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Curses!

by Graham Nelson

Haunted House/Historical/Travel/Time Travel
1993

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(42)
4 star:
(31)
3 star:
(16)
2 star:
(7)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 97
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- Zape (Virginia Beach Virginia), October 17, 2017

- ifMUD_Olly (Montana, USA), April 21, 2017

- Mike Spivey, February 26, 2017

- Greg (Los Angeles, California), February 11, 2017

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Stuck and rage quitting, December 6, 2016
by piffling-paka (State College, Pennsylvania)
I really enjoyed the game in the beginning. Sure, I got stuck almost immediately, but I pulled up a walkthrough to get a general idea of what I was supposed to do. I made my way through a large chunk of the game, while writing down important pieces information and hand-drawing maps. I was starting to feel good until I got stuck again. I then realized I'm messed something up ~15 save files ago. Never would have guessed it was a mistake.

Well, I went back and fixed my error, but when the same thing happened again I packed up all my notes and maps and moved onto another game. I didn't want to follow a walkthrough word-for-word, but it felt like that was the only way I was ever going to finish.

Perhaps I'm simply not experienced or patient enough, but this just isn't a good game for me.

- JcmMike, September 20, 2016

- miren, July 25, 2016

- NinaS, July 3, 2016

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Not for the beginner..., June 8, 2016
I am a seasoned veteran, having played most of the old Infocom games during my teenage and into my 20s(I am now 46). So, I went into this game thinking that it would be an easy one, thinking that I would 'whip' it in only a matter of days. It took me almost 3 weeks. The game is incredibly intricate, covers a lot of territory. I would not recommend it to a beginner, the Zork series is difficult enough--in Zork, you have only ONE wand(which is not even yours), in Curses!, there are more than TEN! This game also has teleportation, time travel to various places, the obligatory maze, plenty of NPCs. There were a couple of places where I had to start over, because I had missed an object irrevocably---I was in the kind of space that most IFers dread, where you flounder about, wondering what to do next and get this strange feeling that you had missed something, then finally give in and consult the walkthrough, only to find out that you were really to supposed to take X or do Y while you were in Z location and time(in addition to doing what you DID do), when you thought you were done with that area(and, of course, there's no way of going back). Yes, there were a couple of places in this game where I thought it wasn't being 'fair' in its description of the place or clear as to what was to be accomplished in this or that area, and if you are not accustomed to examining EVERY object, or searching EVERY possible place, and mapping EVERY accessible passage and room, you might get stuck. There were a few objects that were hidden in places that were not prominently or directly referred to in the room descriptions. Also, I think something must be said about the sequence in which the various areas(and there are many) in this game are played and solved--some must be solved before others and there is at least one that must be completed during your first--and only--visit. With all that said, I had fun with this game. I am a veteran, so while I was a little frustrated with the inconveniences mentioned, I must admit that they are par for the course in games like this and the author, if asked about them, would probably just say, 'That's life! It's part of the challenge!' I had fun with the hint system built into the game(and the reader will understand what I mean when s/he encounters it). In fact, I would advise any player, new or experienced, to save the game very often, at every new discovery, and use the hint system to 'the max', by saving his/her position near where the hints are being offered(which is easily worked out). Again, this is a big game, with many fronts, puzzles at every turn, especially at the house. A tour-de-force for the experienced IFer.

- Denk, February 21, 2016

- Teaspoon, January 29, 2016

- Snave, January 11, 2016

- Janice M. Eisen (Portland, Oregon), November 15, 2015

- Catalina, November 8, 2015

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Too clever or too smart?, September 28, 2015
Of course, this game is very well written, and there is a lot of findings and innovative ideas, even two imaginary languages have been created, making the gameplay quite unique. There are some humorous comments, there are parts which are very realistic while others are oniric (and sometimes absurd).
Nevertheless, the game greatly suffers from the fact that it is extremely difficult, requiring the help from a walkthrough, and absolutely unfair to the player, up to the point that the author seems to have forgotten that a game (or a novel, or whatever) must not be done for oneself but for others to enjoy. Let me sum up the weakpoints:

* too many puzzles are of the "guess-the-verb" type. Sometimes the verb is common, but the action is absurd. Some examples are (Spoiler - click to show)go port, say time, say yellow, turn noise, tighten the skull, push cat to, jump, wave branch, blow whistle, "hole,!go west", etc
* the command "look at" is poorly implemented ("you see nothing special about...") where it could have been used to give a small hint to the player and make the game a lot more enjoyable. This is also the case for other commands and objects, as explained in another review of this game on this website.
* the order in which you visit locations is vital. If you visit them in the wrong order you can get stuck without knowing it! The problem is that you are not allowed to teleport twice to the same location using the device (Spoiler - click to show)the projector using cards, so you are not free to explore, and guess the solution by some trial-and-error. And there are no clue of what is the right order, or the clues are very obscure.
* some objects are absolutely mandatory to finish the game, but these objects must also be magically converted at some point to other objects(Spoiler - click to show)(rods). The problem is that they can not be converted back, so you get stuck long after having wrongly converted the object, thinking doing right, with the only option to restore a previous saved game.

In conclusion, unless you like twisted and cruel games, and don't bother saving/restoring a hundred times and restarting from the beginning several times, don't play this game!

The quintessential interactive fiction game, April 5, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours
Curses is the first game I think of when I think of interactive fiction, together with Anchorhead. Sprawling, light-hearted, with a compelling backstory and cast of supporting characters.

For me, the beauty of the game is in the development of the plot, with a continually increasing sense of wonder. Another wonderful aspect is the open sandbox feel; this is a very non-linear game.

Although the game is very difficult (I've played through it three times, and had to resort to a walkthrough every time), there are so many puzzles that you will still solve quite a few on your own. Many puzzles have multiple solutions, or can be bypassed completely.

*Amusing things: There are three characters that have interesting reactions to all ten of the (Spoiler - click to show)rods. Those characters are (Spoiler - click to show)yourself, the knight, and Austin.

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- prevtenet (Texas), January 27, 2015

- morlock, January 14, 2015

- Floating Info, January 5, 2015

- BlitzWithGuns, August 4, 2014

- Jason McIntosh (Boston), April 15, 2014

- shornet (Bucharest), March 23, 2014

- Deychrome, March 20, 2014

- namekuseijin (anywhere but home), February 4, 2014


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