February 25, 2021 — As with most rogue-lite games, players fight their way through randomly generated levels while collecting weapons and upgrades. Death is more than common in Curse of the Dead Gods and players must often restart from scratch. Hardly news for those familiar with the genre.
Created in Lyon, France by 12-staff indie-developer Passtech Games, Curse of the Dead Gods does rogue-like a little differently. After about one year in Steam Early Access — a period which brought a massive amount of new content as per community suggestions — all game content including its three main temples is completed and released. Each such temple has its own set of traps, bosses, and enemies, creating a highly varying game experience.
Throughout Curse of the Dead Gods, players carry a torch to light up rooms. This is a novel mechanic that allows players to fight in bright torchlight, which improves armor while weakening enemy stats. Watching baddies ignite each other — courtesy of the torch — is highly rewarding, and players can even cause enemies to set off explosive booby traps.
“Curse of the Dead Gods’ is a compelling rogue-lite offering stylish, comics-like graphics while introducing several interesting play mechanics that allows the game to break away from genre tradition.”
Players on the quest to confront the main boss — the God of Death itself — are likely to become overwhelmed quickly and die due to the aggressive game balancing of the Curse of the Dead Gods. On the contrary, super-responsive combat is more than helpful. Allowing for skillful chain-attacks, which offloads some of the difficulty. Parrying is entirely essential. Also, refill items are about as easy to find as a modern graphics card. In other words, health potion pickups are super-rare. On the upside, there are permanent upgrades that make subsequent post-mortem attempts easier. Upgrades cost either gold, blood, or purity, forcing players to consider each resource carefully.
The massive variety of curses, weapons, buffs, and randomly generated levels create a different experience each time, particularly for hardcore rogue-lite gamers. Likewise, the difficulty is balanced on the right side of challenging. “Death by the torch” is without a doubt a novel — although not new — killer mechanic. For newcomers to the rogue-lite genre, cautiously playing Curse of the Dead Gods is surely the healthiest approach.
Curse of the Dead Gods is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows via Steam and Epic Games Store. Game OST available separately or in a bundle for Windows. Developed by Passtech Games.