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2 Jul 2023

REVIEW: Curse of the Sea Rats on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Another day, another review, this time Curse of the Sea Rats on Xbox, which is described as a "ratoidvania", basically a platform game with anthropomorphized rats as the main characters.

Everything is hand drawn with 2.5D animation, and looks fantastic, you can tell that a lot of time and love as gone into the animation. Main characters are 2D, with the backgrounds being 3D.

"Embark on the epic journey of four prisoners of the British empire, transformed into rats by the notorious pirate witch, Flora Burn. To regain their human bodies, they will have to fight dangerous bosses, uncover the secrets of the vast Irish coast, and ultimately capture the witch who cursed them."

You start off the game Shipwrecked on the coast of Ireland in the 18th Century, although you started off as prisoners, the captain begs the gang to rescue his captured son. You can choose to play as one of four playable characters, David Douglas (classic sword action), Buffalo Calf (Uses dagger and knives), Bussa (fights with his fists), and Akane Yamakawa (uses a spear). Each character as a unique fighting style and skill set. You can play in solo mode or with friends in a local co-op mode.

Gameplay consists of classic platforming action across a somewhat non-linear world, you will still need to beat certain bosses to progress, with lots of different routes to take, treasures to find, kidnapped children to save, curses to reverse and enemies to beat. As you progress you will be able to teleport back to other areas, and as you level up you can unlock new skills in the skill tree. For example, increasing your hit rate, health bar, new magic powers, double jump, dash and so on.

The levels are well designed, lots to explore, passages to find and so on. As you meet NPCs if you choose to talk to them, they will often give you a side quest to complete, for example something to find and return to them.

All in all, a decent platform game.

The Good
Beautifully designed and animated. Gameplay can be challenging at times, but the more you play and unlock, the easier it becomes.

The Bad
The game is a bit buggy at times, but I am assured that the developers are listening to the players, and fixing things as fast as they can.
Some enemies seem unusually hard until you have levelled up, and upgraded your character, a few shots and you are dead. The balance seems a bit off, and there needs to be more save points, and perhaps difficulty options.

Curse of the Sea Rats on Xbox has a lot of potential, and hopefully after the balancing issues and a few of the other bugs get fixed, this should be a great little platform game for people of all ages.

I score Curse of the Sea Rats on Xbox a fair 7.5/10

Out Now on Xbox

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