Ever fancied your chances at a little vampire hunting? Now’s your chance, with Ascaron’s Dracula: Origin game. You play Professor Van Helsing, in pursuit of the elusive Count on an adventure that takes in Transylvania – of course – as well as Egypt, Austria, Carpathian central and eastern Europe, until you reach the dark home of Dracula himself.
This is a point-and-click game set at an easy pace, more a logic game than stake’em’up – no lightning joystick or keyboard skills are required to find your way through its many and varied levels. All you need is the ability to problem solve and think laterally. And you can’t pass to the next stage until every puzzle is solved, so be prepared to be stuck in one level, scratching your head for days as you grapple with the answer to, for example, a hieroglyphic riddle.
As you wander through some luscious well-decorated sets, you’ll need to collect everything and anything on your way that can be pocketed, like some anti-undead kleptomaniac. You never know when that nail or piece of rope will come in handy later to construct some bizarre door key or trap lever. The uses these props are put to can be really surprising.
Once one level is completed you cannot go back, and it becomes clear that 'your work there is done' when you are allowed to progress to the next stage.
A combination of superbly rendered scenery and eerie background music helps set the gothic mood, even if Van Helsing’s faux-Dutch commentary is a little off target at times. Follower’s of Bram Stoker will enjoy the storylines, though, as the curse that first afflicted the Count is slowly unravelled.
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