ferry;;sadhonker;;adams;;sexy brutale;;casino;;time;;adventure;;puzzle;;tequila works;;cavalier Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams


By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on April 12, 2017

Have you ever had one of those days that just never seems to end? Well, I have! And, on top of it all, people around me are dropping like flies. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is something very wrong with this mansion! The owner is an intriguing man called "The Marquis". This gentleman has invited a selection of guests to a big masked ball in his mansion-turned-casino: The Sexy Brutale. The first problem is that The Marquis himself seems to be missing from the party. The second problem is the mansion's staff have turned this party into one big murder party and the guests are entertainment... So yes, you could say that I've had a very strange and troubling day up till now...

...Who am I? Oh, I'm very sorry; I completely forgot to introduce myself! I am Lafcadio Boone; priest and also a guest at this grizzly death trap of a casino. Currently, I'm trying not to get caught, while at the same time trying to save my fellow guests and unraveling the mystery of The Sexy Brutale!

Now, I don't know about you, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, but I would definitely NOT want to be this guy! Coincidentally, this guy is exactly who we will be when we play The Sexy Brutale: a time-looping adventure co-production developed by Spanish game studio Tequila Works and British developer Cavalier Game Studios. The basic principle of The Sexy Brutale couldn't be simpler: The guests at the mansion are being murdered by the staff. It's up to you to sneak, watch and learn and save the unfortunate victims before they meet their untimely deaths. To do this, Lafcadio can open doors, peek through keyholes, pick up and use items and interact with objects in the environment.

So, how do we go about saving the innocent? Well, apart from the obvious use of Lafcadio's abilities listed above, Tequila Works and Cavalier Game Studios added one final and exciting ingredient to the mix. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where a simple concept turns somewhat tricky: we reset the day! Yes, yes, you heard me right: we reset the day. Do you remember a movie called Groundhog Day? Like that, but much darker and with a lot more murders. Just like Bill Murray in that movie, Lafcadio Boone can remember everything that has happened before the day is reset, but can't take any objects with him when he starts over again and again... and again... and again... Okay, you get the picture! As we meet Lafcadio, he awakes in his room and is greeted by a strange woman that seems to be made out of a blood-like substance. She grants him to remain unseen for a short period of time, as long as he keeps his mask on. She also gives him a mystical pocket watch that grants him the power to reset the day to 12 PM at will. At first, this watch will reset the day automatically at 5 PM, so Lafcadio will have to move quickly if he wants to save the first murder victim: Reginald Sixpence.

After managing to save Mr. Sixpence, the pocket watch is fixed and Lafcadio will have even more control over time. For instance, he can now use the clocks in the mansion to jump forward to either 4 PM or 8 PM and the day no longer automatically resets at 5 PM, giving Lafcadio the time he so desperately needs in order to save the rest of the guests. Because everyone in the mansion seems to be controlled by the masks they wear, saving a specific individual makes them remove their mask and frees them from what- or whoever is controlling them. As an added bonus, each mask has a specific power. This power, after saving the wearer of said mask, is added to Lafcadio's own mask, increasing his abilities and granting him access to other regions of the mansion.

As you make your way through the giant mansion, you discover rooms. After a room is discovered, it is added to your map. So with each new room, your map keeps growing, making it easier to identify certain areas you need to go to save the next victim. Also, you can manipulate the map using the so-called Time Scrubber. As you slide the marker of this device back and forth, you can see the movements of guests you have seen at specific times of the day. This comes in very handy if you want to plan your actions beforehand, so make frequent use of this technique if you want to succesfully thwart the evil machinations that are going on in the mansion!

As you make your way through the mansion, you will notice colored circles. Blue circles are usually points of interest that you might or might not be able to interact with, yellow circles show that there is an object lying around that you can pick up and green circles indicate doors that can be opened. You will also come across red circles, which show you that the door in that location cannot be opened at that time. Lafcadio will have to trail the victims or a member of the staff in order to establish how the murder will take place and then try to stop it from ever happening. In doing so, he will be one step closer to solving the mystery that resides in the heart of the mansion.

Being an elderly priest, Lafcadio can't just barge into a room and roundhouse-kick the killer in the head. He will have to rely on stealth to make his way through the mansion unseen. As mentioned earlier, the power granted him by the bloody woman, will make him invisible for a short duration of time. But if he stays in sight too long, the killer will eventually spot him and it's bye, bye Lafcadio! So, how do you get close to the killers in order to discover valuable information about them and their victims and still remain unseen? Well, by simply applying the technique that has kept generations from getting killed, cowards and smart people alike: you hide!

In Lafcadio's case, this means crawling into big wardrobes that are located throughout many of the rooms in the mansion. Lafcadio can enter the wardrobe and wait for the killer to, unwittingly, provide him with crucial information about how or where the next murder is going to take place. Then after the killer has left the room, Lafcadio emerges from the wardrobe and makes his way around the killer, in hopes of reaching the victim in time to save them. Or, he can take what he has just learned and reset the day, giving him a lot more time to prepare for his current rescue mission.

Pretty early on in the game, your control over time is increased by getting the pocket watch fixed. After this, you will also receive your first winding key. These small keys are used to wind specific clocks throughout the mansion, instantly revealing the entire map for that specific area of the mansion and making that clock your starting point for each day from that moment on. This comes in pretty handy if your next victim is all the way on the other side of the mansion and you only have limited time to save him or her. If you have the appropriate winding key, you just might be able to wind a clock that is much closer to the murder scene, effectively decreasing the time it takes Lafcadio to get there. How's that for time management?!

I must say, playing The Sexy Brutale is a real challenge for the old grey matter. It's not always apparent what to do next or how to reach your objective before it is too late! But if you pay attention to your surroundings and the monologues and dialogs of the various characters you encounter, you can slowly begin piecing the puzzle together and come to a solution that will save yet another innocent soul from an untimely death. Don't despair when you seem to just not be able to save a certain victim. Maybe you are looking at things from the wrong angle? Try a different approach and see what there is to see, hear what there is to hear and learn as much as you can about the movement and death of the person in question and you will be surely solving his or her murder in the end.

Visually, The Sexy Brutale looks absolutely fantastic! The cartoony environments and characters both compliment and offset the dark and gloomy story of the game. At the heart of the game resides an excellent murder mystery, filled with interesting characters, beautiful and mysterious locations, plot twists and, of course, the question of who or what is causing all this to happen. The soundtrack perfectly matches the atmosphere of the game and makes the experience even more immersive than it already is. The puzzles are sublimely constructed and provide a real challenge, even for the most veteran puzzle game fans among us. Trust me, I should know; I am one of them! In short, The Sexy Brutale really is an awesome game! It's beautiful, it's fun, it's truly intriguing; a true testament to puzzle games and murder mysteries at the same time!

Before I leave you, I would like to give you one final tip though; although you might be in a casino, I would recommend against gambling there. Why, I hear you ask? Because, when you gamble at the Sexy Brutale, you might just be gambling with your life...

available on:

Tequila Works & Cavalier Game Studios
April 11, 2017