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My CUR Review... A must read :D

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  • My CUR Review... A must read :D

    Curse of Blackmoor Manor

    Hello! And welcome to my 7th review One of the very classic ND games, CUR came out in 2004. It is definitely one of the more dificult games as it has many time consuming, hard puzzles.
    But without further ado, let's get on with the review!

    Nancy travels to jolly ole England to check on her neighbor’s daughter, Linda Penvellyn. Recently married to a British diplomat, Linda is living in Blackmoor Manor, a gigantic fourteenth century mansion haunted with a tragic past. A mysterious illness keeps Linda behind thick bed curtains and she refuses to let anyone see her. You as Nancy Drew must find out what’s really going on in this centuries old mansion before it’s too late for this newlywed.
    So intriguing! The plot & box cover was the reason I wanted this game. So much mystery, and who doesn’t love a haunted mansion? Some might say it’s just like MHM but there’s so much more once you get into the mystery that the two just can’t compare.

    Linda Penvellyn: Linda is Nancy’s neighbor’s daughter who recently married Hugh (the British diplomat) & moved to Blackmoor Manor. She thinks the mansion, it’s tragic past & something else is making her sick. She begs Nancy to figure out what’s wrong so that she can move on & enjoy her married life.
    Other than speaking with her when you first get there & maybe once more, Linda isn’t that much of a “character”. She holds up in her room for the duration of the game & you never get to see her. That was kind of a letdown, but I get that it adds to the mystery.

    Jane Penvellyn: Jane is Hugh’s daughter from his previous marriage & now Linda’s new stepdaughter. She doesn’t feel a connection to Linda & wishes she could return to the US where she enjoyed growing up. Jane loves playing games and is tutored through the day.
    Jane is the character in which you will converse with the most. You will also play many many many games with her as you will need objects to progress the game, like doing a puzzle; you have to play one of many board games with her first. I didn’t care for Jane; she’s the typical spoiled, annoying, bratty child. If she doesn’t get her way she throws a fit, and playing games with her is tedious & becomes old fast.

    Mrs. Drake: Mrs. Drake is Jane’s great aunt. You can find her in the conservatory tending to her plants. She seems upset about the current situation but also acts nonchalant. When asked about witches and curses she scoffs at the idea but she is actually very superstitious.
    Again, there isn’t a ton of interaction with her but an important part includes her. She has somewhat of an attitude & talking with her wasn’t fun or interesting. I feel as though she’s just a filler character & HeR could’ve done better with this particular character.

    Nigel Mookerjee: Nigel is a historian who is cataloging & researching Blackmoor Manor library. He is also interested in writing about the Penvellyn family & their rich history.
    Nigel is very quirky & eccentric, he reminded me of Hotchkiss from TRT. I guess all historian writers are peculiar? Nigel is always in the library, you actually interact with him a little more than the others (minus Jane) and he has you type up notes on his laptop & play a fun typing game! But, he scares easy. If you play the game you know what I mean.

    Ethel Bosinny: Ethel is Jane’s tutor and she takes her job very seriously as her family has been tutoring the Penvellyn’s for centuries! She has a frosty, almost standoffish demeanor (at least one character has to right?!) If you walk by Jane’s room you can hear Ethel’s tutoring sessions.
    Well, it is what it is. We don’t interact with Ethel much either. Of course you’re introduced but other than that and ONE other important scene we hear Ethel more than see her. Again, I feel as though she’s just another filler character. It’s like HeR wanted to make a game purely of puzzles & snooping and just threw in some characters to make it as though you’re not alone in this mansion. Unfortunately, just another not so memorable character.

    Loulou: Loulou is the mansion’s 80 year old parrot who loves cakes & giving hints! Located at the very end of the hallway with all the bedrooms, Loulou is hilarious & definitely livens up this game of semi-absent characters. You get to bake her special cakes & if you’re stuck Loulou is the best parrot to go to! She has great advice ;)
    Whoever thought of Loulou as a character that also gives hints, is a genius… especially if the phone friends aren’t being helpful. Such a good idea, she’s funny, sassy & a help. Unlike the rest of the characters that don’t really give you more than their backstory & opinion of what’s going on. Definitely my favorite but then again I think she’s everyone’s favorite!

