The first thing you'll notice about Curse is that it contains no text whatsoever. This is a brave move on the programming front as part of the charm for the greatest adventure game of all time was the humorous lines of dialogue.
In this, you take control of a young chap answering to the name of Brad. The believable story goes that he was playing baseball one day when he suddenly got whisked off to another world ruled over by an evil witch.
Right from the word go this adventure is pure class. The graphics are tremendous - all of the backgrounds began life as real paintings on canvas. The 32 colour representations of these are very atmospheric and look sensational.
Control is by mouse and, to begin with, you can select either joystick or keyboard which gives the game the feel of an arcade adventure, but the game doesn't actually change in the slightest.
The pointer is moved around the screen and clicking anywhere with the left button will make Brad wonder over to that point. If there is anything in the way, he'll automatically walk around it and clicking the right button will call up the menu of options.
From this menu you can make Brad perform his various moves and actions such as collecting and linking objects together , You can talk to people also but instead of text you'll get a little bit of speech so you know what has happened. Unlike most other adventures, there are plenty of action moves which our hero can perform.
Brad can be told to jump over or off platforms. You can be as violent as possible with the attack icon -however Core have assured me that there is no bloodshed in the game whatsoever so that younger children con also enjoy the product.
As for sound, everything is excellent. I've already mentioned the speech (of which there is a large amount), but there are also lots of excellent spot effects to feast your ears on. The various spot effects have been sampled and there is full evidence of the use of all the Amiga's memory.
The Valley of the Lost is one section which is superb to look at -the backgrounds are a surrealist's dream, consisting of large piles of cars and a strange bunch of slugs standing on stage entertaining the crowd with their music. The artists really have excelled themselves with this one - I don't think we'll see graphics this impressive for a very long time.
On the whole, the humour in the game is second to none. If you were a big fan of the silliness in the Monkey Island games then this will delight you and tickle your funny bone at various stages.
This is enhanced by the fact that a number of the sprites are definitely cartoony in appearance. Loads of the animations will leave you chuckling quietly to yourself. However, don't go away thinking that this game is pure comedy, because it isn't.
The difficulty level of the puzzles has been set just right with some being fairly easy and others requiring a fair bit of thought to work out. The length of time it takes you to complete the game will probably be close to two or three months of solid playing.
Most of the puzzles in- volve Brad using the objects that he takes (or granted, being a modern day hero and all that! The items you can find include rubber gloves, paper clips and music tapes.
One of the major problems with Monkey 2 was the disk accessing and swapping. Curse of Enchantia has none of this - sure it comes on seven disks, one of which is the boot disk, but there is none of this "insert disk seven, insert disk one then insert disk two" between screens which admittedly was the only real problem with Monkey Island 2.
Large sections of the game are loaded into the memory at once so you can exit a screen and not have to wait while the next one loads, something which come as a bit of a relief, I can tell you!
The only problem I can detect is the price. Thirty-five quid is a lot of money for a game. Still it is cheaper, better looking and more accessible than Monkey 2 and for these reasons alone is well worth hunting out and investing in.
Enchantia appears to be a well-made and cleverly constructed package. The no-text Interface works well, making the game appealing to those gamers who normally run In the opposite direction to adventures. The same can be said for the joystick control option which makes certain sections of the game requiring fast movements easier and less annoying to play. All in all Curse of Enchantia comes across as flawless. I can safely say this is easily the best adventure game on the Amiga to date.
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