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Bathory - The Bloody Countess (PC) artwork

Bathory - The Bloody Countess (PC) review


"Grab on sale or avoid"


Iím unsure how Bathory - The Bloody Countess landed in my inventory but as a fan of hidden object games I knew I would play it at some point. I enjoy games that dip into history for inspiration, this one plays with the tale of Elizabeth Bathory who was accused and found guilty of torturing and murdering many young women. You would think with such a spooky theme this would be a slam dunk but it was not. The game is short, the story is rather boring and the gameplay mechanics arenít fun; the one thing in its favor is very lovely artwork. However, good visuals canít save a game if the story and gameplay fall short in my opinion.

Your sister has summoned you to Slovakia to aid her in her work as an archaeologist, however, once you arrive you sense something is amiss. Her mail hasnít been checked in days and her house is empty. After some snooping you realize that your sister Rose has been kidnapped. As you look into the matter you learn other girls have also met the same fate and that the disappearances are linked to the legend of Elizabeth Bathory. The game offers a slightly alternate version of history for the countess, mixing in magic and ghosts. The story tries to paint Bathory in a better light and doesnít do the best job of it, failing to fully capitalize on the historic horror story. Most of the supporting characters are rather useless and have no personality and the main character is never even given a name. There was one plot twist in the story and even that wasnít enough to keep me fully entertained, for a story about a bloody countess things were overall very tame.

A weak story I can tolerate but bad gameplay is hard to look past. This is a hidden object adventure game. As you walk around youíll be met with hidden object scenes where youíre given a list of items to find in a jumbled mess. First issue, there arenít enough scenes. Second, a personal peeve of mine, the list only shows four items at a time not all at once. Third, youíll be playing the few amount of scenes repeatedly to find important items but also to collect gold. Why gold? To buy hints of course! Or to instantly charge your skip button during a mini game. While I find these veiled microtransactions annoying theyíre not game breaking, what is though is the merchant shop. In the game there is a nice merchant you have to talk to during the story, later on he starts selling goods you can buy with gold. You canít avoid this, you have to buy his items to progress in the story meaning you have to grind hidden object scenes over and over again to collect gold to do so. This gets boring but thankfully, and unfortunately, the scenes are rudimentary as are the very few puzzles in the game. The game offers no map, though youíre only given a small area to move around in anyway, though the arrows donít make this very easy. A quick note, any object in the hidden item scenes that is hidden, like behind a curtain, isnít pointed out so you wonít know that it is behind an extra step unless you click aimlessly.

The one area the game does excel in are visuals, the artwork is beautiful. The game boasts hand-drawn artwork, a lovely thing to see in the digital age. The colors are bright when need be but the game still manages to look unsettling as well. The characters are well-drawn and while the animation is limited it doesnít hurt the game, I was actually relieved that there wasnít much animation when characters spoke because it often makes them look lifeless. However, I found that certain items in the hidden object scenes werenít always easy to find due to their colors blending in too well with the background. While rare, it was annoying nonetheless. There is no voice acting in the game at all and while there is music, itís basic and uninspired.

Having read previous reviews I knew not to get my hopes up for Bathory - The Bloody Countess, but what I ended up playing was worse than expected. I beat the game in under two hours and there is no bonus content at all. The game has good ideas but theyíre not implemented well. Collecting gold could have been done in a fun way instead of being repetitive in nature, items bought with gold could have been bonuses in the game or even bonus content but this didnít happen either. There arenít many puzzles and theyíre very easy so there is little to help break up the monotony of this title. While this title has Steam trading cards there are no achievements and overall what you get is a promising idea that falls short of what it could have been. Grab on sale or avoid, this is too easy for veterans of the genre, nor something Iíd recommend to new players.

2/5

Usagi's avatar
Community review by Usagi (March 11, 2017)

Read my reviews here or via Lunar Productions

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