    Overall the characters are so-so. Mostly I think, they’re there just to be there, but character interaction is slim to none in this game. My guess is because you have so much to do that you don’t need to talk to the character other than when you first arrive. And some people might like that, in my opinion I like talking to the characters.

    Settings/Graphics: So the setting is a beautiful old fourteenth century mansion in England that unfortunately you don’t get to leave, but not to worry there are plenty of places to explore. We’ve got the conservatory, the library, Jane’s room, Linda’s room, Nancy’s room, and a closet at the end of the hallway near Loulou, an alchemy lab & secret moving rooms! There’s also a kitchen but there was a fire so it’s under construction and you can’t go in it. But, you get to order food from the Boar’s Head Pub where they speak cockney. It’s really very funny to try & understand them. There’s also a ton of astrology in this game which is awesome in my opinion because I LOVE astrology!! The graphics are pretty good considering this game came out in 2004, the characters can be stiff at times but overall the mansion looks real & beautiful!

    Game Play/Puzzles: This game was soooo long. Maybe it was because half the time I was lost from all the puzzles & needed help from hints or just flat out cheats but dang, it took (the first time I played) probably over a week. You get to snoop through some things but not a lot which for people who like to snoop is a letdown. It was easy to maneuver around the mansion & you even take a trip down a fun slide! You also get to go on a ghost hunt which was my favorite part (I think a lot of people’s too). The puzzles were extremely time consuming & difficult. One of the hardest set of puzzles (next to SAW) I’ve ever encountered. Nothing compared to HAU (which I think was a heavy puzzle game). There is a lot of thinking, guessing and trial & error. So if you like a puzzle-riddled game this is perfect for you!

    Scare Factor: Like I’ve said before in other reviews, this game is mainly creepy not scary. A little more creepier than SHA, this game definitely has the feel, pretty much all the time, that someone might be right behind you. There aren’t (that I can remember) any jump out of your seat moments. Oh! Right in the beginning as Nancy is walking up to the mansion is probably the only scary part. When I played it the first time I remember I got goose bumps. So as always, if you scare easy try playing the game around people or during the day

    Music: Ok, so I literally just YouTubed music from this game & I forgot how beautiful it was! Obviously it makes you feel like you’re in an old mansion. It also reminds me of the music in TRT & Avril 14th by Aphex Twin (amazing song, check it out!) It has a beautiful cello piece which really adds to the old-timey feel! Eeeeh! Such a good soundtrack, beautiful! If I was grading this I’d give it 10/10 lol!

    Ending: After all the puzzles & everything you have to do, the ending is pretty 100% predictable. I’ve read other reviews on CUR & I think everyone knew who the culprit was early on in the game. Not to say it wasn’t a good ending, just easy. Another fast paced, you have to do this NOW ending which I think is better than pushing a button & the culprit is caught… I would’ve liked a better intricate ending since the game is so long but that is not what we get.

    Overall: Another ND classic! Not quite in my top 5 because I like games that aren’t so riddled with puzzles, and difficult ones at that. However it is very close and I think one of the most well thought out games, so early on in the series. If you like a fairly longer game, with very difficult puzzles this game is perfect for you! There is one mini-game that’s sort of fun, and there’s plenty to do. You’re always doing something in this game, exploring or snooping. A few cons are playing board games with Jane, trial & error puzzles, the length (these are all just my opinion of course). Pros are ordering food, ghost hunt, going down the slide, exploring & snooping. As I always say, I’d play the game anyway just to experience it firsthand. Reviews only help so much; you have to play the game to really know if you’ll like it. Maybe it’s not for you, but maybe it’ll be your new favorite game

    Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed it! Please leave comments, and your views/opinion’s etc…
    Last edited by here2seetheshow; May 26, 2015, 10:57 AM.
    Also played & finished, ICE, CRY. CLK & TRN

  • #2
    Such a great review. This was one of my all time favorite games but you are right about the characters and culprit being predictable. I knew who it was from the start. But all in all, I love this game so much.
    Currently playing VEN
    Favorite ND games DOG AND CUR
    I could use a little space, Nancy.

    I have a space bubble here, you're violating it!


    • #3
      Aww, thank you so much!! I'm glad you enjoyed it & thank you for your input! I agree, such a great game!
      Also played & finished, ICE, CRY. CLK & TRN