The Cursed Ship has all the makings of a great adventure game or even a movie when it comes to pure potential of story and setup. In fact, if you’ve seen Deep Rising that movie has a lot in common with the setup of this game. You are an investigator, sent out by the Trident Corporation to locate the Ondine, the biggest and most luxurious cruise ship ever built that has gone missing on her maiden voyage. Unlike Deep Rising where pirates and a giant kraken were the enemies of choice, The Cursed Ship has more supernatural shenanigans going on.
Cutoff from the outside world, you’ll discover a mysterious mirror that reveals two parallel worlds that threaten to shatter your concept of reality. As you make your way deck by deck through this massive ship you’ll encounter people and puzzles that all contribute clues to a breathtaking mystery and surprise ending.
As expected, you have the obligatory collection of puzzle games; logic, slider, jigsaw, etc. as well as the pixel-hunting hidden object scenes. These are more devilish in nature as many of the sought-after items are hidden behind or inside other items. This certainly creates a better challenge than most other HOA games; one that might have you clicking on that hint button more than you’d care to admit. As always, various difficulty options dictate the cool-down timer for the hint system as well as sparkly hints on the screen.
The presentation is really strong with a great opening newsreel style movie shot in black and white that leads into the main game that is full of colorful scenes loaded with details, animations, and special effects. There is great music, engaging sound effects, and some surprisingly professional voice acting that really helps to immerse you in this adventure.
The Curse Ship is a rather hefty game compared to a lot of the HOA titles coming out recently. There are more than 100 quests scattered about 66 intriguing locations with more than 40 mini-games and puzzles to solve, so expect to spend 5-8 hours getting to the bottom of this mystery. I was hooked from the opening to the very end and when it comes to HOA games, this is by far one of the better ones I have played this year.