Call me crazy, but when you know you live right in the shadow of Castle Dracula, I don't think you get to be all that surprised when things inevitably get weird. And weird they are for Luke, the hero of GondeFire's indie point-and-click adventure, who wakes up one night to find his pregnant wife Grace being hauled screaming out the window by demons and up the cliffs to the castle looming above. Armed with only his wits and his family's silver crucifix (though personally I might have added a whole bunch of extra pointy things to that arsenal), Luke sets off for the castle to find his wife and unborn child and stop whatever sinister plan Dracula has in store for them. Is it sparkles? I bet it's sparkles. Vampires love them.
Use the icons at the top of the screen to set what action you want to perform. Click the arrows to navigate through rooms, or the hand to pick up things, while the gears allow you interact with objects or items in your inventory. Bear in mind that while you can die, the game will boot you back to where you made your last poor decision after shaming you with a game over screen for a few seconds. Luckily, if you pay attention to your surroundings you can usually puzzle out where the traps and dangers lie. Like, say, pulling a lever directly over a nice big red smear on the ground. Look, just because you think you can tackle Dracula doesn't mean you can ignore Dawrinism. Oh, and if you've got an iOS, you can even enjoy your bloody peril on the go with the mobile version.
Castle Dracula is one of those games that's already pretty solid, but could be made great without a bunch of minor annoyances. At the time of this writing, the game is also currently a little buggy and finicky, from having to slowly drag objects from your inventory to the fussy click detection on selection your action buttons, over and over and over, each time you change locations. With a little more polish and smoother interaction and navigation the game would be a real joy to play, because otherwise the game is so delightfully cheesy and engaging even if it is on the short side. The voice acting is actually pretty exceptional across the board, and the artwork is great as well. What's nice is that the puzzles are all fairly logical, and the flamboyant vibe of the story and dramatic presentation makes this one a lot of gleeful fun. Classic point-and-click adventures are always welcome, and bite-sized ones like this are perfect for fitting inside the sort of breaks you want mobile gaming for. Are you ready for Dracula in your pocket? Only one way to find out.
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