Ludum Dare 47: The Curse of Cattenburg

“The Curse of Cattenburg” by Honest Dan, Brainoid, Elise Everett & Barlas Tan Özemek.

“In the kingdom of Cattenburg there [was]a group of adventurers who wanted nothing more than to go on adventure, but […] ever since the curse was placed on Cattenburg, none of its inhabitants were able to leave. Whichever road they take, they wind up back in Cattenburg. [Rumor] has it there are three parts of an ancient [relic] which could, perhaps, be pivotal in breaking the curse.”

The eponymous kingdom of “The Curse of Cattenburg” just covers a small region – thirty-two game board fields, to be precise. Theoretically, you could travel through the whole place by throwing a six-sided die only six times. Under ordinary circumstances, this would be a ridiculously short journey for ambitious cat adventurers, but you will have to circle Cattenburg quite often if you want to break the black magic that surrounds these lands.

As already hinted at, you move your group of heroes around by rolling a die. One dot means traveling one field forwards. Different fields can summon different types of events: Some will allow you to heal one of your characters, while others will allow you to upgrade their status points (like the strength of their attacks, their intelligence et cetera), but the event you will face most frequently are certainly the battles.

That is where the whole interaction system changes. Now instead of a die, cards become your tool to handle things in “The Curse of Cattenburg”. Even though the game itself features a quick visual tutorial on how to fight with the cards, I will try to break it down in this article as well. First of all, your group has a specific amount of action points. One action point allows you to do one of two things: Either revealing one single hidden card on the board (the so-called Slot Cards) or to drag one of your characters to an unused, revealed Slot Card to perform the action that is described on it. However, you can also use your Support Cards, which are placed to the left of the board, to transform the revealed Slot Cards in one way or another. Using them does not cost any action points.

The Slot Cards can do various things, like allowing you to attack an enemy, to defend yourself, to ensure a critical hit, to use the special effects of your characters and other things. It is actually stunning how well-balanced and still intriguing the combat system of “The Curse of Cattenburg” is. This whole concept makes it a blast to play. Although, even on the easiest difficulty level you will still have to think about your moves to ensure an ongoing winning streak. Losing one battle means an immediate game over and can happen quite quickly, as a death for a hero means that they are gone. Not even the most powerful feline warrior wants to face a group of three rats alone. [PLAY]