Review: Curse of the Sea Rats (Nintendo Switch)
A pi-rats life for me.
Curse of the Sea Rats is a 2D platformer adventure in which you play as four different rats who were cursed on a prisoner transportation ship. Your job throughout the game is to defeat enemies on your way to finding the pirate witch who turned you into rats, and rescue the captain’s son from her. All the while, you’ll be leveling up your abilities and helping those around you with small quests.
Set in 1777, Curse of the Sea Rats starts out with the ship of cursed prisoners crashing to the shore due to the chaos. The captain of the ship calls on four prisoners to find his child, Timothy, who was kidnapped by the witch, Flora. He tells them that if they return with both his son, and Flora, he will set them free. Also, Flora also has half of an amulet that holds the power to turn them back into humans. Since the other half was left of the ship, once Flora is captured, the rats will be able to return to their true form.
Curse of the Sea Rats has fairly easy mechanics, and you are given a tutorial in the beginning on how to use them. This is especially helpful for fighting. You move around with the joystick and interact with people and objects by moving it up in front of them. You jump with B, attack with Y, block with A, and use your special attack with X. You can also combine different buttons with each other and the joystick to use different moves. The controls do feel somewhat sluggish, which unfortunately exacerbates the already frustratingly difficult challenge. Expect some rage quitting, but the gameplay is compelling enough to pull you back for more.
There are many different settings in the game, each with its own unique environments and enemies. As you go further into the map, the enemies get stronger and navigation gets a bit more hectic, but the game remains just as fun. Each setting also contains a boss to square off against. The bosses are part of Flora’s crew, and each has its fighting method to figure out in order to defeat it.
The bosses get harder as you play along, but you also are able to level up and upgrade your weapons and abilities to make them easier to fight. Ability upgrades are earned by defeating enemies to gain spiritual energy. You then pay for upgrades with that energy. You can switch between the four characters and upgrade them all. Experience is shared, however, so upgrading everyone (which you’ll want to do) requires a hefty amount of grinding. Enemies also drop gold that you can use to buy different items in the shop. Later in the game, a blacksmith appears and you can talk to him about upgrading your weapons.
Curse of the Sea Rats is an action-packed adventure that’s fun to play and explore, which makes the game very exciting (albeit very frustrating, too). There is never a boring part, as it is constantly challenging you and propelling you forward.