Have you ever seen The Omen? And I’m referring to the original movie in particular. Have you ever wanted there to be a game where you could control the little boy and try to not get caught? Something like a stealth murder game? Well, when the original Lucius was released, that was (in essence) what it was. And now the developers, Shiver Games, have created the Lucius Demake.
This is a classic 8-bit style version of the original Lucius, designed to capture the hearts of retro gamers. The question is, does it do that whilst also managing to be a great stealth game? Let’s find out!
Now, the reason I mentioned The Omen is because of the similarities in the premise of that movie and the Lucius Demake game. In short, you are young boy with the powers of the Devil.
In the Lucius Demake, you’re tasked with collecting souls for Lucifer by killing various people in the mansion you live in. However, it’s not as simple as just picking up a knife and stabbing them like in other games with violent storylines. Instead, Lucius Demake is more of a puzzle game, with you having to figure out the right way to carry out the act.
In a sense, it is similar to games like Hitman in this regard. But anyway, the storyline itself revolves around you having to carry out these killings without being caught. Yet at the same time there is an investigation happening within the mansion, making things more difficult for you.
And that’s pretty much the base storyline. It is a simple enough, yet effective, premise and plotline that allows you to get started nice and easy. However, it also is dense and detailed enough that it is intriguing at the same time.
So as I mentioned, as well as the game’s name giving it away, Lucius Demake is an 8-bit style version of the original Lucius. As such, the graphics revolve around pixel-based sprites in a 2D environment. It is highly reminiscent of the old NES games, and is done really well.
On top of that, there are cutscenes that involve static images with storyline text appearing either over a background or underneath those static images. Conversations also take place using speech bubbles that contain static images of the people talking. All of these images, for the 8-bit style used, are really well detailed. In fact, some of the death cutscenes are actually pretty graphic, as shown below.
In that particular scene, I had just caused a piano to collapse on top of the janitor. So yeah, it is a pretty graphic game, and definitely not one to play when your kids are around.
As for the way the game looks when you are actually in control, it is along the lines of the old Final Fantasy games. The pixel characters are all easy to distinguish, and the level design is easy to navigate without feeling simplistic.
All in all, I think Shiver Games have done a great job in capturing the classic, retro style graphics and art direction, without it hindering the game in any way.
Okay, so at the heart of Lucius Demake, it is actually a puzzle game. Yes, the puzzles involve finding ways to kill people, but they are interesting and do get you thinking. Especially because the correct answer certainly isn’t always the most obvious.
For example, in the aforementioned piano kill, it actually took me a few minutes to work out what to do. And that was still very early on in the game!
To help you, you have an inventory to keep track of items, a journal that offers a bit of advice, and even teddy bears around the house that offer tips. On top of all this, you also have powers that you unlock as your continue the story, such as telekinesis.
Various objects around the mansion can be interacted with, such as the cooker used to set the man on fire in the screenshot above.
Controls themselves depend on what platform you play the game on; you can get it on PC through Steam or on Android phones and tablets through Google Play. On PC, it uses the standard WASD movement keys, and makes use of a limited number of keys to interact with the world. This makes it really easy to pick up and get into.
On Android, the touch controls take a little bit of getting used to, especially when travelling around the house at night using the flashlight. However, it’s not that difficult and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, the game plays very well on Android.
It’s worth noting that I’d recommend playing on a tablet because of the bigger screen. However, it is still good on my Samsung Galaxy S6 as well.
And That’s All Folks
The Lucius Demake aims to be a fun yet challenging puzzle game with a heavy dose of stealth, whilst also capturing the art style and nostalgia of 8-bit games. Well, it definitely succeeds on all fronts.
It is both challenging without being so difficult that it would put off newcomers to the genre. The storyline is intriguing, yet not unnecessarily complicated. All in all, I am impressed with that the team at Shiver Games have managed to do with Lucius Demake and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a very different type of puzzle game to wrap their head around.