Nothing good comes from a curse except maybe a greater appreciation of what life was like before the curse. Get an idea about this from playing Curse of the Sea Rats by Petoons Studio. The is a 2D Metroidvania affair with a pirate theme behind it. You’ve got the platforming basics of running, jumping, and collecting things. There’s an emphasis on combat considering how many enemies and bosses you’ll encounter. There’s also a slight soulslike slant in terms of checkpoints and losing upgrade points. Once you start, it’s rats to you, them, and everything else you find in the game.
What is the Curse of the Sea Rats?
Curse stories typically revolve around the cursed learning some sort of lesson as they try to undo the curse. This is an aspect of Curse of the Sea Rats, but not the main attraction. On a large naval ship, the witch pirate Flora Burn manages to get hold of a powerful amulet and curse everyone aboard the ship, turning them into rats.
She uses this as a diversion to escape with her crew, the Admiral’s son, and half of the amulet. You alone or with others assume the role of one of four prisoners arrested for crimes against the crown. However, the Admiral offers you a full pardon if you rescue his son and maybe bring Flora Burn to justice while you’re at it.
The Light Behind The Curse
Pirates are popular in video games which is why devs need to work hard in order to make their titles stand out. Curse of the Sea Rats manages to do this right at the surface. It promotes a hand-drawn art style and it shows. All the characters and enemies have a sharp yet smooth appearance with lots of details behind their animations. Their movement helps to convey their personalities if their design didn’t already do that. It’s most impressive in the bosses who all have distinct looks and behaviors to them which makes them fun to fight.
Then there’s the whole Metroidvania angle of it all. Like the namesake of the genre, this game has a huge map broken up into various areas for you to explore. You’re able to approach any level and enemy as you wish, the only limitations will be your skills. Of course, you’ll find roadblocks that will push you to find certain items or abilities to feed your sense of exploration. There are even options to get around these obstacles if you only have the patience and perseverance in order to find alternate routes.
The Darkness Of The Sea
Pirates are dark, curses are dark, and the two together can make for a dark experience, especially if the game holds them back. Curse of the Sea Rats makes these topics pretty light-hearted but loses points in the actual game. One of these points involves the loading times. Although the game looks low-maintenance, almost every screen transition comes with a loading screen lasting a few seconds. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but you want to be able to move quickly in a Metroidvania game because of all the backtracking. Because of this, all those loading screens really start to add up.
Oh, and remember those roadblocks I mentioned? Let’s say that you do find a way around a locked door and get the most out of the area. You’ll feel accomplished and then get a Key for the very locked door that was in the way the first time. At this point, the most it can do is unlock a shortcut between two areas that by this point you’ve already explored thoroughly. Considering that, the game could offer a bit more guidance in terms of where to go while still relying on thorough exploration.
Breaking the Curse of the Sea Rats
Curse of the Sea Rats is a 2D Metroidvania solo or co-op game about pirate rats stopping a witch-pirate rat from causing any more chaos. It’s a well-drawn adventure with a pretty open world to tackle as you will. It lacks a degree of guidance in terms of unlocking things which only drags on considering all the loading screens you have to endure. Next time you’re at sea, brace yourself for the curse of the sea rats.