Vive Le Roi is an indie stealth puzzle game developed by Sylvain Seccia and published by Meridian4. A phone game with a PC release, Vive Le Roi relies on art style more than graphical power to get across the game’s simple but solid mechanics. The sound does its job but the music is repetitive and forgettable. The real meat here is the gameplay, which relies on timing, puzzle solving, and trial-and-error to save the king of France.
The story is delivered in a single small blurb whenever your run the game. You are trying to save the king of France from the guillotine during the French revolution. A game like this doesn’t really need a story, but it’s nice to add the small historical context to tie the theme and gameplay together.
The graphics are simple, well animated, and rely heavily on contrast. The player, other units, and the level itself are all presented in silhouette against a bright, colourful background. The game suffers from a lack of diverse graphical assets. It uses the same background, the same structural style, and the same two enemies, and the same interactable objects on every level. It would have been nice to see a combination of rural, urban, and palatial locations along with unique enemies for each level set.
The lack of graphical variety extends to the sound as well. The music is good and fits the theme well, but it is extremely repetitive. The same goes for enemy sounds and object sounds; a lack of variety in enemies means a lack of variety in enemy sounds.
Now the important part, the gameplay. Vive Le Roi is a stealth based puzzle game. Your character has to traverse the level avoiding guards, which spot you automatically if they turn toward you, using levers, elevators, barrels, ladders, and other tools to move from the left-hand side of the level to the right-hand side and simply touch the guillotine to save the king. The scoring, a 3 star system used by many phone-based puzzle games, is based on how many clicks you needed to use to get to the other side. The game relies entirely on single clicks to move your character and interact with objects, an obvious choice due to it being a phone game. The game requires both puzzle solving logic and timing, some of which can only really be figured out through trial and error. It’s good for a few levels at a time, but there isn’t a lot here to hold my interest or make me want to play the game anywhere but on a bus or the toilet.
In conclusion, Vive Le Roi is pretty standard fare for a phone game. Good for short bursts but not for long plays. The graphics look good, the music is okay, and as long as you’re not playing for more than a few levels at a time you’re not going to notice the lack of variety as much. I would never buy this on PC, but at 3.99 on Android I’d consider it if I was dying to play something. Recommended only for the truly bored, on discount, or for those with a deep love of stealth games, puzzle games, and French revolutionary history.
~~S. W. Jackson~~