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Werewolves are usually only good for a few things: terrifying villagers, killing city folk, and inspiring catchy tunes by Warren Zevon. Fortunately for professional thief Lucas MacGuffin, they’re also quite adept at making their way through a locked-down, high-tech city. Which is good, because he’s stuck as a werewolf in exactly that daunting locale.
After stealing the Lupine Twine Amulet from the Museum of Myths and Mysteries, MacGuffin somehow sets off the city of Feyre’s draconian security system, locking all the doors that allow folks to get around. The only way for him to get rid of the werewolf curse is to solve hundreds of puzzles to make his way across the city.
While good for heavy lifting, werewolves can’t tackle more precise tasks.
More often than not, a door is locked because a battery isn’t where it needs to be. Moving that battery to its specified slot naturally unlocks the next area. As a human, MacGuffin can’t hope to push the huge, heavy battery, but a werewolf can! Changing forms is as easy as standing in moonlight and anthropomorphizing. But as a werewolf, he can’t do some of the more fine motor skill–oriented tasks, like pushing buttons and opening doors--and swimming, for some reason.
This swapping of forms at will is at the core of each puzzle, so you’ll be doing it a whole lot. Unfortunately, though, the puzzles never feel elegant, nor do the solutions seem terribly clever. New puzzle ideas like whirlpools that warp the swimming MacGuffin are introduced from time to time, but are immediately overused, prompting the player to wonder when exactly that particular section will be over with. Puzzle games should continuously push the player to deal with new challenges via tweaks to the formula. Repetition of concepts can make puzzles feel like work.
Comic-like cut-scenes detail MacGuffin’s terrible curse.
Granted, there are a ton of puzzles in MacGuffin’s Curse. Distracted by a variety of characters and side quests, MacGuffin always has something to do. Some of the dialogue is funny, but it almost always feels in need of a healthy edit. There’s just too much of it, and that results in large swaths of the title feeling rather tedious.
The bottom line. As a throwback to the puzzle/adventure games of the ’90s, MacGuffin’s Curse feels like a failed homage rather than a celebration.
Mac OS 10.6 or later, 800MHz processor, 256MB RAM
Occasionally funny dialogue and clever puzzles.
Drags on too long at times. Repeats concepts. Aged visuals.