Curse of the Dead Gods – Review

Release Date
February 24, 2021
Focus Home Interactive
Passtech Games
PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One
Reviewed on
Review copy provided by
Focus Home Interactive

Curse of the Dead Gods is a new challenge in the arena of roguelite games. A game that relies heavily on its element of surprise, let’s see how it fares as a roguelite game.

Curse of the Dead Gods premise is very simple. You are this explorer who happen to come upon this temple. You try to escape this hellish nightmare as you make your way through the temple and survive the ever changing surprises of each room you enter. Rinse and repeat.

Most of the games in this genre always have that formula of getting in, get out, repeat again. Some other games excel in doing it while some others don’t. I can say Curse of the Dead Gods is in between.

On one hand, it captures the very essence of roguelike games. The ever-changing and random encounters. It does give you a bit of a choice though as you make your way through the temple. While most of the paths are an easy choice, sometimes the easy way out will be your undoing.

The game starts you off by letting you choose which room temples you want to go into. Each of which have their own sets of perils and traps. They are the Jaguar, the Eagle, and the Serpent. Jaguar temples focus on fire traps, Eagle temples focus on wind traps, while the Serpent temples focus on poison traps.

Each room you clear holds a reward based on the room you have chosen. There are several types of rooms to choose from. These are the Gold Room, where your reward at the end is an abundance of gold. The Relic Room, where you get a choice of three relics that will grant you passive abilities to help you in your journey. The Weapons room where you are given a choice of three weapons. The Health Room, where drinking from the fountain of blood will replenish your health but you get curse points. The Upgrade Weapons Room, where you get to upgrade your weapons. The Stats Room, where you choose between stat-altering choices. And finally, the Random Room, where it will be one of the other Rooms randomly selected.

Whenever you are given a choice room, choosing an option can be done by offering either Gold or Blood. Offering Gold is the safe route while offering Blood increase your curse points. Once you max out your curse points, your character then gets a curse. What’s interesting about these curses is that they are not all that bad. The curse you get is always random, and sometimes they can be more of a help to you than a hindrance. This mechanic is very interesting and keeps the game fresh and replayable because you never just know what curse you are getting.

The gameplay is very interesting as well. It’s very fast-paced and reminds me of games like Hades and Diablo. It’s not an easy game at all as the gameplay relies heavily on you being able to dodge or parry perfectly. The more successful you are at dodging and parrying the easier this game will be for you.

I also really love the art and imagery of this game. The colors really match the atmosphere this game gives off. The colors are very vibrant and yet at the same time offer that sinister feel. The light and dark mechanics really works for this game as it forces you to balance between playing it safe and risking it all.

Choosing to hold up your torch means you will have a better chance at seeing the traps and seeing your enemies. Staying in the light also means you will take less damage than being enveloped in darkness. However, the game does provide passive abilities through relics and even through curses that make you powerful even in the dark. It’s a high-risk, high reward game as you you try to manage what is right for your gameplay. The possibilities are endless and knowing when to hold that torch and when to fight in the dark, could be the difference in taking the victory.

Each successful win nets you certain items that you can spend at the beginning of each game. You can spend these items to get blessings, unlock your most favored weapons, or to alter what rewards you get in each room. This also adds to the replayability of the game, as you’d want to grind those items, hoping to make your next run through the temple more doable and increase your chances of winning.

The gameplay really does draw you in, and it can be fun for a while trying to grind for the items and testing out new combinations of weapons and skills. But in the long run, this is all that the game has to offer. It’s lacking a story that you can get hooked to. It doesn’t have that longevity because it is a grind fest to become more powerful in future ones.

I always believe that a good story can make a single-player game become very successful. Unfortunately, that’s what’s lacking in this game. Without any kind of story to look forward to, the more you play the game, the more it feels like it’s becoming a chore. I guess I got spoiled by games like Hades where even after you have won the game, the story never ends. In this game, all you’re trying to do is being able to make it that much further with all the relics and abilities that you are getting.

Overall, Curse of the Dead Gods is a game that perfected the element of surprise and excelled in its functionality and gameplay. But without a heart, which is a good solid story, all it is, is a drop-in drop-out game that you will most likely get tired of and move on to the next game.

Curse of the Dead Gods – Review
Score Definition
We tell you, it’s a good game! It’s not average! It might have some problems here and there, but you have to admit it is a “Good” game.
Action packed and fast paced combat
Beautiful art
A roguelite masterpiece
Lacks a good solid story
Can get repetitive too little too soon