A long while ago I reviewed Tin Man Games’ An Assassin in Orlandes, and I definitely loved it. Now the same developers bring us back to the city of Orlandes with Curse of the Assassin, another choose your own adventure game.
If you haven’t read my previous reviews of these games, then let me give you a small recap on how they’re played: These are text-based adventures, and the particular developer goes all the way out presenting it out to you as an actual, albeit digital, book. The chapters are short because each time you reach an important junction you’re offered a choice of moving or acting a certain way; as such, every time you make a choice you change your fate. The books have various endings, and Curse of the Assassin is no different. Combat, to spice it up, is mixed up a bit with tabletop RPG style by adding a dice – a roll higher or lower than a certain predetermined score will decide your luck.
Like in the previous games, before you dive into the game you’re given a choice of difficulty ranging from classic (with few bookmarks and stats granted by dice rolling), through Adventurer (with two base stats and unlimited bookmarks to retrace your steps), to casual (which allows you to better enjoy the story by providing you unlimited bookmarks, the option to go back, heal yourself not to die, and a button to unlock all choices).
This time around the story continues on from An Assassin in Orlandes. After defeating the last evil, you find yourself going through a patch of good luck, getting higher in your social status… until the strange death of an old friend sends you back adventuring. Though it has various references to the first game, I don’t think it’s truly necessary for you to have played it in order to enjoy the story.
So. What all is different from the first one? For one, the art has improved plenty. I was a lot more into the offered art this time around, both for mythical beasts and humans alike. The writing is still pretty good, but I didn’t enjoy it as much this time around – in some parts where I would have liked to make choices I was not provided those, and some of the ‘chapters’ (or sections, if you will) were a lot longer than in the previous installment… as in turn resulted the entire story. I did rather enjoy that they tempted adding in some romance and giving you a companion through your adventuring, which made it feel a bit less lonely. It also felt like there was plenty more to explore as well as plenty more choices to make, and I do love choices. But there were also a lot more fights too, and those I always find a bit annoying, if only because they can drag a bit with all the dice rolling.
The sounds and music are pretty good, as expected it can get a bit annoying as you play, so in the end I muted it, as I usually do in most games.
Would I recommend this one? Definitely, with a top rating despite the few shortcomings. I would also recommend that, despite not needing it, you play An Assassin in Orlandes first, if only to get your bearings (plus, it’s shorter and you’ll find out if you like these types of games or not with it).