Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils
Our rating is calculated based on the reviews and popularity of the game.
Release date
30 August 2022
Steam reviews score
97 (141 votes)

Help Belle and Chime, her lovable pet of questionable origins, recover her kidnapped boyfriend from her nefarious rival Bonnie. Not only has she stolen your beau but the bunny-eared necromancer has spread a curse to cover her escape. Crack the curse and stop the spread of the dead!

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Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils system requirements


  • OS: Windows 7 (SP1+) and Windows 10
  • Processor: x86, x64 architecture with SSE2 instruction set support
  • Graphics: DX10, DX11, DX12 capable
  • DirectX: Version 10
  • Storage: 224 MB available space


Recommended requirements are not yet specified.
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Very good platforming, it feels great understanding all of the movement options. The art direction is nice too, colors stand out a lot. If you only do what's necessary, you'll reach the credits with less than 40% completion


Curse Crackers: From Whom the Belle Toils is a wholesome platformer that puts a lot of attention towards world building, character development, and optional content (such as hidden stages and sidequests/unlockables) all while benefiting from excellent gameplay coupled with a remarkable soundtrack that ranges from cozy acapella BGMs to dramatic chiptunes and an unexpectedly jaw-dropping final boss theme.

Belle's moveset allows for fast-paced gameplay and taking risks with it is fun thanks to fast respawns (no annoying death animations or retry screens here) and the wise placement of enemies to bounce off as well as checkpoints. Some of the collectibles can be annoying to find, but fortunately it's possible to track your progress through the bathhouse by spending 100 coins per visit/world "scanned". Very worthwhile game especially for those who like being able to squeeze as much quality content as possible from their platformers.

evil homer
evil homer

5/10 couldnt play longer than an hour at a time without getting sleepy. Random, frustrating difficulty spikes? Now im bored AND annoyed.

repetitive, kinda boring, samey level design. Abit on the easy side for a while, Last world is weirdly obsessed with pixel perfect jumps. So much so, the final boss has 5 of them. Game has items that would mix up the gameplay, like a balloon that makes you float, or a fireball that destroys certain blocks but just refuses to use them (in fact, these items were only used once and never again) There is a B side world with more challenging levels, but you have to find the way into it. Usually hidden in some random level. These are abit better, but they dont aid in the repetition.

Found myself getting frustrated in some areas. As an example, One of the challenge levels actually needs an item to complete. Dont have it? Return to the world map, go to the shop, buy it, come back. It's halfway through the level....
Instant death fart gas? never a good time. Give it to a boss for all 3 phases of its attack? Heeeeeeey now we're cooking with gas, and it stinks.
The game IS on the easy side, which makes these random difficulty spikes stand out abit more.

I would also like to say, I really dislike how the game handles collectibles. For a VERY long time, you dont know what roses do, there are red coins, there are oath swords, and none of them seem to do anything. Theres also an area in the first zone that has all these cool items in an altar room. And I REALLY wanted to use them! But you CAN'T. Not in the main campaign at least. I beat the game and did not unlock a single item, I still dont know what red coins, or oath swords even do. You gotta motivate me to collect these man, I HAVE to know why they're worth collecting. I assume its a "collect em all for a secret level" or something, but maybe it would have been better to sprinkle some rewards here and there because I just didnt care. I had ZERO motivation to even try to get everything.

Found myself pretty uninterested for most of the experience, annoyed during other parts. It's whatever, mid game. Would not be my first recommendation. Or even my second, or my third.
BONUS: deceptive trailer. I expected to go fast and zip around the levels doing sick flying kicks. They made it seem that way. NOPE. If you try to play the game that way, you gon' die. Thats speedrun footage, not normal gameplay.


Really great platformer, really hard to 100%, here's some scattered thoughts

Positive thoughts:
+GameBoy Color style aesthetics
+Great music
+Great movement kit that feels really satisfying once you know how to use it properly
+Lots of extra stuff and secrets to find both during the main game and after
+Charming characters to meet and get to know
+A lot of worldbuilding and lore

Negative thoughts:
-Worldbuilding is cool, but most of the main game doesn't really make use of it and just has a barebones plot about rescuing your date. Platformers don't really need huge stories but since a lot of love was put into the world's lore so I expected a bit more from the main plot
-QoL stuff has been added in updates, but I think a few more things could be streamlined. Like not having to run back to the beginning of the game to switch artifacts

Other thoughts:
~This is on me, but I didn't learn you could run until 3/4ths through the game and it's a very important ability. I don't think anyone or anything ever really explains you could do that so I figured the normal movement speed was the run
~Some of the extras are really strict, especially the time based ones. I managed to 100% somehow so I shouldn't complain but some of those challenges for the last few levels felt nigh impossible

I hardly ever go for 100%, but I had so much fun with this game I couldn't resist. I really hope this game gets a good following, I haven't seen too much talk online. Really looking forward to seeing what Colorgrave does next.

9/10 or so


Looks like a Gameboy Color Game, but that needs the SNES Controller. Anyway Great Platformer, with solid controls. It works good on the Steamdeck, i just had to adjust the Resolution ingame in the Option Menu.


Its a great game!

I love retro platformers, and this one nails the look and feel extremely well. The movement is fun, the levels are thought out, the character interactions are great. The GBC-style is replicated well, even with the great sound design. Just a fun, good time overall. :)


I recently played Prodigal, a very retro RPG adventure full of charisma, excellent pixel art and a beautiful soundtrack. While I was playing it, I found out that the developers had created a second game, this time under another genre but in the same universe as their previous title, giving me a pleasant surprise and something to keep an eye out for. Now that it was on sale, and already having such good impressions of Prodigal, I didn't hesitate for a second to buy it.

Curse Crackers: For whom the Belle toils, is an action platformer game, where we’ll play the role of Belle, a young acrobat who is accompanied by a curious creature that looks like a bell. Together with them, we’ll be involved in an adventure whose goal is... to rescue Belle's boyfriend?! A somewhat unusual premise, but it presents us with something fun and interesting; with a variety of enemies and a gang of skeletons in our way, it will undoubtedly be a challenge that will put our skills to the test.

