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Curse of the Sea Rats Review in 3 Minutes – Co-op Metroidvania


Curse of the Sea Rats is a Metroidvania with 4-player co-op by Petoons Studio in which you play as a prisoner turned into a rat by a pirate witch.

You run, jump, and attack your way through an interconnected series of rooms searching for items, abilities, and keys that allow you to progress. There are 4 characters to choose from, each with slightly different playstyles, but all of them have extremely basic movesets.

You have 3 attacks on the ground accessed by tilting the stick up or down or leaving it neutral, and the same again in the air. Each character has a block, parry, or dodge, a magic attack that uses one bar of Energy, and 4 more unlockable attacks that use energy. Other than that, you unlock a double jump, a dash, and a high jump.

There’s nothing exciting in the movesets of these characters, but they control precisely and make the mostly easy platforming decent, if unremarkable. The areas you traverse are littered with enemies, which you do mostly simple combat against, and the balance of simple combat and simple platforming is pleasant. The game leans towards the easy side, except for the fact that you instantly die when you fall off certain platforms, which is a pain.

Exploration is exactly what you expect. Most paths are blocked by locked doors for which you must find the keys, a handful are blocked by lacking the high jump or double jump, and others are open to you from the start. Once you find and kill a boss, you’ll get a key or ability and be able to access a new area.

A few times, I followed every open door marked on my map to a dead end and ended up stumped, not realizing that a half-explored room looks similar to a fully explored room on the map, and that I had missed the singular path forward by not walking to the other side of a room. It was quite frustrating to wander around the world, being sure that a room must have something I missed, but not being able to tell from the map.

The co-op seems fine, from the tiny amount I tried, but the game is already easy alone. As long as you level yourself up a bit and buy a few upgrades before fighting the first boss, you can beat a lot of bosses by just out-damaging them and spamming your Energy-based abilities. Most of the boss designs are fun but unremarkable, with the exception of a couple of heinously long bosses at the end of the game.

The writing here is too on the nose, with every character having a single character trait that is supposed to be funny. For example, there’s a gay character, three fat characters, and a vampire, and all their dialogue is about them being gay, fat, or a vampire. The overall story is unremarkable, and the voice acting ranges from acceptable to outright bad. The hand-drawn art is nice, at least.

Curse of the Sea Rats hews too closely to the Metroidvania formula. Anything I describe from the game is essentially the same as any other Metroidvania, and it doesn’t have a unique twist of its own, except for the 4-player co-op. It’s fun, but not outrageously so. I enjoyed the 6 hours I took to complete it, but it’s so generic that I only recommend it if you really like Metroidvanias or really want a co-op one to play.

Curse of the Sea Rats releases April 6 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Nintendo Switch for $19.99 digitally or $29.99 – $39.99 physically.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Curse of the Sea Rats.

About the author

Elise Avery
Elise Avery is a freelance video editor and writer who has written for The Escapist for the last year and a half. She has written for PCGamesN and regularly reviews games for The Escapist's YouTube channel. Her writing focuses on indie games and game design, as well as coverage of Nintendo titles.