Curse of Enchantia

Moby ID: 2409

[ All ] [ Amiga ] [ DOS ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 72% (based on 19 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 2.4 out of 5 (based on 33 ratings with 5 reviews)

A game with no text? What an idea!

The Good
Curse of Enchantia is Core Design's first attempt at an adventure game, and it is a game that works in an unusual way. In COE, you control Brad, a teenage boy who is chosen by an evil witch to use as an ingredient for a potion of eternal youth. To make matters worse, the evil hag plans to torment the fantasy land of Enchantia, where Brad is transported to.

The first thing that I noticed about the game is that COE uses absolutely no text, just pictures, and this technique is carried throughout the game. There are situations where if characters want you to give them something, they will often display what it is that they want in a speech bubble located above their head. Using pictures as a substitute for text is really suitable for people who cannot read or write. One of my assignments at uni required me to create a story that does not contain text, and with a very good plot in mind, I created a 5-page story where I was able to use no text very easily than the other students in the class. The story was my highest mark ever for the subject. It is a shame that other companies did not use Core's approach.

Actions are performed by pressing a series of icons on a bar, located on either the top or bottom of the screen, depending on where on the screen you bring it up. With these icons, you can insert an inventory item in an object on the screen, attach things, use things on other things, and several other tasks. You can also fight characters, and jump over things, plus important things like saving and restore games, as well as deleting those games that you no longer need.

COE uses VGA graphics, and they have the same type of detail as Sierra's point-and-click adventures. The icon bar itself looks good, with icons on a red background, which are separated by a silver border. I like how each character throughout the game is drawn. The first rule to creating characters for an adventure game is you have to draw them on paper first, scan them into a computer, then use a paint program to color them in. Core took this into account, and as a result, each character is drawn nicely and their looks reveal the type of personality that they have. The backgrounds are well done, with many of them set underwater, in icy areas, and in prisons, as well as in towns.

The game supports Sound Blaster, as well as the Roland MT-32/LAPC-1 sound cards. These two sound cards can be used for both music and sound effects. The music would sound good with SB, but it is greatly enhanced with the MT-32, mostly because the music is composed using real instruments like chimes, bells, percussions, cymbols, etc., and Core composed the music in such a way that it sounds really good. Furthermore, by using MT-32, you can listen to a few more tunes rather than just the one tune that you would hear if you are playing through SB, and these tunes will be heard depending on the environment that you are in, whether you are in outside, inside, or underwater areas. As for the sound effects, the SB is more suitable for playing these, as well as a few pieces of speech. Yes, there is speech throughout the game, and will have Brad saying lines like "Hi!", "Help!", and "Open Sesame!". The sound effects are rather funny, and the best ones that I recall is when Brad goes "Ah" when an idea pops in his head, and when Dracula appears at the end of the game, and scares Brad by shouting "Ah-ha!", and when he gets destroyed numerous times.

The Bad
The meaning of the icons are unclear and lack some text at the bottom of them that tells the user what they are. Sure, Core would have done this, but this only defeats the "no text, just pictures" rule, so you are expected to identify the purposes of these icons, and try different combinations of these to find out which is the right one to use.

If you perform a certain action, you have to repeatedly click on several icons, rather than just two or three like Sierra's adventure games. As far as I know, this bad thing is repeated in another of Core's adventure games, Universe.

When you use different sound cards, other than a specific combination that I used to play this game, the graphics get corrupted, but you can fix this by walking to a different area and coming back to it.

Some of the puzzles are ridiculous and you solve them using bad methods. I am not the one who does not give spoilers in a review, but how can you put something on the wall and attach something to it in order to make a button that will lift something, and what is the purpose of using marbles if you do not need them in order to get across to something?

The ending is disappointing as well. It is basically "The End" without any end sequences.

The Bottom Line
People who cannot read or write will be glad that there is actually an adventure game out there that contains no text. COE is a game with nice graphics, and excellent sound effects and music. If you are planning to play this game, my suggestion to you is to use the Roland for music and the SB for sound effects and speech. This game will be enhanced this way.

Rating: ***½

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43087) · 2005

Curse of the bad puzzles.

The Good
To keep this short: Curse of Enchantia isn't a good game, but it's not entirely bad either. In fact, it's one of these cool-shell-rotten-core titles that make you drag your best friends to your screen to show them the awesome graphics, but drive you to insanity when you actually play it. Enchantia could have found its place in the annals of gaming history as a light-hearted, humorous fantasy adventure with cool animations, if it wasn't for...

The Bad
...the puzzles. They're the mind-boggling, far-out, illogical kind that keep you banging your head against the keyboard, shouting "How am I supposed to know that I need to whack the robot with a gold-filled sock?" You do not get hints. You never know which icon to use. To push a gun from a shelf with a broom, you need to click on the "fight" symbol. Yeah, sure. Curse of Enchantia is a trial-and-error adventure. Trial-and-error is not entertainment.
Additionally, there's the slightly awkward icon interface, but you can cope with that.