The story begins with the kidnapping of Belle's aforementioned boyfriend, who is taken by Bonnie, an old rival of our protagonist who has returned to cause trouble, or at least that's what it seems. Although the plot is simple at the beginning, it expands little by little and covers more topics than the initial one. On our way we’ll meet a diverse cast of characters whom we can meet and help, various enemies with their own ambitions (apart from kidnapping boyfriends), and secrets that will open the way to enigmas and uncertainties. In my opinion, the story is nice, but it’s not the main focus of the game.

The gameplay, on the other hand, is what I think shines the most in the game. It's a 2D platformer, taking inspiration from classics like Mario but implementing more modernized mechanics. We’ll have the typical controls of moving, jumping, and running, but we can also use our partner, Chime, as a weapon or as an object to perform some acrobatics, for example: We can use it to bounce, or to activate mechanisms. There are different types of levels to complete, with their own obstacle courses to deal with, and it even has the “despised” water worlds, so it was constantly entertaining.

In addition to the platforming mechanics, we’ll also have at our disposal some objects that will help us at various times; for example, cookies that can inflate Chime to allow us to float, fly, and other skills to open the way forward. These objects, however, are quite dependent on the map that we play, and usually have a concrete and single use; although it should be clarified, there is a store where they sell them to use wherever we want, even though we can’t stack them or carry more than one type. There are also some mini-games for the bosses, and many, many secrets to discover, either behind illusory walls or even outside the stage screen.

It's a fairly forgiving game for the most part, you don't have to be a master of the platforming genre to enjoy it, as it lets us take our time in completing the levels (for the most part) if we want to. If we're looking for a more fast-paced challenge, we can focus more on speedrunning, because the title lends itself pretty well to that, so there's a little something for every type of player. However, I would like to add that at some points I was extremely frustrated with some levels, but it's mostly because I'm pretty bad at this type of game, and on very specific maps. Still, I wanted to comment on it, even if it is something "normal" of the genre.

As for the art, it's a very retro and pretty pixelated style, from its menus to its scenery and characters. As expected from me, I loved the portraits and sprites, both of the various NPCs and enemies. I love that the colors of the characters have their reason for being in the very lore, just like in Prodigal, and it's a very unique aspect, in my opinion. The soundtrack is, as in Prodigal (yet again), excellent. It has several catchy melodies, and many remixes of them, and pretty "chiptune" in general. It has more than fifty tracks, and I loved them from the first to the last. However, the one that stayed with me the most was undoubtedly "The Belle Tolls", which has very cool vocals. I don't want to sound redundant, but the audiovisual section is simply perfect to me.

In conclusion, Curse Crackers is a very entertaining, challenging and colorful game. The characters are neat and somewhat wacky, the plot is fun and the gameplay is quite fluid, although its retro artwork might make you think otherwise. The developers have completely captured me with their two games, and I eagerly await both an update they have planned for Prodigal, and their third game: Howling Crown. I recommend it to fans of the genre who are looking for a new platformer, and invite those who aren't to give it a try, especially those who like the kind of "shared universe" between video games.


If you like fast paced action platforming, Gameboy color graphics and hidden lore, Curse Crackers is for you!

This game was made with passion and it really shows. There's so many little details and interesting characters.

Also, if you like completionism, Curse Crackers will put you to the challenge! I recommend going in blind.


what i liked:

(+) certainly a loveletter to some retro classics which heavily influenced the platforming genre in the past. super mario and the shantae games comes to mind, but honestly curse crackers is such a well thought out and executed game with it's own identity, let's scrap the comparisons to others game and focus on the game itself. overall it's a real pleasure for retro and platforming enthusiasts and in my humble opinion a must play for sure.

(+) the mobility in this game is insane and provides a lot possibilities for traversing through the 2d platforming areas at high speed with different movement techniques. curse crackers is certainly made to be speed runned.

(+) excellent level design with a lot of secrets and collectibles to be found. there are some medals to achieve as well.

(+) tons of post game content. the story might be done rather quickly, but there is so much more to the game - the optional side and post-game content is all over the place.

(+) the gameplay is constantly getting new additions to keep things fresh, which i appreciated highly.

(+) controls are responsive and accurate which makes the game a real pleasure to toy with.

(+) great difficulty curve. starting out fairly easy just to get ramp up over the course of the story and the difficulty definitely peaks in the post- and side content to a pretty challenging degree.

(+) cute side characters with their own quests and content going on.

(+) interesting narrative and lore. there is some world building as well, but don't expect too much.

(+) fun and quite unique boss fights with fancy mechanics.

(+) fair checkpoints and no penalty for dying.

(+) loving the gbc tribute graphics and art direction of curse crackers.

(+) simplistic and catchy chiptune ost. yet again with a heavy dose of that nostalgic gbc flavor.

(+) runs perfectly on steam deck and the art style favors a handheld display as well, so it is looking even better on the deck.

what felt debatable to me:

(~) although the premise (someone stole my bf) itself is rather bland, it serves it's purpose and gives you a motivation to keep going. the plot falls relatively flat in the mid game and seemed to be almost non existent, just to be spiced up at the later section of the story.

(~) texts are quite hard to read. i've played a lot of retro games with pixelated fonts, but this one's especially tiresome to deceiver. at least on a 27 inch, 1440p monitor.

what i disliked:

(-) i've got one little gripe with the game's item system. it doesn't ask on switching and the old one simply gets deleted, so i've lost some keys for no reason in the beginning. although not the biggest issue by all means, some "qol" would be great in this specific regard.



Charming adventure to beat up a hussy who stole my boyfriend in a fantastic visual/audio package where the smart player can move fast and move with style. Packed to the brim with content, worth every penny.

K. Kosen
K. Kosen

Just like Prodigal, the devs' previous game, Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is excellent. Platforming physics and controls are on point, the pixel art is gorgeous and you can see the love and care Colorgrave have put in the game.

It's not just some hidden gem, it is a treasure; don't sleep on it.


As a game, one of the most fun platformers I ever played. If you know what you're doing, it's fast, fluid, and rewarding. In that regard, highly recommend.

Everything else, might be a turn off for some.

Looking like a gameboy color game does lead to some limitations, like a couple of platforms hiding in the background and almost all the NPCs are lacking in detail. They look too much alike aside from outline color. Low pixel counts is fine, but when viusal style makes thing look like, it's a problem. It's a minor problem, but a problem that should be pointed out.

