Ceville review

The Good: Stylish cartoon graphics; excellent musical score; strong voice acting; fun comedic dialogue with natural chemistry between characters.
The Bad: Interface is awkward at times; background chatter can be a distraction; rarely laugh-out-loud funny.
Our Verdict: Sometimes it's good to be bad, and Ceville is just such an occasion, with plenty of fun and enough light comedy for gamers of most ages.

After reigning over his land for many years and basking in the glory of outrageous riches and power, the vertically-challenged Ceville has finally been forced out of his castle for his debut adventure, and it’s a good thing for everyone that he has. For Ceville, it means a new opportunity to mischievously humiliate and degrade his former subjects in a bid to regain the throne (all the while having a laugh). For gamers, the appropriately-named Ceville offers a conventional but pleasing blend of comedy, adventure, and just plain fun.

Ceville is set in the land of Faeryanis, a fantasy kingdom long ruled by the greedy little tyrant. He has run the country with a firm hand on law and order as a self-described “undemocratically elected despot”. Inconveniently for Ceville, however, regime change is in the air. The tale begins as Ceville is dispensing “justice” in his own inimitable way. Suddenly, he is interrupted by two of his guards, who announce that Ceville has been removed as king by the citizens of Faeryanis. His replacement is his former confidant Basilius, who plans to rule with an even greater authoritarian hand than Ceville. Naturally, this is not welcome news for a maniacal dictator with a Napoleon complex, so players must embark on the quest to replace him rightfully (or wrongfully) back on the throne.

At the start of the game, the player assumes control of Ceville, doing everything possible to stay out of the clutches of the public mob set to oust him from power. But while Ceville’s list of enemies proves to be taller than the floor-to-ceiling statue of himself that adorns his throne room, he is not forced to make his trek alone. Aiding him is Lilly, a clever, somewhat naïve little girl from Faeryanis who believes Ceville can be reformed and restored to the throne as a compassionate ruler. Players will control a third playable character, Ambrosius, a rather pompous paladin whose opinion of himself far outweighs his actual abilities, for a short time as well. However, the vast majority of time is spent playing as Ceville and Lilly, sometimes simultaneously.

When involved in an adventure with two characters virtually glued at the hip, it is critical that the personalities complement one another. Fortunately, Ceville succeeds in this regard, as the titular anti-hero provides the comic relief with his naughty nature and sly comments, while Lilly displays her compassionate streak and extreme tolerance for Ceville’s self-serving remarks and behavior. Together they have terrific chemistry, and the duo must work together to solve puzzles at times, utilizing each other’s strengths as they explore the lands in and around Faeryanis.

While Ceville certainly offers a different take on the good-guy/bad-guy routine (restoring the evil dictator back on the throne from the even more evil dictator), overall the story is pretty straightforward. Ceville and Lilly find themselves moving through fairly traditional fantasy locations, from the castle’s torture room to dwarf mines to an elven forest, where they encounter a fair number of intentionally silly obstacles in their dealings with fairies, goblins and demons, not to mention the figurative monster of political bureaucracy. Along the way, they’ll meet a wide array of interesting characters, including a chain-smoking black knight, an ex-pirate captain, an environmental-activist elf, and a cat with a black eye patch.

The humor in Ceville stems in part from the title character’s smart remarks and the clever repartee with his young sidekick. However, the supporting characters contribute to the funny dialogue as well, like the two soldiers standing guard at the city gates of Faeryanis – one tall and bulgingly fat, the other short and squat – constantly insulting one another to pass the time. But the comedy also stems from the situational humor, such as when Ceville and Lilly find an elf chained to a tree with a dwarf in a suit operating a tree saw. There are lots of little moments like these, and while Ceville can’t really be characterized as laugh-out-loud funny for the most part, it does succeed in keeping a constant grin on your face while you play.

The game plays like a traditional point-and-click, third-person adventure, with no real interface surprises. Left and right clicks perform all major functions, and the inventory is always visible onscreen for easy access. A quick travel map is introduced at one point, which cuts down on backtracking time, but you’ll want to spend at least a little time watching the stubby-legged Ceville totter around at his double-click run speed, as his gait is truly comical. The only real difference from most adventures is the ability to control multiple characters, though even here, Ceville makes no attempt to reinvent the wheel. It is easy to switch instantly between playable protagonists by simply clicking on their portraits.

The game also includes the welcome hotspot highlight feature, which definitely comes in handy at times. The problem isn’t that objects are hard to see, but the moving camera angles can make it difficult to distinguish one interactive item from another. You may think you’ve pinpointed all the hotspots available, not realizing that you’ve missed something until the screen shifts after moving the character. There were even times when I had to finesse the cursor around an area on the screen in order to pick up an object, even when I knew exactly what I wanted and where it was positioned. It’s not a huge problem, but without resorting to the highlight option, you may find yourself sweeping the cursor in a meticulous fashion, like a metal detector over a portion of land in order to find relevant objects.

