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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:Mystery and humour, December 5, 2020
by Wynter (UK)I came to Curses! as a relatively new, but not completely inexperienced, player of IF. I had recently completed Emily Short's rich and beautiful game Bronze, and was looking for a game to fill the gap, one with a fascinating atmosphere and which was long and challenging enough to get my teeth into. Curses! was everything I wanted, and more.
This game manages to combine a sense of awe and wonder with an excellent sense of humour, as a simple search for a map takes you on a journey through time and space, through the mysteries of the Tarot pack and of ancient Egypt, and into heaven and hell themselves, with the odd joke thrown in. The puzzles are good enough to get your brain going, and I was often proud of myself for figuring out some which were at first glance far too difficult. Whenever the going got a bit too tough, I consulted Russ Bryan's excellent walkthrough until I could progress further.
As some other reviewers have noted, some of the puzzles are very difficult, and others require some strange actions or choices of verb. I advise playing in 'long' mode, and noting that you can speak to characters (or non-human entities) by typing their name followed by a comma, and then what you want to say: e.g. 'Jemima, hello'. Examine everything, and try pushing and pulling things. Occasionally you will need to watch the actions of other characters, and imitate them. Although the game is huge, often you will find that the item you need is not far away from the puzzle it exists to solve.
I began Curses! shortly before the Coronavirus lockdown of spring 2020 and can honestly say that it kept me well occupied during this unexpected rise in alone time at home. If you like satisfying puzzles, ancient mysteries, classical civilisation, T. S. Eliot, slider puzzles, or cats, and don't mind consulting a walkthrough, then this is a game for you.
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