cursedmate: Right ingredients, but not yet perfect

I’m not sure if I should call cursedmate a Snake game or a Dig-Dug clone.

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After all, there seems to be an excavation theme at work here, and we’re collecting the pound symbols. But nothing ever collapses.

And we’re technically staking out a path, but it doesn’t seem to matter if you cross over it or not.

So it’s a middle ground of some sort, with the theme being a hacker evading fed(z). Pound symbols are zerodays (or maybe they’re xploitz, the game seems to use two different names) and red letter O’s are the bad guys.

Finish a level by collecting all the xploitz, whereupon you’ll get a rank or wisecrack for your progress, an then pass through a tunnel to a new board. Later boards have faster fed(z) that snatch the zerodays if they touch them, or are decorated in different patterns or colors.

cursedmate is python-driven, and isn’t a bad game on the whole. The animation and movement effects are smooth, and pop-up menus and displays don’t get in the way of the action.

One small irritant: The transition screen takes a few seconds to pass through, but doesn’t have a way to escape it once it begins. Not that it’s a big deal, but skipping through the animation to the next level would be nice.

Further, cursedmate is not terrifically difficult. I think I cleared the first 10 levels of the game the first time I played it, and without even thinking about the fed(z). AI movement is obviously random, which means you only need to worry if you’re within a cell or two of a fed(z), and even then the odds are they won’t randomly leap onto you.

And once or twice the game crashed without warning, mostly at a point where the level was almost finished. But I’m not sure if that’s something I did, or something that was happening in the background.

Oh, and in case it matters to you, there is some off-color language included here and there.

cursedmate feels like it’s one step away from a very good game, but needs a little more polishing before it reaches that top tier. It has all the right ingredients — color, animation, a goal and some worthy adversaries — but it seems to lack that special oomph that makes it more of a game and less of a programming experiment.😐