December 15, 2015 12:00 PM | Joel Couture
For all of the inspirations Locomalito lists for The Curse of Issyos, Castlevania seems like its biggest influence. The mythological monsters, steep challenge, and overall action feel like a strong nod to the sidescrolling horror games, with Issyos feeling like it would be right at home with the earlier entries in the series. So, if you've ever spent any kind of time exploring Wallachia looking for vampires in the night, you need to go get this excellent game right now. And look at its beautiful manual while you're at it.
There is always a moment during the beginning of Locomalito's games where I feel like maybe, just maybe, this one isn't going to be all that hard. I felt that all through the first stage of The Curse of Issyos, savoring fighting monsters with my sword, spear, and arrows while exploring a pretty seaside filled with caves and shipwrecks. I felt confident. I felt powerful against the slow, clumsy enemies that were after me. It didn't take long for that confidence to erode as I explored this world inspired from Greek mythology, seeing my body explode, over and over again, as the game grew steadily more challenging the deeper I got into it.
Locomalito's games never feel unfair - just very demanding. You need to know your attacks and moves, executing them flawlessly if you want to get anywhere. Issyos is no exception. You have a sword to attack with, but you can and should replace that with a spear if you find one. You also have arrows you can fire if you've grabbed some of those as well. Using those, you'll have to navigate ruined cities, strange caves, castles, and active volcanoes as you fight against the clever, tough monsters that inhabit them. It may not sound all that hard since you don't have that many abilities to learn, but expect to die. A lot.
Despite constant death, I just couldn't stop playing it, and I don't think you'll be able to, either. Locomalito makes exceptional games without exception. For free. The Curse of Issyos is yet another fantastic example of the man's love for old games and the care he puts into his work. Go get it. You've got nothing to lose but your life, after all.