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Curse (PC) artwork

Curse (PC) review

"The CURSED middle ground"

Just in time for Halloween, it's Curse. A point and click adventure you should maybe buy? But for the length, price, and rage inducing, I can't say yes. I feel like saying no isn't right either, but it's not a yes.

The sad thing is, Curse has a lot going for it. While the story is slightly cliched, it starts off strong and it's actually kind of pretty. It's going to remind you of a lot of nostalgic games you played as a kid. It's not too easy, it has a slow creepy and WOW THAT'S DISTURBING WHO CAME UP WITH THIS! factor, and an approach that I do actually like.

Really. I should be praising it. There's a minor combat system in a point and click game! But it's actually difficult even on easy mode and severely spanks you for not getting it right the first time, then forces you to replay that slow action that led up to the combat over and over again until you pick route one, two, or three and get lucky to shine the flashlight on the ghost. It's pure luck and if you guess wrong or lift your finger off the spacebar too slowly/quickly, you're dead and it's START AGAIN FROM MUNDANE AND SLOW ACTION.

Curse (PC) image

This has led to at least four extra hours of playing time and no, that's not an angry exaggeration. I really wanted to enjoy that because combat, even if minor, in a point and click is pretty awesome and while it's not perfect, that's a pretty nice try. Just punishing me so severely for not getting it right feels like a kick to my stomach. When you get lucky enough to zap the ghost, they are disabled in a brilliant display of green fire and you feel pretty great about yourself.

Again, if you got lucky enough to zap them.

Then there's a bit of a disappointment that we have two "main baddies" to banish. There's a pretty interesting storyline and after you conquer the one in the first half, the one in the second half hardly matches up to the first one. Admittedly, a lot of video games suffer from this. The point is to hook you because you're probably going to stop playing after you get so far in the first half. It starts of amazingly strong and the storyline does keep you clicking around going "BUT WHAT NEXT? TELL ME. TELL ME!"

It's not a let down at all that things aren't what they seem in the "Blood Manor". It's more that you're honestly wishing there was more to it and there just isn't as much there as you hoped. Especially since the regular price of the game (even if I got it on sale) makes me think I'm getting a little more. I was hoping for more than two (three-ish) ghosts. If this house is that haunted, I was hoping to make contact with more than just what I made contact with. There's a lot more hinted in story that happens and I was just hoping to see a little more.

Curse (PC) image

Curse also has this ugly illusion of choice. Sometimes you get to investigate on your own...but only what the game illuminates for you to investigate. You get the option to not 'read' certain items and this will keep you from being attacked by the ghosts in the house, but that's not really a choice. Truthfully, the biggest choice I got to make in the game was left or right. And then everything else was YOU MUST CHECK EVERYTHING ONE BY ONE AND ONLY WHAT WE SAY YOU CAN LOOK AT. It felt very, very painful to do that. You can't even make your character go backwards to double check something. It's ridiculous.

There is the minor issue with the options. I can't mess with my mouse options, which is all over the place in this game. Listen, my mouse isn't this sensitive on my regular screen. How come I'm metaphorically sneezing here and it's going bonkers? You need to give me some more options here other than fullscreen/windowed and to change the dimensions. You really need to do a little more here for me. I can't be the only one swearing when a game does this.

There's also an odd imbalance to the "jumpscares" from the first and second half of the game. Second half has some silly skeletons under a sheet that made me giggle and yell spoopy while the first half of the game made me feel very upset and emotionally attached to a ghost trying to rip my face off. The pacing just seems weird. It's almost like someone played half way, got offended, and then they decided to done it down with a silly crawling ghost and "spoopy scary skeletons" and "standard covenant with Satan". It's fine, it's just a horror trope and one many are tired of. While I don't care, it's something people are going to hone in on and start shredding to bits...

Curse (PC) image

Let's look at some strong points here. Say we try to look at Curse as a haunted house simulator without too much key collecting. Mission accomplished if so. You've got a decent sized house to explore, get a few scares, have things peer at you from outside, and then move on to the next room. Not bad. We've got a virtual ouija board without the threat of inviting demons and great aunt Ethel to come haunt us. Awesome. We have pop culture references to classic Ghost Busters and even a slug at Five Nights at Freddy's. The game also seems to be self aware at general paranormal silliness. There's a lot to like here. The character design also is rather nice when it comes to Mary and Eve. You know...when they aren't dripping blood, throwing scissors, or punching you... Oh and the music is lovely. It matches the feelings of the investigation into the manor. From tense violins to sad music while investigating a child's toybox, you'll notice the music is really nice...

It's just all of those nice points are hard to remember when I'm dying and I have to replay parts over and over again while I'm watching a ghost punch me in the face and hearing the little gagging death noises. It really harshes my vibe. There goes my enjoyment just because of my stupid frustration. That wasn't all that got my goat, so to say...

There's also a few game crashing bugs present. If you try to switch your difficulty after dying to a ghost and restarting your game, that ghosts will not show up except for cutscenes. You cannot play the phonograph in the hall and you cannot progress. If you want to switch difficulties after dying, please exit your game. If you die to a ghost and want to fiddle with options in between, just don't do it and wait until you have a ghost-free moment to do that. You will seemingly bug out your game and need to restart everything. I encountered these bugs more than once.

Curse (PC) image

As standard with my reviews, here's your health hazards. Flashing lightning and other bright lights are not appropriate to those suffering from seizures or those sensitive to quick changes of light. While I suffer from severe migraines and this did not trigger a migraine, this is certainly migraine territory gaming. Game with caution.

Listen, it's not a horrible game and I don't regret it, but I nearly threw my laptop and I'm very tired of doing that. Think about this game long and hard. This is certainly something to get if you really like point and click while feeding your nostalgia monkey on your back. The jumpscares really aren't gonna do it for you if you're a horror diehard. They're not that good and not that convincing. It's a middling game that I really can't find strong feelings for or against.


jamie's avatar
Community review by jamie (October 11, 2017)

Your friendly disabled girly-girl gamer.

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