Curio is the journey of Ron Templeton from a partially completed lobotomy to escaping the facility in which he finds himself. Don’t worry, the game does try to be a bit creepy, but it isn’t a gore-fest…just a bit odd.
The game play is actually very simple; the only control you have is to jump as Ron runs down the hall. You need to jump to dodge other patients and to grab pills.
How does it work?
The character will run at a predetermined pace and will slow down or speed up based on his state of mental health. Tap the screen to jump over the other patients and to grab the pills to help keep you moving and to help preserve your sanity.
There is an icon in the upper right corner that will actually show you if Ron has a screw loose, and if the screw comes out far enough the game takes you to a sort of bonus game within a game. The sub game looks a bit like the original Mario (think 16 bit theater) with your character running along a simple floor with a background that looks like it is meant to be almost psychedelic. If you fall down one of the holes in the floor, you are done. If and when you get to this part of the game, the floating head in the corner is where you need to tap to make Ron jump (the game doesn’t tell you this bit).
The other interesting bit with the sub game is that if you run into an obstacle, the orientation will change. You may find yourself running along the top, bottom or sides of you iDevice.
Is it contagious?
Curio is a simplified and twisted version of an old Mario game; there isn’t much for the player to control.
The game provides a relatively expansive back story for such a simple game. None of the information in the narrative seems to have been relevant to playing the game but it is a moderately interesting fiction.
The game is basically timing and reflexes, so if you like that type of game, Curio is okay. The graphics are suitably creepy for the theme, and the sub game is an interesting contrast to the more intricate graphics of the main game. Curio gains points for being different than the average run-and-collect game but it could do a bit better with the tutorials.