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Curse: The Eye of Iris

Score: 75%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Developer: Asylum Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Survival Horror

Graphics & Sound:

Curse: The Eye of Iris is a game that attempts to be Resident Evil, but falls just short. Curse has beautiful scenes with plenty of attention to detail, not to mention the way the shadows of the candles from late 19th Century London play off the walls and characters. These soft or hard shadows put you into the period and add to the creep factor that is being portrayed in the game. The characters are also well made and highly detailed, but just don't look right when pivoting around a point between their feet (when you rotate the character to change directions).

The music found in Curse also adds to the mood of the game by using styles and tones similar to those heard in Resident Evil and other survival horror games. The sound effects and character voices are also well executed and help convey the realistic feel of the surrealistic game.


Curse: The Eye of Iris is a survival horror game that pretty much fits the style set by others in the genre. You are trapped in some large building (The Museum of Great Britain) with monsters coming after you and a limited amount of weaponry as you work through puzzles and try to figure out some sort of mystery.

In The Eye of Iris, you play as two characters, Darien and Victoria. Darien received a letter from his friend (Victoria), who works at the museum, to meet her and get a preview of the new Iris exhibit. Mind you, this is an exhibit that Darien's dad helped to uncover before his mysterious death. Unfortunately, before Darien can get to the museum, a thief breaks in and accidentally releases a curse upon the place.

Early in the game, Darien finds out that this curse is somehow linked to his father and his family. Now you and Victoria must explore the museum in search of a way to break the curse and put the evil back in its place.

Along the way you can collect various items; these pick-ups include documents (letters or notes from people that help explain exactly what is happening), weapons and ammo and other items for use in puzzles or health. Like in most survival horrors, you can combine various items if you don't have exactly what you are looking for.

The story is an interesting twist to the genre-typical style, but it still fits the pattern all too well. Because of this, Iris tends to be more like a 'me too' game then anything truly innovative.


The difficulty of Curse: The Eye of Iris seems to be set just right. You will find yourself going through various areas several times in order to get past some obstacles, but with enough persistence (just enough - not too much to get annoying) you can get to where you need to in order to advance the game.

Game Mechanics:

Curse: The Eye of Iris has a standard PC control scheme - unfortunately. This scheme just doesn't feel right for the genre - and I can't help but wish I had a controller in my hands. Even something as awful as an Xbox controller would make me feel better. This could simply be because of the fact that you don't actually have control over the camera when you move the mouse around like you do in other PC first or third person games.

Moving the mouse moves the character around like other PC games, but the other games also move the camera. Here, because it fits the survival horror template, the camera is locked in one position per scene (or follows some set track as you move down a hallway) - thus allowing you to see your character pivot around some invisible point between his or her feet while still not being able to see around that damn corner.

The Eye of Iris is a solid game, despite its problems. It fits the survival horror genre to a tee - except for the fact that it is made for the PC. Because of this, it doesn't give PC gamers the feel and style they are use to, and survival horror fans (who typically aren't the biggest PC gamers) end up having to deal with too many buttons and an unfamiliar control system.

Curse: The Eye of Iris would be a much better game if it was on a console. Of course maybe all of these problems would be fixed if you hooked up your favorite game-pad to your PC (preferably one with dual analog sticks), but as it is, it doesn't really fit.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98 or later; 600MHz or better CPU; 128 MB RAM; 4X CD/DVD ROM; 700MB available HD space; Direct3D compatible video card with True Hardware Transform and Lighting Capability; DirectX 8.0a Compatible Sound Card

Test System:

Toshiba Satellite series laptop; Windows XP Home Ed.; 2.0 GHz Celeron; 512 MB RAM; 24X DVD/CD ROM; 32 MB 3D accelerator.

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated