But hey, it’s not a complaint, merely a statement of surprise and delight. In Westerado you’ll remember that you can pull your gun out at any time, and the main mission throughout the game is to find the person who brought ruin to your family and their ranch. You do this by finding out visual clues as to who they may be. Lykan pretty much condenses all of that into a single town and has you looking for tells in the citizens as they could actually be a werewolf.
“In a Victorian town plagued by werewolves, you are a lowly werewolf hunter looking to make a name for himself.”
Lykan is very simple to play, but there is complexity to be found, but not with the fingers. While actual input equates to just walking around and charging up your crossbow, most of the work in the game is performed by analysing the screen very intently. You see, it’s the shadows that give away which citizen might be a werewolf, so looking at each one of them to filter out the innocents from the hidden beasts consumes most of your time.
Lurks In The Shadows
Werewolves are scary things, but spotting them in their human form conjures up a concoction of excitement, relief and fear. When this happens, you feel pretty great as you’ve got one over the werewolf before it pounces on its next victim. In Lykan, you’ll see elongated eyes or a tail on the shadows of those that are werewolves. Sometimes you can’t always be sure if a couple of pixels indicate a tail or if it’s just a weird bit of clothing. And there’s also a slight issue in that sometimes the shadows are covered up by a building laying in the fore. Though, when I say “issue,” it’s not necessarily one that is negative. For you as the player it’s an inconvenience as you need to be able to see all of the shadows to determine which one is that of a werewolf’s. But due to this obstruction, there is extra tension caused as you can’t tell whether or not the person just in front of you is one of the hairy beasts or not.
Before even heading into Lykan and sniffing out the pretenders among the crowds, I’d encourage you to check out the other options available to you at the Main Menu. Here you can find how to play the game, but also you can change the game “rules” too. There’s quite the range of options here. How many werewolves, cops and citizens you want in the town, how many hearts you’ll have and whether or not you even want the werewolf clues there to help you – are you mental?! Putting the settings up so that there are loads of werewolves (you can have up to 10), cops and citizens makes for something crazy; there’s just so much for your mind to take in at one time.
“This is small game about hunting werewolves, with a game rules menu where you can tweak the parameters of the game to test your skills or tip the scale in your favor.”
There’s more risk to Lykan than what I’ve let on so far. Sure, werewolves are your concern here, but you have free reign to shoot anyone in the entire town, so there has to some measure to ensure that you don’t just go around shooting everyone. This is what the cops are for – if you shoot a citizen at any time, they’ll all come after you and start beating you up. So it’s not advised that you do that. They’re also handy when a werewolf does pop up as they’ll attempt to chase it down and beat it too. Something else I haven’t discussed but is important to how the game operates is the sound design. Apart from the non-looping music (that always bugs me), what stands out is the howls of the wolves which triggers when they’ve killed one of the town’s citizens. Hearing it usually indicates that you’re nowhere near them, and so you should move position and attempt to find the corpses they leave in their wake.
Problem with these werewolves is that they jump around the map pretty quickly, so often you can be far too late to do anything worthwhile. But tracking down that howl and hopefully a brief glimpse of the werewolf as it comes out of human form to attack is enough to track them down. They will attack you sometimes, and so you can get a few shots off in this time, providing you dodge them (and it’s quite easy to do so), but often they’ll just scarper as soon as you’ve found them out, so it’s back to listening out for the howls, finding corpses and analyzing shadows intently.