Almost regularly (over the span of a few years) Locomalito has published highly polished retro games that make a lot of commercial attempts at retro games by other indy teams look pitiful. And the most recent one, The Curse of Issyos, is no exception. A great consistent art-style, perfect controls that make the high difficulty bearable, a variety of levels each with their own unique visuals.
The Curse of Issyos is an action platformer with a few action-adventure elements thrown into the mix. As with most Locomalito games, it’s pretty difficult (limited lives, limited continues, but at least a few hit points), but never impossible. You can get two different melee weapons, the spear and the sword, each one useful in different situations. If you find you can’t advance at a certain point, try to get the other weapon to see if it makes a difference. Also there’s a very efficient bow, though ammo is limited.
If there’s one thing above all others I love about Locomalito’s games is the attention to details, from all the surrounding materials he publishes (like the box cover art or the great looking manual) or all the little stuff he adds to his games that just make them such great experiences. For example the overland map in TCoI isn’t exactly mandatory, but its addition shows that even seemingly lightweight elements get their due.
Or the few adventure elements, like talking to other people, the cities and the merchants, all these little things add up and make all the difference. An all the secrets, the little one like hidden coins or the big one, the secret ending you get when you heed the advice about saving one guy, which gives you a new weapon to still the soul flames in the underworld.