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Game Info



Comedy, Fantasy

Realmforge Studios

Game Page »

United Kingdom February 27 2009 Kalypso Media
Digital February 27 2009 Kalypso Media

Where To Buy


Get it DRM-free at

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User Score

Average based on 8 ratings

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About the Author
Patrick Hardy
Staff Writer
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Mar 14, 2009

nice review. I felt “Ceville” could have been a classic if the dialogue was better and had a little more polish - as mentioned the voices were perfectly cast and they really demanded a good script which they unfortunately didn’t get. It’s a solid effort but just lacking those little extra touches that are required to make it really stick out and be memorable. 3.5 / 5 from me but could have been up to 4.5 with a little more effort.

Mar 14, 2009

Very interesting review. I went right ahead and downloaded the demo. And I liked it! In my opinion the review was spot on.
It is nice to play the bad guy for once and laugh when he fails, again!

Mar 16, 2009

i’m glad the game gets the praise here that it deserves. definately the best adventure game i’ve played in a long time for me. and i play them all practically.

Necrosis Thanatos
Apr 5, 2009

I’d like to congratulate Mr. Hardy on his well-written review.  I have not read a review on the internet in such a long time that displays the professionalism seen here.  Correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, along with a clear and coherent style, made this a very pleasant and refreshing read.  Keep up the quality work!

Apr 8, 2009

Ceville was really sluggish on my old computer. But I tried the demo on my new machine and it works really great. I’m excited to play this one.

Apr 9, 2009

I have just finished it….
Make no mistakes about this one….If you are used to play only one adventure in a year consider this one as it is almost a perfect game…
More and more games tend to use two heroes working together to enhance the experience….This game also uses two heroes working together and at some point there will be three heroes working in cooperation to solve puzzles….
This is a fantastic adventure with a potential to be a true classic and without any dull moments….Each comment,,each dialogue each character and each puzzle is full of fun and enjoyment…
On the negative side I had quite a lot of crashes even with the patch applied but luckily the game saves automatically every 5 minutes so no real harm actually been done…

My final Verdict : A strong candidate for Adventure Game of the year 2009…

tsa tsa
Feb 12, 2010

I’m still working on Ceville, but I can already say that this surely is a very strong and good game. However, some of the solutions to problems are quite far-fetched and illogical in my opinion, and at one point even Ceville complained about the endless number of tasks there were to complete a specific job. I need the walkthrough quite often, although I must admit I use it also to be able to quickly see what is going to happen next.

Mar 22, 2010

I enjoyed Ceville at the beginning but after about 5 hours in or so…  I got bored.  I have no idea how far along I got in the game, but I have no urgent desire to pick it back up.  I just didn’t find the locations or characters that interesting or entertaining.  I found the girl companion annoying and wished Ceville was even more rotten.  Ah well, to each their own.

DrFrankenstein DrFrankenstein
Mar 24, 2010

I was also very pleasantly surprised that the US DVD came in eco-friendly insert that doesn’t take much room. Even more impressed that there is no DRM or copy protection on the DVD. There is no need to download a crack in order to play the US version without the DVD in the drive. Now finally here is a publisher who gets it! I am definitely keeping the DVD for my collection.

Clearly a lot of effort has gone into Ceville and the creators should be congratulated rightfully for pulling this one through. The characters are pleasantly cartoonish and well voiced. The only annoyance is that a lot of the characters have been voiced by the same actors and this fact comes through quite readily. Also, Lilly is very underdeveloped soft sidekick to Ceville. She lacks motivation, wits, or character! The game is generally funny. Yet, the writing is not as good as it could have been.

Most of the scenes are great and some are truly inspired. My favorite one is the graveyard, which is appropriately haunting. Also the dwarf executives made me laugh out laud with their corporate ploys. There is some nice camera work and split-scene use. The music ranges from pleasant to great.

For all its goods though Ceville feels a tad undercooked. The loading screens are annoying and there are some bugs and sluggishness overall. As it stands it is a 3.5-4 star product which could have been 4.5 with some polish. Still, it is one of the better current adventures to play!

Jun 22, 2010

I really enjoyed this game. It took a bit of effort to get it working smoothly on my fairly new PC running under Windows 7. If you find the videos aren’t playing properly, try running in windowed mode, it worked for me.
This game is a great cartoon adventure. Maybe not quite up the standards of LucasArts best - Day of the Tentacle, but close enough. The wordplay between Ceville and Lilly is great.
Puzzles, with a couple of minor exceptions are logical and often clever. The only puzzle that was completely illogical was explained in the hints that play during loading - so I didn’t get stuck on it.
Highly recommended - I would give it four and a lhalf stars.

Jun 23, 2010

It’s a great game!! I liked it very much! Excellent story, superb voice-acting, very nice graphics, and funny! MalcolmMac which puzzle do you mean?