The Steam page describes Lancelot’s Hangover as “Monkey Island meets Monty Python’s Holy Grail” and that’s exactly what you can expect from this point-and-click adventure: Prepare to scavenge every location for items to then try them out on every possible character in the hopes of achieving videogame logic and drench the entire experience with silly humour straight out of a Monty Python sketch.
You’ll find me using the term “silly” a lot because it’s the most appropriate word to describe almost every aspect of the game. Let’s start with the silly story: You play as Lancelot, the famed knight of the round table, only you’re dressed in nothing but a pink Speedo and you’re tasked by God to:
- Find the Holy Grail
- Invite all the naked girls
- Throw the biggest party England has ever seen
You’ll have to visit a handful of places, in a pretty linear adventure and you’ll meet a lot of silly people. I was happily surprised that Belgium was one of the locations (though it was to be expected as it’s made by one of my countrymen). It’s probably the first time the current King & Queen are present in a videogame and the fact that the real people are probably blissfully unaware that they’re being mocked as soft-served Vikings fills me with joy.
The game is full of references to famous people and locations, with Redemptionland™, a Christian amusement park, in obvious Disney font, the Sword in the Stone visual being a direct tracing of the titular animated movie and Steve Jobs representing the Christian pope who has plans to sell sin-redeeming papers to the gullible peasants.
Let’s first address the visuals & sounds before we move on to the gameplay. The game is all hand-drawn by the developer and it may… not be a style that is to your personal tastes. I know I had to get used to it, but at the same time, it gives the game a lot of authenticity, appropriate for the time period it takes place in even (medieval Europe).
There is no voice-acting, but expect a lot of silly soundtracks and sound effects that were clearly self-recorded. At one point I had to mix my own Smurf drug and I recognised a vacuum cleaner, a coffee-making machine and a blender, among others.
You interact with the world in a typical point-and-click fashion. When there are multiple dialog options to explore, you’ll get to choose them from a menu looking like the one above. You’ll also have an inventory of items and it’s recommended that you try combining them or that you try to interact with the people and objects in the environment. Luckily, you can press the Space bar to highlight all the important ones.
I had a few issues with the logic behind some of the earlier puzzles and even required the aid of a walkthrough, but as you gradually get into the silly mindset of the game, they become more obvious and the latter two-thirds of the adventure felt more straightforward.
I’m not the biggest fan of the User Interface, I must admit. Which requires you to move around without accidentally clicking on highlighted interactibles and even leaving the current map requires you to find the kind-of-hidden exit at the edges of a screen. I feel this could have probably used some keyboard support, moving around with WASD or arrow keys, escaping an area with ESC and so on.
Lancelot’s Hangover is above all, a silly game. It may not be for everyone, but I found myself charmed by the humour.
Note: I found it very hard to score this game, but I’m uniquely positioned to enjoy the Belgian take on European history. If you’re not from Western Europe, many of the winks and nudges may fly over your head and in that case you could probably deduct a point from the final score.
*disclaimer: A Steam review copy was provided by the developer