February 5, 2015

Dracula's Secret

Corel Corporation, 1996

I had been playing all type of adventure games especially made for kids, but always avoiding spooky games until I played Dracula's Secret, which is based on twentieth century's most feared character, Bram Stoker's Count Dracula. Since the game is targeted towards young gamers there is nothing much to be feared of, instead the game briefly introduces kids to many other famous scary characters and monsters in a humorous way including Tim Burton's Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow, who wants a head for his body in this game.

When the game starts, Count Dracula invites you to his castle in Transylvania to explore it and find items comprising his Coat of Arm in order to reveal Dracula's hidden secret. You start the game by selecting one of three difficulty levels and your first problem is to explore the surroundings of the castle in order to gain excess to the castle. A vulture follows you in every screen as you explore the surrounding, solve puzzles, gather inventory items and help creepy critters and monsters with what they need before they allow you passage to the castle.

Once inside the castle, there are many more cartoon-like monsters, which will create difficulties and problems for you to overcome and solve. Most of the puzzles and problems are very logical that comprise of mazes, sliding tile puzzles, picture puzzle and also some inventory based puzzles, where you use an inventory item on a thing or creature to gain excess to another item or passage.

The game runs in first-person perspective and flaunts colorful and breathtaking graphics and animations. Control interface is point and click with all option icons displayed in the lower part of the screen and clicking objects in each screen animates and provides you either a hint or an inventory object. In every screen Count Dracula diabolically amuses you with his taunts and curses when you solve a problem or overcome a hurdle, but sometime serves you with hints to solve a problem. Even though the game unfortunately lacks subtitles or any sort of text, I would highly recommend it to all the young fans of adventure genre.