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Vive Le Roi review - A frustrating stealth puzzler


For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Not quite revolutionary

Product: Vive Le Roi | Format: iPhone | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
 
Set during the days of the French Revolution, Vive Le Roi makes sure the stakes are high.

In this stealth puzzler, being seen means a poor civilian loses his head to the guillotine, the heavy blade separating head from neck in a splash of red.

If only the actual gameplay was as tense and effective as that consequence for failure.

For the people

As a young revolutionary, your goal is to navigate the ladders, tunnels, and platforms to reach captured rebels, dodging enemies through carefully-timed movement.

Stealth here is a matter of line of sight, watching enemy patrols so you can move at the right time, or pulling a lever and then hiding before the enemy arrives to examine the spot.



This aspect is where Vive Le Roi's strengths lie, building upon its pool of puzzle elements and dangers in increasingly challenging ways.

Like the most effective puzzlers, levels will subtly alter design in ways that introduce tricky wrinkles and force you to carefully consider solutions.

While simply climbing a ladder at the right time works in one level, another might include a switch or additional lever that requires a new path. Luck won't help you in Vive Le Roi.

Heads Will Roll

Unfortunately, the tap to move controls only diminish that design, hurting movement in a game where precision is needed to succeed.

Being seen by a single enemy will result in failure, so Vive Le Roi can quickly become a frustrating cycle of trial error.

Alongside those elements of frustration, Vive Le Roi's aesthetic doesn't do much to make up for the weak gameplay. While the silhouetted style is reminsicent of Limbo, the presentation here only comes across as bland and muted.

And that's coupled with repetitive animations and simple level design. The game barely evolves beyond the gated towers, rickety platforms, and ladders of the first stages, making Vive Le Roi feel quite same-y throughout.



Vive Le Roi's stealth-based puzzling offers enjoyable variety, but the simplistic style and frustrating design keeps it from being something special.
 
Vive Le Roi review - A frustrating stealth puzzler
Reviewer photo
Christian Valentin | 10 April 2017
Varied puzzles aren't enough to overcome Vive Le Roi's basic style and sense of trial and error
 
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