The Bottom Line
Curse of Enchantia features nice graphics, excellent animations and a few really funny scenes. Too bad you'll probably never see them -- the puzzles are ridiculous.

DOS · by -Chris (7757) · 2000

The worst Amiga adventure I have ever played.

The Good
The advantages of this game are barely visible and frankly speaking even those that exist are difficult to be found. Maybe the lack of text might be one of them but after a short time spend with this game, I found it a problem due to its myriad of other disadvantages.

The Bad
Let's be honest - this is one of the most annoying and illogical adventure games. First of all - the interface. It is original but it is a curse at the same time. Number of possibilities that you can do with an object does not correspond with logical solution that is really needed. Because of this the player is perplexed why things do not work and he resigns looking for another solution.

The next problem lays in the fact that you don't know what is on the screen until you get close to the object and only then it can be visible from the interface perspective. Bearing in mind that there is no text in this game it is very difficult to figure out what is really needed and what is in the location. Maybe you don't get stuck but certainly get irritated.

Graphics are reduced version from PC and unfortunately it lost a lot - starting with lack of colours and visibility of crucial objects on the screen. Sound is also ridicilous. Some small samples of background sounds and stupid words "Hi" and "Help" spoken by the main character is all you will hear. There is absolutely no music which is an original sin when it comes to adventure games.

Next thing is the existence of arcade sections. Dogdy mouse pointer and blocky scrolling make some pixel perfect sections almost impossible to get through.

The game does not have any introduction (unless you read it in the manual). Basically the player has no clue where he is or what he should do. Puzzles and location seem to be a mixed collection of different styles and tales that does not go together and sometimes are completely out of place and out of time.

The Bottom Line
This is clearly one of the worst adventure games I have ever played on Amiga. Much overhyped by Amiga press back in the day.

Amiga · by mailmanppa (6155) · 2016

Hi! HELP! Open Sesame!

The Good
Surrealistic LSD-enhanced fantasy about a boy, a monster, some garroting, and a giant condom. Some might complain about the supposed "illogical nature" of the puzzles, but we heartily disagree. We recently ran an experiment wherein we attempted to place a fishbowl on our heads and breathe underwater. It worked very well. Additionally, we have seduced troll-like creatures by applying mud and sticks to our child-like bodies. Therefore, we would like to thank the creators of this game for teaching us so much about life. Oh, and I have not yet mentioned the best part: stuffing pubic hair into a giant condom, causing it to seize and explode into the air. Game design at its best.

The Bad
Here are the top 10 things we did not like about this game: 1. Not enough shipwrecks 2. Witch not eternally-youthful 3. Bug musicians use antiquated magnetic tape recording system. Should be recording directly to CD like any self-respecting bug musician 4. Robot not life-like 5. Aerosol deoderant not environmentally friendly. 6. Skeleton in dungeon is uncommunicative. 7. Primative undersea bartering system. 8. Inappropriate use of computer monitor. 9. Bug musicians do not hold exclusive rights to "game bugs". 10. Application of rubber gloves makes some players nervous.

The Bottom Line

DOS · by Elder Bug (2) · 2002

Cute and colorful game for newbies

The Good
It's nice to see that Core Design could make an adventure game or a two, even if it was in the old days (before getting obsessed with Tomb raider). It's amazing to see how much artwork went into the game as our character travels from one diverse land to another. I loved the part in the graveyard. Trapped in a grave and knowing how it feels to be buried alive was a unique touch. Then being chased by the poor vampire who's trying his best to attack Brad, but with drastic results was hilarious. I can't comment on the music in the game, since I only played it with PC speaker. However, the sounds on the speaker were amusing enough. Interestingly, Brad has only two words in his vocabulary "HI" and "HELP" (sounds like a typical American teen, right? heh!) Puzzles were easy enough (with a few exceptions) and they were no horrible mazes as found in most adventure games. Jokes were amusing like a band of slugs playing a tune (probably a parody of the band - Beatles).

The Bad
The game has an icon-driven interface which the player is supposed to use to perform various functions. It was supposed to be intuitive, but sometimes it was quite obscure. Occasionally, I had to click on all icons after clicking on an object to use it. Yikes!! Some puzzles were vague, illogical and even tricky like the icicle puzzle at the entrance of the ice palace or walking on the cloud to get an item or placing the planks in the right order to cross the stream etc. The plot is pretty weak too.

The Bottom Line
The plot goes as such, Brad is magically transported to the land of Enchantia, while playing a game of baseball. He finds himself imprisoned and chained to the wall. So, he must figure out a way to escape (solve the various puzzles here and there) and defeat the evil queen, who's responsible for it all. It's a nice, fairly easy adventure game for beginners or those new to the genre. Kids will especially enjoy it, since the hero of the game, Brad doesn't die no matter what you do. Although, he does pose as a mud monster's mate and a pig. So, if that bothers you, be warned! ;)

DOS · by Roger Wilco (1144) · 2003

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by xPafcio, Patrick Bregger, Tim Janssen, Scaryfun, Alsy, Karsa Orlong, Wizo.