5 essential The Council tips to know before you play

Being a guest at a fancy party is bad enough without throwing a missing mother and being confined to an island into the mix. While you’re trying to figure out just how canapes can get so tiny there’s the ever-present possibility that a critical clue about your mum’s whereabouts could worm its way out of George Washington’s mouth. Ok, maybe not in real life, but in The Council you’ll have to stay on your toes if you want to find out what’s happened to mummy dearest. To get the upper hand you’ll need to keep your wits about you, but knowing the game inside out certainly doesn’t hurt either, so to help you on your way here’s all the things I wish I knew before I stepped into the mysterious world of The Council. 

Save your effort points for conversation

Lord Mortimer certainly has cash to spare, as his luxuriously-decorated mansion indicates. I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to peer into all those tiny locked boxes he has dotted on various tables, but to break into one you’ll need to use effort points. Trust me: it’s really not worth it. Inside will probably be some Royal Jelly or Devil’s Thorn. Those effort points are put to better use during conversation to reveal a critical bit of information. The chats you have are time-sensitive and are the only chance you’ll get to uncover something key to finding your mother so...yeah, they’re a little bit more important than some sweet-tasting bee product. 

If in doubt during Opportunities, click on the nearest face

Every now and again an Opportunity will pop up, where you’re given a (very) short amount of time - literally seconds - to spot something suspicious about the scene in front of you. Knowing just what on one hand is a critical clue and on the other could just be someone looking vaguely uncomfortable because of questionable facial animation is tricky. So, if in doubt, click the face of the character you think is acting the most suspicious in the previous cutscene. Louis will often subsequently comment on their behaviour and you’ll succeed the Opportunity. 

Search for items in the mansion

It’s tempting to run straight to the next bit of intrigue, but when you’re making your way through Mortimer’s mansion don’t forget to keep those eyes peeled. Tucked away on coffee tables and cabinets are precious resources that’ll help you in your next encounter. Royal Jelly in particular is exceedingly useful as it can restore effort points, which you’ll need in order to use your special skills. Spot it hiding away by keeping an eye out for pinpricks of light that indicate something handy is sequestered nearby. 

Use too much Royal Jelly and you’ll get a negative effect

That amber-coloured substance is brilliant for giving you back effort points, but don’t go overboard. Consume too much of it and you’ll have to endure some negative status effects, like having one less effort point to use or not being able to see how long you have to complete Opportunities. Not good. So take it easy on glugging that Royal Jelly, ok?

Check your character manual 

During your not-so-innocent chats with the other guests on Mortimer’s island you’ll find out what approaches they’re immune and vulnerable to. Like the eminent George Washington, who’s immune to any leading remarks about politics because it’s his job to keep those kind of secrets close to his chest. Don’t forget to go to the menu and navigate to the character page in order to remind yourself of the best approach to use for each guest, as it’s easy to get them mixed up. And the last thing you want to do is try to to humiliate the Duchess when really she couldn’t care less how insulting you were. 

Zoe Delahunty-Light

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.