There is a story is... hard to comment on. It's not a bad story, but after the kidnapping at the start, it becomes hard to follow. By the end, the true bad guy is shown and you have to fight it and I don't even know why. (It was a fun fight, but the context was lost on me.) There are random documents around the world that can give lore, so maybe the answer is there.

That said, there is a hub town with NPCs, mini games, and secrets. It's all optional, but I like it because it's optional. Makes the world feel alive.


Incredibly fun

    • Has some of the most satisfying movement mechanics I've ever tried in a platformer
    • Chaining together moves to go super fast feels great, and discovering the little tricks to the system feels incredibly rewarding
    • Well-designed linear levels that are extremely satisfying to replay quickly
    • Difficulty for the main game is mostly left up to how risky the player wants to be with their speed and movement options. So, an experienced player can really push the limits, and a new player is able to be precise.
    • Challenging post-game
    • Exploring for secrets and collectibles was fun. A few were very hard to figure out
    • Excellent art style and music
    • Characters felt natural and fun to talk to
    • Nice optional downtime between the fast pace of the levels.
    • Between exploring previous levels for collectibles and talking to people in the hub areas, the pacing felt great
    • A surprisingly large amount of optional and post-game content

Highly recommended
Try the demo if you're interested, it represented the full game well

Jess FB
Jess FB

I would recommend the game for people who like characters and lore and stuff, and for people who like difficult platforming games. And also because both of the games from Colorgrave so far need more recognition, they're very underrated and I would love to learn more about the worlds in any future games.

Sadly, I found it so difficult that I had to resort to hacking to make things easier for me, slowing it down in places that required a lot of jumping and moving fast, and fixing my HP to make myself mostly invincible because you only have 3 for the entire game. And those death walls, I hate those. They give me anxiety, every time I enter a room I hope it doesn't have one, sometimes they're not immediately noticeable and can sneak up on you, and they always seem to move really fast, there was a very difficult boss battle where you had to outrun one between phases 3 times, and that was only on the second level. I just found them very stressful, especially since I rely a lot on patience and timing to get past things and some rooms having a death wall meant that wasn't an option.

I hate to complain about the difficulty because everything else about the game is great, which is why I still recommend it. Just be warned, and don't be ashamed to take measures to make it easier like I had to.


Lo compré para probar si ya andaba la tarjeta Ualá y me terminó re gustando, al principio pinta como un plataformero medio sonso pero tiene mucho más contenido y rejugabilidad de lo que parece. Los colores son agradables, la dificultad lo suficientemente desafiante sin ser imposible y la historia medio que no se entiende pero uno lo juega por las waifus, no importa si no entendés (?)


I feel quite mixed about Curse Crackers, but it has stuck in my mind since I played it, and I do recommend it.
It's full to bursting with secrets and the stage design is usually quite good, but it's laden with jank to the point where I was often unsure if I'd finished a quest or if the next quest step had just bugged out.
I can respect it's commitment to the gameboy aesthetic, but the tiny field of view leads to a lot blind drops where the only way to know what's below you is to come to stand still and hold down on the D-pad. It's not a huge deal, but the games movement mechanics are built for continous flow, so it feels kind of at odds with itself.

My biggest issue is the controls. Because they limited themselves to two buttons, the long jump and the high jump are both tied to the crouch, like in Mario 64. But unlike in Mario 64, the crouch isn't a seperate button, it's just down on the Dpad, which makes it much easier to do a misinput. It's a shame, because chaining a dozen long and high jumps together to blast through the levels is a genuine joy, but it's held back a bit by feeling needlessly precise. It might be better if you play on keyboard.

I liked the story, but it feels like there's a lot of connective tissue missing. There's only like half a dozen main story cutscenes so the transition from the fake conflict ("we're fighting because I stole your boyfriend") to the real conflict ("we're fighting because you were a bad friend") is lightning fast. The music is genuinely amazing throughout.

tl;dr games a bit of a mess, but it's a very likeable mess.


So what is Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils?

Developed and Published by Colorgrave, an Indie studio. Curse Crackers (or CC from hereon out) was released on August 31st, 2022.

CC was the second game released by Colorgrave, the first game being Prodigal. Which is a top-down isometric Legend of Zelda styled exploration game.

CC on the other hand is an action platformer focused on exploring a variety of stages while performing acrobatic moves.

Their style is very reminiscent of early Gameboy titles. Focusing on a strong visual palette and a simple control scheme. The pixel format is a clear strength for Colorgrave. The world is full of details, and the character portrait art is fantastic at drawing you into the world. Some cut-ins with Belle in particular, are stunning, even if the output is only using 4-5 values (colors) in total.

There's a Sprint, a Jump, and the ability to throw Chime, Belle's bell companion. Chime is indestructible, and one of the primary ways to deal with enemies. You also have the ability to utilize a single item. Which for the most part is either going to be in the form of a power-up for Chime, or a healing item to restore health.

One of the simple joys of such a straightforward control scheme is when you find out that you can combine various simple actions to create more complex maneuvers.

I'm not the kind of person that really finds much enjoyment out of speed running levels, but CC is a rare exception. Belle's mobility and speed makes it fun to see how quickly I can complete various levels, and while there are some that will certainly be beyond my ability to acquire. This is a me thing, not an inaccessibility/difficulty problem. I do like that there are rewards for doing so.

Belle has only 3 hit points, and then it's back to the start of the level or the most recent checkpoint. There's no lives in this. So you can try a level or segment over and over again until you get it right.

As a nice quality of life feature, if you collect an item in a level, but ultimately end up having to back out for various reasons: your collection efforts are kept.

The story begins with Belle trying to have a romantic moment with Clyde, and getting interrupted by Bonnie.

It's the Save the Princess trope just flipped, and I don't mind it.

What follows is a chase of sorts through various levels with some twists and turns. The game ending on a different note than what I would have anticipated. Which fits Colorgrave's style of storytelling.

There's also the nature that even though I have 14 or so hours in CC, I've got only 40 or so percent of the game actually completed. There's a substantial post-game that includes additional areas and hidden collectibles.

So there's more to CC than just the initial story.

I picked it up on a whim and I'm happy I did. I'm excited to see what Colorgrave does next.

I recommend picking up Curse Crackers, or at least trying the Demo. If you like the demo, the rest of the experience only builds up on that.

Three Woopers in a Trench Coat
Three Woopers …

A really fun, cute, retro-style platformer. The story is entertaining, and the platforming is challenging without feeling unfair. Tons of collectibles/secrets for people that want to spend more time playing after credits roll.


I got to play this game for the first time at PAX East and in the short demo that they had, I got an easy hang of the controls. It becomes apparent that this game is not only easy to pick up, but also has some level of complexity for the more difficult collectibles so everyone from the person going through for the story, to the person trying to 100% the game can enjoy it just as much.
The art and characters are wonderful and make the world and the lore feel alive. The music matches the areas well and are a lot of fun, and even though as I am writing this, I don't believe the game is finished, I still can't wait to see what more this game has to offer. The platforming, story, and characters are a lot of fun and I'd recommend this to anyone that enjoys platforming games in the slightest


This may look like a fairly average (although cute-looking) platformer, but there is a shocking amount of depth here! The protagonist starts off with a good amount of movement options along with some unlockable additions that you can choose between. Dashing, slide-jumping, and vaulting off enemies is so smooth and makes the process of speeding through levels feel so expressive in a way most 2D platformers aren't.
Of course, you shouldn't speed too fast! This may be one of the most secret-heavy games I've played in a while! Lots of different collectibles and characters to find, and some of them are real head-scratchers! They're mostly worth the effort too, often leading to upgrades or entirely new chunks of content. Not often you see a game cater to both explorers and speed runners, but here we are.
Of course, if none of that matters to you, just know this game is charming as hell and filled with passion and love for its world. The gbc aesthetic is adorable and the soundtrack is stellar and often surprising (not that i would spoil how). I'm keeping a close eye on Colorgrave form now on. It's always bittersweet to discover such (mostly) undiscovered talent around the steam store, but also somewhat magical.


When I woke up this morning, impatient to get started with work so I could get done with work as quickly as possible and play more Curse Crackers, I found myself asking: why? Why have my thoughts been taken captive by this little retro platformer that I bought on a whim?

The answer lies in the fact that "little" is not a word anyone should use to describe this game.

Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils, aside from having a delightfully whimsical title, is a surprisingly ambitious game. You can punch through the impressive collection of levels pretty quickly and enjoy tight platforming gameplay with a shockingly high skill ceiling, but if you dig just a little beneath that surface, you'll find something quite unusual in a platformer:


Apart from the well-designed levels, Curse Crackers has a wealth of other locations to explore, most of them filled to the brim with NPCs. You hardly have to interact with them to progress, but if you do, you'll find that most of them have backstory, relationships, and motives. Some of these are tied to the lore of the game world, which you'll slowly begin to unravel the more people you meet.

Belle, the protagonist, knows many of these characters already. She greets them as friends. And why wouldn't she? She grew up in the area. These are people she's known, possibly since childhood. This makes the dialogue refreshingly natural. So many stories feel the need to have an amnesiac protagonist so they have an excuse to explain their lore and such, which isn't necessarily a bad narrative tool, but Curse Crackers is smarter than that. This game realizes that if your characters are established already, you can skip past the part where you're strangers to each other and get straight to the good stuff—meaningful character interaction, fun dialogue, and as mentioned before, worldbuilding.

And the writing on display here is really something. It's snappy, expressive, and fun, and the more you delve into it, the more cohesive the game world feels. The NPCs don't exist just to spout trivia or give you gameplay tips—they live in this world, and as Belle, you inhabit it with them.

This all sounds like simple stuff, but… most developers don't do this. Most developers don't have the creativity or the dedication to set their cute retro platforming game in a lived-in world. Most developers won't bother putting a huge amount of optional content in their game just so players can experience the joy of exploration and discovery. Most developers lack the gumption. Colorgrave, evidently, do not.

This game surprised the heck out of me. If anything I've described sounds cool to you, give it a shot. You might be surprised, too.


Curse Crackers is easily in my top 10 games of all time.

It looks amazing and has so much attention to detail. The strict Gameboy Color style palettes and the resolution show a real care and appreciation for retro games.
The characters are all lovable, good guys and bad guys included... and honestly they're cute as hell, haha.
The OST is legendary, ranking up there with the all-time indie OSTs like Super Meatboy and Undertale. Not to mention the underground remixes of the overworld stage tunes? Incredible.
Most importantly the game FEELS incredible. The controls are air-tight and you always feel like you're in complete control of the action. I never felt like dying was the game's fault or that the action was unfair. I also appreciate you are more than able to take the game nice and slowly or get up to WILD speeds using Belle's various movement options... of which there are MANY.

At point of writing this review, I have played the game for about 60 hours and honestly, I think I'm ready to start over and enjoy at least 60 more.


What an incredible game. I picked this one up when it was on sale, and was immediately into it when playing the Demo version. I didn't even complete the entire Demo and I already bought the whole thing.

This is a great 2D Platformer, where you can play it very fast-paced with your acrobatic moves. This game have a lot of unlockables too. One of the main unlockables are three medals you can get per stage, one for beating it as fast as possible, one for finding the bonus room (which is kinda like Break the Targets from Smash Bros.), and the other for throwing your little projectile-guy far away from the goal.

You take control of Belle, alongside your companion called Chime. With Chime, you can do a lot of fun stuff like throwing it to defeat enemies, jumping on it to jump higher, or transform Chime into different transformations (which can be unlocked by getting certain food items that are necessary to advance in-game).

By default, you can run by holding a button (including in the map screen!). However, the most fun part is doing slide jumps, which are achieved by doing D-Pad Down + Left / Right D-Pad, then jumping. This will make Belle do a really fast short jump towards the direction you held. You can chain these jumps really quickly and it's so much fun doing over and over again.

Despite me not liking when games have unlocks / progress on things that requires you to beat a level (or the entire game) as fast as possible, the "Beat as Quickly as Possible" medals were made very lenient. You have to beat the stages quickly, but you can still make a few mistakes along the way. Oh, and the fact that all your acrobatics moves, especially your slide jump, are a lot of fun to play with, makes replaying stages an amazing bonus in this game.

There are a lot of cool secrets to find, too. There's a lot under the hood and things hidden away. The story may be a little cheesy, but, make sure to try find everything and you'll see that there's a lot more than meets the eye in this game. The game is very lore-heavy too, but don't worry, you don't have to read every single thing in the game to advance. The more detailed story information are tucked in a place in the Town, so you can read those whenever you feel like it (provided you unlocked the secret Book that some stages has!).

In the World Map screen, you can only see if you collected all the Rose collectables and the 3 medals mentioned. However, in the Town, you can take a bath that shows you secrets you have missed / collected per world. These bathes cost coins, however, so make sure to have a bath break only when needed. You have the option to choose a shampoo that represents a world of the game. The game doesn't strictly tells you what world you are in (like, say, Super Mario Bros. with the 1-4, 2-2, etc.), however, when moving around the World Map screen, the music changes depending on the area your character is on the Map, and there's a clear design-structure for each world in the Map Screen (look at the environment itself as well the numbered stages).

Oh, and the soundtrack is really amazing as well. It might one of my favorite chiptune styled soundtracks, specifically the track that plays on quest missions, oh man.

And speaking of, there are a couple quests you can do in-game. Doing these will unlock certain equipment / items that can help you in your journey. Some of these quests are a lot of fun, they take you on a special stage that has that amazing song I just mentioned. If you are having trouble on where to go next in a quest, you can enable a "Quest Helper" in the Options menu, this will give a little "!" on the map so you know where to go, the "!" will also show up on the NPC you need to talk to.

Some of these quests requires a couple things like X amount of coins, or medals, but it's nothing too complicated.

If you are not convinced yet, you can always try the Demo version. Perhaps you'll be like me and immediately purchase the game after just playing the first level. Trust me, it's that good.

Oh, and with the amount of content this game have, it's definitely worth the base price without discounts. It's a bargain, really.

If I were to critique a few things, or suggest things that I wish the game had, would be:

- You can only have one active item at the time. Some of your items are basically food items that change how your little projectile fellow behaves, and these items are one time use only (but you can purchase more, of course). This can be a bit annoying at the beginning of the game as you can only consume it once, and they cost coins. This eventually stops becoming an issue, though. As you unlock a way to get these food items for free later, although, you still have to manually go back to the store to pick them up if you need a specific Chime transformation to get a secret, which means you have to manually go back to an area of the World Map that has that for sale, as you can't purchase anywhere else, neither a menu or hotkey on the World Map screen).

~ In a post-release update, the item unlockables you get from doing quests received an upgrade, with an additional ability alongside the original that I assume was already in the base game upon release. These new abilities were added so you can do some secret areas / rooms located around the game. Although some of these new additions are a lot of fun, they may feel a bit overpowered movement-wise in the regular levels, specially one that lets you do a high jump, even in the air, acting as a double jump (where its original ability was just walk faster underwater), however, despite that, using it makes going into levels faster even more fun, so I have mixed opinions regarding these, I like them but I can see them breaking a bit of the flow of the game (especially the one I mentioned in specific). You have the option to not use this new ability if you would prefer to play the game without them, though, so it's a matter of preference.

+ I really wish this game had a Time Attack mode, because of how fun playing the stages are by going as quickly as possible. I would love to see all the stages from the main mode be available in a time attack mode, as well the quest-exclusive ones, of course.

In short, this game is amazing. I kept my review somewhat brief, because the best way to experience this game is by experiencing yourself. You will unlock a lot of cool things that I prefer not to spoil here. So, get going!

Mike Habbages
Mike Habbages

It's got that mega man 7 problem where the sprites are too big and the screen is too small.
You get hit a lot by shit you could never see coming and there's never much space to maneuver. Add on to this the clunky attack where you need to either manually recall Chime or wait for him to come back and you get a sluggish experience. Not to mention the limited inventory system, the fact that you can't jump down thin platforms (a standard feature in almost every platformer), and the fact that many collectibles are literally impossible to get on the first pass through until you gain access to an item halfway through the main quest.


Picked up on a whim, VERY pleasantly surprised. Fun platformer with good movement. I don't want to spoil anything but there's also a lot more to it than it seems. Absolutely packed with secrets. Go in blind. More than worth the price.


It looks like a fun little Gameboy Colour style romp, but as the game progresses, the music goes harder, the movement tech starts to become apparent, this game shines like very few platformers do.

If you like games like Shovel Knight you are doing yourself a disservice by not picking this up!


This game is nothing short of some of the best 2D platforming in the entire genre for the vast majority of its runtime, even if I have a few gripes with the difficulty curve of some lategame stages.

Even with the breakneck pace of the actual game, I found myself getting very invested in the often slower-paced side content and exploration. I would regularly go an hour and a half between the individual worlds just filling out side stuff. Not sure how much of that grip was just me getting to listen to one of the few soundtracks I willingly purchased separately, but it pulled me in regardless. Seriously this soundtrack rules.

For new players, I do have a few recommendations. Turn on the timer and quest marker in the settings. Don't be afraid to use a guide for the postgame tickets, as the intent was for their discovery to be a community-wide search. PLAY THE ADVANCED TUTORIAL IN THE SCHOOL THERE ARE NOT PIXEL PRECISE JUMPS IN THE VIDEO GAME.

Princess Zelda
Princess Zelda

Oh, cool!

A game in 2022 where the devs actually care about the product they create, what is this?
With slick controls and content worthy of the price-tag I can't recommend this game enough to the platformer fans, and to the Zelda-like fans check out their other game Prodigal.
The stories/characters are somewhat connected, but do not require you to play one game before the other.


Curse Crackers is just an all around great time.

The movement is a lot of fun and the level design is smart, with checkpoints and very little repetition, the game takes care not to let any one mechanic overstay its welcome. Boss fights, while typically on the easier side, are creative and all unique from one another. There is a wealth of hidden collectibles to uncover throughout the levels, as well as a handful of side quests with their own unique levels. The game's difficulty starts out very approachable and slowly ramps up, ending up quite challenging by the endgame, and staying so throughout optional postgame content.

The soundtrack is excellent and boasts far more tracks than I expected. The art is beautifully animated and captures the GBC charm perfectly, featuring a large cast of quirky characters and interesting locales. There's a lot of love poured into every aspect of Curse Crackers, and it shows. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the Shantae series, though I think Curse Crackers has stronger gameplay for the most part.


My crush in 2022!
_mechanically accurate, diverse, and rarely frustrating;
_tons of objectives, from NPC side-quests to 100% completion of each level;
_endearing characters, with random encounters and lots of dialogues;
_sweet visuals and soundtracks.
The difficulty starts gently and becomes challenging at the end, but even grinding to get speedrun or no-hit medals remained fun, and that made this game memorable.


Colorgrave's second game. Their first, Prodigal, was inspired by the old gameboy Zeldas and dating sims. Curse Crackers is inspired by platformers of the same era, but with more responsive controls and an impressive amount of jumps and bouncing moves stemming from the main character being an acrobat. It's a cute little game with anime inspired designs/characters. My only complaint being the lack of enemy variety, it's skeletons all the way down.

If you're looking for a responsive platformer inspired by the gameboy era with charming characters and cute designs, check out Curse Crackers.


Stuffed to the brim with content- challenges and additional layers of difficulty, side quests and NPC dialogue just dripping with charm, well thought out and interesting lore, and consistent/layered/flawed characters.

The gameplay somehow transcends any expectation I might have had. Platforming is simple, easy, and fun at first glance, but as the game continues, you are asked to explore its mechanics more deeply and make good use of them to continue making progress. Chime, the little bell guy you throw about, is a stroke of actual genius- he has unique utility in puzzle solving, platforming, and combat. The developers utilize this in every way imaginable throughout both the campaign and its additional content. The skill ceiling is extremely high, so challenges like speedruns or no-damage runs are something you might find yourself naturally slipping into, just out of the sheer joy platforming in this game evokes.

Additionally, any amount of time or effort you put into the game is anticipated by the developers, and as such you are rewarded for paying attention and pushing boundaries. There are countless secrets, with many different levels of difficulty in discovering them, and as you discover more you acquire more resources to hunt for more secrets more efficiently.

As an example of what these secrets entail, the main campaign itself is of a perfectly serviceable length, but if you want more, there are literally twice as many levels waiting to be discovered, as secret worlds hiding away in secret level exits.

The soundtrack is incredible. I haven't played the game in about 2 months since writing this, mostly because I've gotten busy with other stuff and moved on to new singleplayer games, but I can still remember all of the major motifs and melodies, and the songs do a great job of setting tone and pace of the levels. Sound design is similarly fantastic, everything has the impact it needs to and calls back to the retro platformers that inspired this masterpiece.

Visually, I think the game is beautiful at every turn, but that's something you can judge for yourself in the trailers and screenshots. The big thing I have experience enough to comment on is animation, and the poses and timing for every single moving element in the entire game are pretty much flawless, especially considering the limited pixel space to work with. It's exactly what you'd hope for in a game with this aesthetic.

Stylistically, there are no inconsistencies I can remember, and the style is very distinct and specific. A lot of the level tiles remind me of NES/GBC kirby games, in a good way. The colors being so soft and easy on the eyes, while having high contrast outlines to help important elements stand out, is perfect for visual clarity during platforming and combat sections.

9/10 soundtrack (no major flaws, but there aren't as many particularly exceptional tracks as you'd find in say, Undertale or Kirby games.)
10/10 visuals (adorable characters, enemies, and settings, executed with meticulously and with incredible skill.)
10/10 gameplay, as described above.

So doing some math and rounding up for personal bias,
99/100 overall score. Fantastic game. Please play it and tell your friends to play it :3


The games great and checks all the boxes for a 2D platformer

-well designed levels filled with hard to find collectibles
-an OST that'll have you bobbing your head all the way through
-movement tech that'll make speedrunners coom



This is a game you don't want to sleep on if you're a fan of quirky, colorful platformers. I wasn't sure if the game could live up to its interesting screenshots, but it ended up exceeding my expectations.


+ Smooth, responsive gameplay
+ wonderful visuals with great character sprites a lot of variation in level design
+ Plenty of boss fights, most of which are unique one-time battles
+ Well balanced difficulty, with most of the difficult content being optional
+ Speaking of optional content, there are more than 20 secret levels and side quests to discover
+ A large, colorful cast of characters you can interact with in various towns
+ Secrets galore
+ Extremely interesting lore that connects to Colorgrave's other game, Prodigal


- The game looks better in windowed mode rather than in full screen mode
- There's occasional screen tearing when you sprint
- The main game can be completed after only seeing a fraction of the game's content (e.g. 30% or so)
- Some side quests are hard to trigger

I can't overstate how much I enjoyed this game, especially with all the effort that went into developing the lore. I also appreciate all the effort that went into the NPCs and making towns feel alive.

All that being said, for those of you who are really only interested in the gameplay, rest assured that Colorgrave nailed it. Figuring out how best to traverse environments can be really fun, and the neck-snapping pace of later levels is incredibly engaging and addicting.

This is an extremely emphatic recommend. I can't wait to see what this super underrated developer comes up with next.


I didn't get enough Prodigal, and the answer was Curse Crackers! Colorgrave's games are truly packed with a lot of great optional content. I found the game enchanting, enraging, and very entertaining. Enchanted by the detailed world and setting, and an attention to details. Enraged by reaching for 100% completion and facing some mighty challenges. Entertained by the well crafted experience. Solid in all aspects, the game is an easy thumbs up.

I have a few wishes still, like dialogue that can be skipped after being seen once. And maybe more dialogue that changes as you get further into the game, rather than a few possible days... So that the characters might comment on present circumstances... But mainly I just want more of the creative world Colorgrave paints...
Oh and I want to stress I was very impressed by the platforming in this game. You can really fly through stages with practice, or equip items to give yourself an easier time. And music had some fantastic tracks as well. (Actually listening to the final boss music again as I write this... )

Bottomline: Another great indie game. Optionally play the previous game Prodigal to dive deeper in this universe. I consider both of Colorgrave titles, indie home runs. And I would love to see more in the future...


GB/GBA era aesthetics with a few modern updates, and a really cute protag. If it looks like a game you would like, you will like it. Also you can pet the dog.


Surprising gem of a platformer with clear influences from GBC titles like Shantae. Unlike Shantae, most movement options are available from the get-go, and once you have a feel for how they work, you'll be absolutely zooming through each stage.

The fluid and fast nature of each stage also belies the depth of both story and secrets that the game has to offer. While it took me only a couple hours to reach the credits (and considerably less on a replay in arcade mode), there are an absolute dizzying number of NPCs and secrets to uncover. (These were originally not tracked in the main level tooltip, but a free update just dropped for this.)

Even at 20 hours with most achievments cleared, my save file is only sitting at 82%. The deeper questlines and secrets remind me a little of games like FEZ or alternate reality games (ARGs), though thankfully with secrets that keep it fairly simple once you find them.

There are also great options for speedrunners available for those looking for them, though I won't spoil the surprise. And what a great speed game this could be: the movement feels great, the levels are designed to bounce through at high speed, cycles are room-based and consistent, and deaths are both forgiving and quick to recover from. My only complaint in this direction is that a few of the bosses rely a bit too much on RNG, but there are generally methods to manage or cycle them quickly when it comes up.

In terms of bugs, I did experience a couple minor ones, but typically they were either cosmetic or fixed with a reload of the level. I don't expect most folks will even notice these, and I expect they'll be patched quickly.

Overall, if you enjoy games like Celeste or Shantae, this is a good mixture of the two. If you enjoyed either of those, this is worth picking up.


I have experienced great fun playing through this game. I find the controls to be tight and precise. The character movement feels very smooth and only gets better as the player gets to learn some of the advanced moves, which are fun to master. There aren't that many and the player does not really need any more, because the player will be given plenty of opportunities to explore their use through various and colorful stages located in different zones.

Each zones in this game consists of 5 different stages (all of which share a specific theme). For example, one could take place in a cheerful carnival while another in some overgrown ruins. Each one comes with something new (whether it be in the form of a new enemy or a stage mechanic), it never feels boring or repetitive. Also with each new zone, stages will get more challenging and therefore will require more thoughtful maneuvering and will test the player's accumulated skill and knowledge.

All of this nicely packaged together with visuals that are clean and pleasant to look at, a story that I find to be interesting to follow, characters which are fun to interact with and listen to what each one has to say as well as whose visuals complement and enchance their charm, music that always fits with the mood (whether it is meant to convey something upbeat, calm or serious, it is done well and sometimes even goes beyond said words). Also, secrets. Lots of'em and all around. I'd say they are more to discover on their own, so I will leave those at that.

lara shiro
lara shiro

I've been watching the development of this game for the last year and I could not be more pleased with the end result. Colorgrave team kills it and doubles down every time. The game mechanics is top quality and the lore is top tier. For sure worth giving a try


Some of the best movement in a platformer I've ever seen. When you get good at it, you can really fly through the levels and it's super fun! Plus it's chock-full of secrets and lore, as to be expected from a Colorgrave game.


TLDR: Pick it up if you are a sucker for platformers or like small charming games, with a few bits and problems.

Cursed Crackers is a fun small(at first) platformer with a colorful cast of interesting characters that... hmmm..., well I like them. I suppose I should get this started.

Story/World/Characters: You play as Belle with her friend Chime to get your boyfriend Clyde back from an old friend/rival named Bonnie. During your trip you'll be able to interact with a number of side characters from funny, to annoying, to charming, and to.... wtf.

The side characters are hard to grade as they run the gauntlet of tropes and character types but there were only a few that I rolled my eyes at. Though some are only there as exposition or lore dumps. And the LORE is pretty wide but also pretty.... shallow? I should expand on that; The LORE and setting info is enough to fit into a pretty big RPG or Tactics RPG. But the amount of info that relates to what you're doing(Saving Clyde) and what you're allowed to experience is quite small in comparison.

This leads to the world being large, lived in, and believable but also making you feel a bit like a tourist. And with how wide the lore goes, it feels like they leave out a few parts that could be useful to point out rather than leaving the player making their own connections at best(Which is a good thing) or confused and lost at worst(Bad).

For what's there, the characters and story are serviceable and I grew to like Belle more as I watched her help the other characters in the world.

Gameplay/Mechanics - The meat of the game and probably why most people are playing it.

Cursed Crackers is a platformer, with pretty good controls and movement. The stupid amount of speed you can build up with slide jumps and the rhythm you can build up by going through the stage is actually quite fun once you get going. Speedruns of this game are giong to be a sight to see I can tell you that if you're into it.

For a normal player/runs; it's okay. Belle can run, jump, and slide her way through the game. Bouncing on enemies, objects and other devices to get around. Chime is used to attack, get coins, turn on switches and even do a double jump. The danger is in the fact Chime goes flying and you have to wait for him to come back or call him back to your side.

The stages are paced pretty well in their difficulty though the checkpoints are at times pretty long slogs to get through, about three or so rooms/screens away from each other. That doesn't sound too bad till you see what the ROOM wants of you. Though with Chime, some unlocks, and 3 hits till death, you can cheese parts of the game pretty easily. At times I've gotten past or towards areas in ways that leave me thinking "Was I supposed to be able to DO that?"

Speaking of damage tanking; you get three hits till death, a check point seems to give you 1 hit back. On death, you lose out on a portion of your coins like Shovel Knight. These coins are usually used for side quests so losing them isn't a huge issue, and you can try to pick them back up if you choose.

Bosses felt usually fair though there's a few bosses where the RNG is a bit too much or have instant deaths. I would be a bit more harsh but at time of writing they are listening to player feedback and are trying to fix them so I'd rather not spotlight problems I believe are currently being fixed. Just keep an eye out for patch notes about Golem, Harpy, and Bonnie boss fights. The only big problem is that sometimes its hard to tell if you're damaging a boss the 'right' way or not.

Side content - Besides going through the main quest to save Clyde, you can do side quests and collectibles.

Side quests usually involve collecting items out in the stages like hidden books, locked away blades, or the several different tokens you can get. Others will require you to play mailman between NPCS, though the interaction between them and Belle was amusing to me. At times the NPC will send you off to a rather hard platforming stage to get an item but that's not really any different from getting to the end of a leave, save for the challenge presented(Like an auto scroller or a jump/platform focused one).

Doing this content is key to unlocks as you can pick up different colors for Belle and Chime, different portraits for the starting screen, OR Abilities. Some of these can be eh or useful while others break the game over it's knee. Along with this, you can unlock new stages and challenges so it's always a good idea to go out of your way if something looks off.

