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Curses

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Graham Nelson

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 1995, Graham Nelson

This is the finest work of IF which I have played since Trinity, bar none. Curses is perhaps the most “literate” work of IF to come along in years. I really cannot say enough good things about this game, so you have no choice but to go out right now and get a copy for yourself.

You are an aristocrat who is preparing to go on vacation in Paris. All you want to do is find one lousy tourist map which you KNOW is in the attic somewhere, and then you’re off. Sounds easy, right? As the story unfolds, you’ll find yourself immersed in one hell of an adventure that spans both place and time. You’ll also find numerous puzzles ranging from simple (not many of those) to difficult (lots) and hair-tearingly frustrating, spread across the years from ancient Egypt to the present. And you will find literary allusions, references to historical events and legends, and a family history that literally meanders all over the map, but remains centered about the ancestral Meldrew Hall in England…

Mercifully, Curses manages to be original in its puzzles, which will depend in large part on the history that you can uncover with the help of a few references (some of which are even included in the game). Clues to these puzzles can come from surprising sources, that appear at first to be unrelated. The game’s on-line hint system has been personified in the form of supernatural agencies–alas, the hints present are rather cryptic, and if you can’t figure out a puzzle from the hint, there won’t be any more hints. These agencies also may not recognize some puzzles you want to ask about, which can be frustrating. Release 12 of the game expands its map and puzzles in many ways over previous versions, which makes this game even tougher and more frustrating. If you can beat Curses single-handedly on this version, then you may accredit yourself a most accomplished gamer. If not… Don’t feel bad, almost everyone else had to ask for help. Overall, Curses is a modern masterpiece in IF that is a must play for anyone interested in the genre, especially IF experts. Remember: examine everything, twice!



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