Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death by Salix Games and Tea Clipper Games
Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death is a point-and-click adventure game set in Victorian London, where it follows the exploits of its titular characters as they investigate the infamous Ripper murders. With a star-studded, fully-voiced cast and a narrative laced with references to historical and mythological events, Du Lac & Fey follows all of the traditions of the genre while striving to tell its own tale with style.
Du Lac & Fey opens with the eponymous characters dealing with a demonic force near their home. After a short investigation, they are led on a quest to the primary setting, London, to pursue their goal of finding an old friend and freeing Fey from the curse that has trapped her in canine form. On the way, they get caught up in the troubles of the locals and find themselves dealing with the horrific murders committed by the Ripper.
Du Lac and Fey themselves make for strong central characters; we quickly learn their true identities – Lancelot Du Lac and Morgan Le Fay, respectively – and they make for a bemusing pairing. Du Lac’s noble intentions and uptight attitudes often clash with Fey’s pragmatic self-interest in amusing ways.
Voices that Speak, Settings that Sing
Both are voiced superbly by Gareth David-Lloyd and Perdita Weeks, known for their work in Dragon Age and Penny Dreadful. They are joined by a third playable character, Mary Kelly, who is given wonderful personality by Alexandra Roach.
With so much focus on the impressive voice cast, it would be easy to overlook the exceptional world-building of Du Lac & Fey. Special attention has been given to replicating historical locations in London, and the developers claim to have dedicated considerable research to this task.
I can certainly vouch for the beautifully realized settings. From cozy pubs to haunting churches, the world art here is striking. Gentle music infuses these places with atmosphere and helps to carry the often dark tone of the narrative.
The title characters are also put to good use in the puzzle and investigation aspects of the game. Fey, being a dog, can converse with other animals to often amusing results, whereas Du Lac’s obvious advantages as a human serve the more traditional role of keeping notes and interacting directly with most other human characters. A sizeable portion of the story is also spent with Mary as she pursues her own investigations.
Point and Click and Plod
With so much attention given to the voice acting, aesthetics, and narrative, it’s a shame that some aspects of the game are let down on a more mechanical level.
Moving characters around environments can be an exercise in frustration as they inefficiently navigate obstacles and move at a plodding pace. This latter point, while a quality of the genre itself, is rather pronounced in Du Lac & Fey, and it can become tiresome when retreading old ground.
Another odd occurrence is the presence of 2D characters padding out the 3D population in crowded areas; both types of character art look great, but their presence together is a little jarring. These are all quibbles, but it’s a shame they produce a sense of uneven design quality in an otherwise excellent adventure.
Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death is an engrossing and atmospheric adventure game with a charming cast of characters that enrich one another through their differences. The environments are beautiful and the story itself is an engrossing investigation made more potent by its links with historical events and characters. Du Lac & Fey is easy to recommend for fans of point-and-click adventures looking to get lost in late 19th-century London.
Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death is available via the Nintendo Store, Sony PlayStation Store, Microsoft Xbox Store, and Steam.
Watch the trailer for Du Lac & Fey: Dance of Death below: