Cursed Tomb (Zbigniew Ross / Protovision)
Game title: Cursed Tomb
Game description: Cursed Tomb is an action puzzle game that sees you take control of an archeological explorer as you navigate your way through ancient graves of unknown origins in order to collect the treasure it contains within. The game is presented with a top down view that only partially reveals each level's layout on screen at any given time. Controlling our little explorer is pretty straight forward as you simply push the joystick in the direction you want him to move but take note that he won't stop moving until he runs into an obstacle. The overall objective of each level is to follow the treasure trail and reach the exit before the timer runs out. Each level has a minimum number of treasure that must be collected before the exit becomes unlocked - so don’t think you can take too many shortcuts when trying to complete a level. As you explore each of the 75 different labyrinth levels, you will find that most of them will contain many different types of hazards for you to contend with. Along the way you will find travel lifts, springboards and teleport devices to help you navigate around safely. But to survive, you will need to be smart and be careful about where you move. Even sometimes taking a leap of faith in the direction you take.
Production - 68%
Fun - 82%
Depth - 89%
Cursed Tomb is a game that surprised me with its playability. I wasn’t expecting much but once I got stuck into the game I was quickly hooked. The game presentation is somewhat simple and I do wish there was more of a narrative during the game to tie the backstory together better but I am impressed with how well the little explorer moves about on screen. At times he gets on such a roll that it can be difficult to keep up with, filling you up with a bit of adrenaline as you strive to reach the exit as there are seconds left on the timer. The SID music soundtrack is suitably atmospheric with its jungle style drumbeats and enhances the gaming experience. The levels are all well designed and none of them are set out in an obtuse way to make completing them a feat of luck. The blend of planning your path ahead and timing your moves works really well. The game is quite accessible on Easy mode but the game flourishes on the Normal setting as one or two errors or delay in movement will often see you falling short in reaching the exit on time. This would usually be frustrating but the game balances this out by giving you three lives, not resetting the jewel count when losing a life and saving progress every few levels, allowing you to start from the later levels you have completed when all your lives run out. Just be warned that Hard mode is extremely tough as there is no room for error at all and your reaction skills are going to be at their optimal levels (some levels feel like they can only be completed by losing one or two lives). But there is a nice little surprise gift for anyone who can tame the Hard mode. Cursed Tomb is one of those odd titles that will have a niche following. It is not a pure arcade game, nor is it a pure puzzle game, it just kind of sits in the middle. I certainly enjoyed the many hours I have spent with the game but it is not going to be for everyone.
User Review( votes)
- Good balance of puzzle and timing elements
- Good logical level designs
- 75 levels
- Save progress
- Surprise reward for finishing Hard mode
- Lack of a story narrative
- Graphics are a little bit on the simple side