They Got No Strings in Puppetshow: The Curse of Ophelia

Before the opening sequence, Amax Interactive’s “Puppetshow: The Curse of Ophelia” has an essential warning:

“Please note this game contains dolls and puppets of all kinds.”

There are ready-to-animate demon dolls spread around and an arm dripping blood, but you want me to just shuffle past all that and head upstairs? Ok, game. Ok.

Never has there been a more essential warning in the history of casual gaming. I’m not new to the Puppetshow series, though it has been some years since I’ve played it, yet The Curse of Ophelia reminded me of how much I enjoy this series. While, at least during the demo, there doesn’t appear to be a crowbar at your disposal – something that would allow the player to dispatch of these porcelain nightmares with swift justice – I was pleased that I did not immediately abandon the knife I quickly acquired. Well done on allowing me to keep a useful tool!

The story in The Curse of Ophelia centers on actresses vying for the lead role in a play – possibly Hamlet. The unfortunate narrative of pitting two women against each other for some assemblance of success is tiring, but perhaps the turn-of-the-twentieth century timeframe allows for it. Still, since the game allowed me to pick from one of six characters on the outset – I picked the successful writer, obviously – it is possible that I am supposed to get my feminism on by role playing her.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a mysterious cube.

Puppets are weird, little homunculi just waiting for a soul, and the puppets and dolls in The Curse of Ophelia bring the right amount of creep and dread that the story demands. Why anyone would willfully wind-up a possessed doll, I’ll never know, but she proves helpful in a few situations. Unfortunately, her inevitable betrayal is, well, inevitable.

Puppetshow: The Curse of Ophelia is well worth a try and, if you like, check out some of the other games in the series. Keep in mind, here there be dolls.

Rating: Try leaning toward Buy

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