HomeVideo GamesPAX EAST 2022 | "Curse of the Sea Rats"

PAX EAST 2022 | "Curse of the Sea Rats"

PAX EAST 2022 | "Curse of the Sea Rats"

Arcade beat ‘em ups are still the rage after over 35 years. That feeling of playing side-by-side with a group of friends is something that makes games special to experience. Petoon Studio’s Curse of the Sea Rats, a game that found a lot of success on Kickstarter, aims to recapture that feeling for a new generation. However, as I experienced the game at PAX East, it was clear that there was still a little more work left to be done.

Demoed at the PQUBE booth, I experienced the first level of Curse of the Sea Rats. Playing alongside one of the publisher’s crew members, we were tasked to rescue the sea captain’s son from the clutches of evil. Roaming through the map, we came across various kinds of enemies ranging from fellow rats to angry crustaceans. At the end, we went head-on against the first boss: a barrel-chucking tough guy named Fatso.

Its level layout is much inline with the Metroidvania genre, as there will be plenty of revisits to old areas in the future. Attacks are a cinch to figure out, with a different maneuver to initiate depending on which direction you aim. The fact that all of these animations were hand-drawn adds to the charm of the game’s overall presentation, as it matched well with the style of such classics as An American Tail and Biker Mice From Mars. That alone will no doubt draw curious gamers towards the experience Curse of the Sea Rats has to offer.

But man, is its first boss a major pain to deal with! Myself and the PQUBE crew member spent nearly 15 minutes attempting to defeat Fatso, only to fail every single time. Timing our movements didn’t help much, as his attacks wound up being a lot more unpredictable than we thought. Because of this, I can’t help but worry that players in the future will drop the game solely because the first real fight is nearly impossible to pass!

Thankfully, there’s plenty of time for Petoon Studios to work on the game, and with the demo out for its Kickstarter backers, it’ll give them the chance to get the proper feedback needed to make it better. Curse of the Sea Rats has a good amount of potential to be a solid couch co-op. All it needs is a little rum in its Coke to make the experience a little more enjoyable. If Petoon Studios can do that, then they’ll no doubt have a sleeper hit on their hands.

Curse of the Sea Rats is due out later this year on PC and consoles.


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The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)