Review: Curse Crackers Is Right at Home on a Nintendo Console
Screenshot by Siliconera

Review: Curse Crackers Is Right at Home on a Nintendo Console

There was something special about playing platformers on the Game Boy. We’d sometimes get these oversized, chibi versions of characters and opponents that could look more endearing than menacing. However, the appearance would often bely a genuinely enjoyable game. Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is a game that completely gets what people liked about this formula, with Colorgrave offering an entertaining character that keeps its personality present throughout. It’s also especially fun to see a Game Boy-inspired title on the Nintendo Switch.

Recommended Videos

Curse Crackers is set in a world recovering from a disaster involving a fight between powerful factions led by children of a dragon. However, after a quick introduction, it quickly cuts to a more focused tale. A young woman named Belle who used to be an acrobat is about to go on a date with Clyde. She gets there to find Bonnie, who used to be a friend of hers, kidnapped him. Your goal is to go save him alongside your sentient bell and mascot Chime, while also exploring at times to learn more about the world and perhaps getting caught up in a greater plot.

Review: Curse Crackers Is Right at Home on a Nintendo Console
Screenshot by Siliconera

In general, the concept behind Curse Crackers is a rather simple one. Belle needs to get through each area, facing Bonnie’s minions, and journey across the world as she does. The main method of getting around is Chime, as you can toss the creature to deal damage to enemies or trigger switches for challenges, or use it and its momentum to help reach higher areas from carefully executed tosses. There are also times when you’ll come across food from Claire that alter the properties of Chime once eaten, allowing Belle to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. As this is a typical platformer, that also means there will be hidden collectibles like medals, roses, and oath blades. 

What’s interesting is how Colorgrave plays with expectations. For example, the boss battles aren’t typically straightforward. Yes, the fights will involve using Belle or Chime to attack after learning patterns. However, they won’t always proceed as usual. A good example is the second boss fight, which involves a button-pressing portion to open the opponent up to an attack. However, you’ll also come across situations where you might see Chime used in a different way or run into NPCs in actual levels who will then end up playing parts later in the game. It’s almost like yes, you’re going through a level in a platformer game. However, these NPC appearances and additional elements make it feel like it is part of a connected world, rather than an isolated space separated from it.

What I especially appreciated, however, is the characterizations themselves. I suppose this is to be expected after Colorgrave’s Prodigal ended up being more than folks would expect, but the cast of Curse Crackers is really a fun one. There’s a lot of depth to everyone, which gradually unfolds as you spend more time with it. It is genuinely a game where it feels like the more you do, the more you learn. Yes, you’re earning the collectibles that trigger that little voice in your head to go, “Hey! You did it! That’s great! You’re great! Let’s find more!” But you’re also learning more about who all these people are as you do so.

It also runs so well on the Nintendo Switch. Curse Crackers showing up on here almost feels like the game is coming home. The aesthetic fits well. It’s responsive on the handheld. There’s no log. The controls are perfect. It’s just a well-optimized port.

Review: Curse Crackers Is Right at Home on a Nintendo Console
Screenshot by Siliconera

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is one of those sorts of platformers that I didn’t expect to be as charming and rich as it is. It perfectly captures the ambiance of an era. Likewise, it manages to blend its story and personality well into the experience, giving it a more distinct identity.

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is available on the Nintendo Switch and PC

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is an acrobatic 2D platformer where you play as Belle and her companion Chime, jumping, vaulting and swinging your way through levels in a world inspired by classic handheld games. Chase down Bonnie and her crew of troublemakers to get your boyfriend back! Switch version reviewed.

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is a novel Switch game that ends up offering way more than you would expect.

Food for Thought
  • In many areas, there are opportunities to practice tossing Chime so you can get comfortable with different angles and jumps.
  • The characterizations here are really fun, and it made me wish Prodigal was also on the Switch.
  • There is an Arcade mode you can unlock.

Siliconera is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.