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"Captive Curse" A Mediocre Case - A Review by ConnectTheDots

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  • "Captive Curse" A Mediocre Case - A Review by ConnectTheDots

    ConnectTheDots' Review
    --The Captive Curse--

    **Bottom line:** After the fantastic Shadow at the Water's Edge, this game left me feeling apathetic.


    Monster sightings at Castle Finster have been driving tourists away. It's up to you as Nancy Drew to track down the monster.

    Yes, the plot can be summarized in two sentences.


    The first time I played this game, I disliked all of the characters. I found Lukas to be obnoxious, Karl and Anja dull, and Renate disturbing. After replaying the game about a year after its release, however, I have grown to tolerate Lukas and appreciate Renate. The stories she tells are intriguing and there is something mysterious about her, an element that the rest of the game lacks.

    As has been commented on in other reviews, the accents in this game are just dreadful. If one of the selling points for the game is that the game is set in Germany, HeR should make sure that the accents are authentic. Honestly, I avoided talking to Markus (a phone character in the game) because his accent was so bad. It doesn't help that he is not at all likable.

    Graphics and Setting

    The graphics are beautiful, as usual. I appreciate the new and inventive character movements as well. The setting, however, leaves something to be desired.

    Most of the exploring occurs within the castle, although there is a bleak and boring forest outside the gates that Nancy can visit. More locations would have been nice. Nancy solves the mystery in four hours in game time (Markus says at the beginning of the game that he is arriving at the castle in four hours), so it all occurs at night.

    The setting sets the tone for these games in many ways, but this castle did not feel mysterious to me. The interior of the castle is too warm and bright, I think.


    I did not like the music in this game. I found it annoying, especially the one that sounds like a ghost choir. Of course, musical taste is such a personal preference and I could see what they were going for.

    Puzzles, Tasks and Mini-Games

    There are no tasks in this game, fortunately!

    There are usually two or three puzzles in a game that I find deeply satisfying, but in this game I can only remember really enjoying one small puzzle towards the end of the game. I didn't hate any of them, though. It has only been an hour since I completed the game for a second time and I am having trouble remembering them, probably because we've seen several of the puzzles in other games.

    There are two mini-games in this one, Raid and Monster. I can tell that HeR put a lot of time and effort into creating the cards and characters for Raid, but I did not enjoy the game. In fact, this time around I didn't even beat it. The game looks more complex than it actually is, and I find it to be long and boring.

    Monster is slightly more fun, but it is not a game I want to play over and over again.

    "The Scare Factor"

    The monster sightings definitely made me jump, but they were just that - jump scares. They didn't send chills down my spine like SAW. The monster alert system was kind of cool, but because of it, I walked around with no fear of being frightened (as I did when playing games like CUR or MHM) because I knew I would be alerted whenever something was going to happen.

    Other Odds and Ends

    - The ending style definitely reminded me of earlier games, which is nice, but the ending as a whole left me unsatisfied, and that is probably my biggest problem with this game. Far too much is left unexplained. Nancy starts to gather little hints throughout the game, but from whom? Why does one of the suspects do something midway through the game? Some may see loose ends as a good thing, but I mostly see it as lazy.

    - Some of the dialogue is off in this game. For instance, once I walked into Karl's office and he had nothing to say, but as soon as I walked outside he called me on the phone and told me to come to his office.

    - The Nancy/Ned phone sideplot was strange. I didn't have to talk about it if I didn't want to.

    - The Hint Hotline is convenient, but makes phone conversations completely unnecessary. In fact, I barely talked to any of the phone characters.

    THANK YOU so much for reading my review! Feel free to comment with your own thoughts. Feedback is appreciated.
    My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,

  • #2
    Great review, I agree with most of what you had to say, except for the characters. I didn't find them to be bad necessarily, they've been worse in other games...but the game was just how you described it: mediocre.

    ...and I'm right with you when it comes to SAW. I could definitely go for another game like SAW :)
    It's never too late to be who you might have been...[ George Eliot ]



    • #3
      Thanks for reading, oceanxatlantic! I have warmed up to the characters in this game a little bit, but I still think Anja and Karl are a little bland. There was one story that Karl told during the game that I found very intriguing. I wish they had expanded on it.
      My reviews - STFD, MHM, TRT, FIN, SSH, DOG, CAR, DDI, SHA, CUR, CLK,


      • #4
        I agree.

        The main reason I found this game to be "meh" was due to that fact that I felt they could've done so much more when it came to subplots. There were too many loose ends at the end of the game, in my opinion.
        It's never too late to be who you might have been...[ George Eliot ]



        • #5
          Great review! Although, I actually loved this game, it may just be one of my favorites. I loved the music, and the minigames were pretty cool. I wish you better gaming experience with the next game!

          Reps and stars!
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          Hope everyone's having a great summer!