engaging puzzles, opting for a rather barebones approach to gameplay. However, it makes up for this with a strong voice cast, an aesthetically pleasing art style, and a script that takes itself seriously without ever tipping into melodrama. For a tale about the Arthurian Lancelot hunting down Jack the Ripper, there's a surprising amount of wit and care put into the general storytelling.

Screenshot for Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on PC

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that most casual fans of the genre will be able to appreciate the story fully. That's because the whole experience is bogged down by some truly strange design decisions, not to mention a technical backbone that may as well not exist, considering just how utterly broken the core product is. Any goodwill garnered by the opening is ruined as soon as players realize that their save data is anything but safe.

Any title that fails to properly save is perhaps not one worth playing, it's a game killer unlike any other. Reportedly, Dance of Death is prone to erasing save data, particularly in cases where players exit to the desktop and boot the application back up. Since the title lacks a manual save, instead only automatically saving at intervals, there is no way to back up saved data.

Screenshot for Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on PC

Needless to say, this is an enormous problem, one that hinders the experience immensely. By all accounts, this is not a journey that can be undertaken in one sitting. Nor should it need to be, quite frankly. The script is rich enough to mean that ploughing through the point and click in one fell swoop would do a massive disservice to some of the finer narrative moments. Of course, those moments will probably never be reached so long as the save data issues persist.

The developers have released a patch that supposedly ensures save file corruption does not occur for "new" players, while also fixing any issues for pre-existing files. However, this is a problem that never should have made it into the base game in the first place. More importantly, this is a technical error that, apparently, requires more than just a patch. Rather, it needs a full-on update, since some users have reported problems with their save-data post-patch.

Screenshot for Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on PC

In the event that the developers do properly update the title, and that saving becomes the non-issue it should have been all along, Dance of Death still would not be a particularly impressive point and click experience. While its story is certainly gripping enough, and is further enhanced by an excellent voice cast, the movement is painfully slow. Puzzle solving is quite uninspired, more often than not, and there are minor bugs and glitches that occasionally prevent scenarios from outright triggering, or simply create a visual disconnect with whatever is happening on screen.

Perhaps with updates, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey will end up being worth playing, but the title's legacy will probably always be tied to its incredibly rough, and downright amateurish launch. A buggy mess filled with bizarre design decisions, the often top-notch presentation is wasted on a point and click that struggles to pull off the bare minimum requirements of the medium.

Screenshot for Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey on PC

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Evaluated solely by its presentation quality, Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey is a solid enough point and click adventure, but it is sadly marred by technical issues and by a general lack of engaging puzzle solving. The mere concept of Arthurian characters hunting down Jack the Ripper is interesting in its own right, something the script reflects rather well, but the game design itself simply leaves too much to be desired. This is to say nothing of the fact that the launch build is prone to corrupting save data, making continued progress not only difficult, but downright cumbersome unless one decides to trudge through the experience in one dedicated sitting. From the voice acting and the writing, to the general aesthetic, there's certainly plenty to appreciate, but a game actually needs to work properly before it can be appreciated.

Developer

Salix Games

Publisher

Salix Games

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I've never understood in this day and age with reviews and the internet that devs will release a game so woefully unfinshed.

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