The Game: The Curse
The Device: Rooted Nook Color
The Price: Currently on sale for $0.99 on Google Play, App Store
The Basics: The Curse is Professor Layton without the charm, animation, or story. That’s not entirely a bad thing, but your enjoyment will be solely based on how much you like puzzles. Tricky, clever puzzles.
The game is styled on a book and by opening it you unwittingly unleashed the Mannequin, a mysterious figure who taunts you every few puzzles with mildly interactive cutscenes. It doesn’t seem like much of a curse but the only way he can be stopped is if you solve all 100 puzzles in the book, freeing you from his non-threatening curse and presumably putting him back inside the book for the next unlucky soul to come acros
The Review: Puzzles! You name a type of puzzle and it’s here, from tanagrams to matching puzzles, even the water-filling puzzle that John McClane and Zeus stumped over in Die Hard With A Vengeance.
Since The Curse is laid out like a book you flip through the pages, each of which contains a brain-teaser. The type of puzzle and difficulty is listed on the page and thankfully you don’t have beat them sequentially. This makes it easy for you to go through and choose the puzzles you enjoy the most, and lets you also give up on one that’s giving you trouble in order to regenerate your brain and try again later. You can jump right to the hardest puzzles in the game if you like, or even the final puzzle, which uses cogs taken from beating all 100 to solve.
If you love puzzle games this is your app. If you love being stumped or trying to suss out the answer to a problem, you need this. Personally I could play games like this all day long. I think myself pretty good at games like this and try to go through them without using hints (which here cost money as IAP) or walkthroughs, but I have to admit that there’s one thing that ruins my life every time I come across one. The culprit? Sliding block puzzles. I have no idea what it is but my brain just can’t get around them, and I inevitably end up sliding the simplest of them so much that it makes it even harder for myself.
But even though the many sliding block puzzles have hurt my stupid brain, there’s so many different things to try here. The later puzzles get incredibly tricky, especially once they make you do something in a certain number of moves or with a time limit. A handful of very clever riddles can become maddening in the best way possible, and you’ll find yourself wanting to slap yourself around the head to figure out some of them.
A great puzzle game for puzzle fans. Nothing more, nothing less.
The Final Grade: B+
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