Cursed Mountain

Cursed Mountain

These days you feel obliged to reward any Wii game that's been purpose-built for the console and isn't depressing licensed shovelware - but that's not the sole reason Cursed Mountain looked promising. Survival horror is still relatively unexplored territory on the system, and it's one genre where motion control could really add something to the experience. After all, the Wii remote is just as suited to throwing torchlight into dark corners as it is to pointing and shooting.

Cursed Mountain tracks a Scottish mountain climber's ascent up a Himalayan mountain in search of his (strangely non-Scottish, judging by the voice acting) brother, who has stirred up trouble by attempting to scale the mountain without completing the appropriate religious rites. Ghosts have infested every village and monastery on the way up the mountain, leaving them desolate, empty and full of sacred barriers. Protagonist Eric must overcome these using motion controls and the religious door-unlocking trinkets hidden in obscure places. It's linear, old-school survival horror, with all the associated backtracking, key-finding and awkward combat.

The setting is easily the best thing about the game. A mountain trail provides the perfect framework for the action, keeping you following the game's intended route without making you feel restricted. It's occasionally well-drawn, too; the deserted clumps of houses, narrow trails and monasteries can be genuinely atmospheric. As you get higher up the mountain there's a constant need to find oxygen canisters - searching for them does build tension, even if it does seem unlikely that they'd be conveniently hidden in smashable pots.

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Cursed Mountain

Cliff hanger.

Most mythology, by definition, has been around for donkey's years - when you're dealing with ancient legends and creation stories it's hard to come up with new material. One way around the problem is to write your own, but encapsulating the cultural history of a civilisation in a believable and interesting way - within the confines of time, budget and narrative arc - is no mean feat.