Curse of the Dead Gods is a skill-based roguelike with plenty of surprises in store as you try to survive many dangers while exploring in search of relics and other treasures. As you travel through the temple, you gain powers from the relics and weapons you find, all which help guard against the threats of the five curses that challenge you as you level up. Packed with ideas, Curse of the Dead Gods holds promise to be a satisfying full length game.
A Maze of Maps
A compelling feature of COTDG is that everytime you die, you are reborn with new map opportunities, so you don’t have to keep repeating the same paths over and over (if you are unlucky enough to die as much as me). Choose your path wisely, as health seems to be the most difficult component to maintain and restore. You can access havens in many of the paths, but other rooms vary in size and enemy count, so you may be fighting a few enemies or a whole slew with a boss a few times over before you restore any of your health. Certain rooms require you to bring gold, which you win along your way, and can select as a Blessing when you are in the lobby. Some paths will be easier than others, and unless you choose to start the game carrying gold, you will be wise to pick a path starting with gold or stats instead of following one riddled with relics and weapons that are for sale. You will thank yourself by preparing for the type of journey you want to embark on by first looking at the options given on the map, and then selecting an appropriate Blessing, such as “Indomitable”, which decreases damage dealt to you and allows you to fight through the pain, from the vault in the lobby.
Along your journey, you will collect five curses, each one creating additional challenges for you. For example,“Temple’s Bite” sets off traps automatically and sequentially, forcing you to dodge blasts of fire while combating enemies. When you gain the final curse, time becomes a factor, increasing the difficulty of the last match to disastrous levels. The key is to prepare as much as possible, choose weapons wisely, and don’t act greedily when your health is low. Curses change with each journey up the map, as do choice of weapons, room size, and enemy count.
Beware of the Darkside
The darkness can easily corrupt you, taking your mind and causing you to take extra damage. You can prevent this by keeping the rooms lit as much as possible by casting your flame into embering urns. Fire is both enemy and ally, with many weapons incorporating flames that spread and damage both you and your enemies. Be sure to dodge the flames so you don’t get burnt!
Maybe I’m just good at dying; maybe I’m just used to looters and battle royales. Whatever it may be, I do wish more health refills were available in the form of a potion or achievement. While it’s easy to find new weapons and gain stats, once you’ve taken a lot of damage you may find it difficult to recover until you reach a haven. Occasionally, you will find a stat that will increase stamina, and one of the curses fills urns with blood (along with corruption), so I hope to see more perks like this as updates roll out.
All is not Lost
Crystal Skulls are one of the treasures you retain after dying, granting you the ability to buy Blessings and Divine Favors before embarking on another mission. More Blessings become available as you continue to play, and you keep these along with your Divine Favors after death, unlike your weapons, gold, relics, and stats. Playthroughs are quick, averaging fifteen to twenty per map route. The updates include new features, weapons, and curses that keep me on my toes while offering a fulfilling experience.
The Verdict: Good
Curse of the Dead Gods proves to be worth its weight, as I have found myself back in this cursed temple more than I expected when I downloaded it, determined to win against the challenges that will continue to torture me as this vibrant world develops further.