Because that was the biggest thing I had with the game, just seeing what was around the corner or what they'd do next. Each zone or extra bit I unlocked was a moment of "The mad men really did this huh?". I can't speak too much on it as part of the fun is seeing it yourself but I kept asking myself during play "They really didn't need to go THIS HARD with what they put in the game, the mad lads". While I think I'm near the end of my own time with the game(about 10 hours maybe 12-15 if I keep going), just thinking 'ah I'm done' and then another layer is pulled back was.... refreshing to me.

Presentation - This is retro baby.

The game is great with it's presentation but only if you like pixel or 'old school' graphics. Honestly the game looks like something that could have been on Gameboy Color or Gameboy Advanced; and this is a good thing to point out. Everything looks crisp and colorful till you get to the darker muted stages that follow that washed out color palette as it should given the darker woods and ruins you're running through.

The music sounds great if perhaps a bit... tedious. The issue is that each world seems to have 1 main theme... just with a couple different remixes of them based on what part you're playing. Stages 1-3 share the same tune, 4-5 have a remix. With other sections getting their own different songs. While each one is entirely enjoyable, considering how long it can take to find all the hidden items or even get through some of the tougher stages, the chip tune can be a little grating for long periods.

One problem I did want to point out is the text. While I played on windowed and not full screen, the text at times was a little hard to read for dialogue.

-Why do I have to sit through all the dialogue again when talking to NPCs?
-It can be a little tough to tell what is or isn't a platform at first, more so in areas that have background elements like pipes or ruins.
-Money is both largely useless... and a massive money sink for some of the NPC quests.
-Some of the unlocks could use better descriptions.
-While i'm one for secrets, at times I've stumbled into things that seemingly HAVE no purpose or possibly left over from testing the game. Some clarification as to WHAT or WHY things are there could help. Unless it's for DLC/Extra Content
-I have other nitpicks but some of that is lore/plot related but I will say this; it's not a deal breaker just minor 'wait.... hmmm' bits.

Final Words

Cursed Crackers; For Whom the Belle Toils is a solid indie title that knows what it wants to do; have fun. It's a great game by itself and with the huge world they've created, I look forward to seeing more of the story dealing with the Scales hopefully in another game, with or without Belle.

It's fast fun if you want, a pleasing exploration if you care, with a number of characters that I'm sure one will get a chuckle out of you. Are there problems? Sure but no game is perfect and none here are deal breakers. Does it stand up to other large giants in the space? No but you can clearly see them standing on said giant's shoulders and doing their own thing. Which is what Indie games should be.

Cursed Crackers; For Whom the Belle Toils gets probably my STRONGEST Stressed Recommendation and probably my Gem of the year. I haven't had such a huge grin on my face playing a game in years.


I've gotten through the ending of the game. Not through all the secrets and sidequests yet.

-Great Sprite art and characters
-Pretty good music
-Surprising fast paced gameplay options
-Many side quests and collectables
-Generally good level design

-Bugs and lag. Lag is more prevalent on wider levels because all of the level is active off screen. Only really annoying bug was some jumping interactions being inconsistent.
-Story is passable.
-Pretty easy bosses. Maybe a boss rush one day?
-No skip/speed up text option for dialog you accidentally start again.

All that being said, these devs are very good about updating their game. All of their updates are free. So, I'd expect this game to only get better as the months go by. The lag is probably going to be the hardest to sell on because it is otherwise a very snappy game. But, it wasn't enough to ruin the experience. I think on sale, at like $10, this would be a good buy. Also, buy Prodigal, the dev's earlier game. That game is dang good.

Zinico Haramunia
Zinico Haramunia

I didn't know what to expect when I first bought this game. I just followed a link on twitter from an artist that I follow. 15 dollars isn't much, I could take that risk on something like this. Turns out, I got extreme value for what I paid. This game just keeps giving and giving and giving. I'm in shock of how much of this game there is, and how quality it all manages to be.

Curse crackers calls back to an old era of videos games, not uncommon for games these days, but unlike a huge majority of what I"ve played, actually manages to feel like it's of the era. Something alot of callbacks forget was personality. Stages that just have parts and visual features just because they could. And sometimes if you hit your head against those weird features hard enough, you'll find a secret or 5 dozen. I can't help but to gush about how perfectly it mimics the game boy colour visual style, in all of it's unique game boy glory

Even with the callback, the game is just plain beautiful. Every stage has a full background, often with parallax layers to sell the sense of depth. The enemies look great, the stages look great, the everything looks great. The artists who worked on this really knew what they were doing. The soundtrack follows suit, having that Mario quality of setting the tone, tempo, and feel of the stage while being fun to listen to in isolation. I still find the first few stages music playing in my head at random times, most of them being appropriate chip tunes you could imagine a gameboy making, give or take some clarity. Though there are some more clean modern sounding tunes, even lyrics to at least one of them which was a real shock to my system
I'll admit I have a bias towards the overall style of this game, but I think artistically, this game hits a perfect 10

The gameplay... on the other hand... is also fantastic. Again, showing deep understanding of video games not just of the game boy era, but just video games in general, the gameplay is amazing. It's a classic side scrolling platformer game all about pulling off feats of acrobatics, and god damn did they stuff this game full of challenges. There are just so many well made and well explored ideas, using a wide if well thought out set of elements to piece those challenges together. You're given a fun set of moves to tackle them with too, spanning from jumping, jumping higher, jumping longer and faster, bouncing off of stuff, bouncing off of your pet, It's just so much fun to move in this game. Early on these advanced moves are just fun to play with, but later down the line you will be expected to know and used them effectively. And it never stops being fun

When I was talking about value at the start, I didn't mean just how well the game was made. To put things into context, once the "main" story rolls credits, my save file was just above 30% complete, and I had been taking the time to sweep up collectibles as I went. Turns out there's a fuck tonne of bonus levels and content to go along after or even during the first playthrough. Every stage has 3 challenge metals to collect, 3 roses to find, 1 secret oath blade, and up to 2 other potential collectibles. The game does little to draw attention to them, they're just things you can run into if you notice them. I'm amazed at this games restraint, it's peppered a lot of mysteries everywhere and just leaves you to be curious enough to unravel them, including the worlds lore. I love that about this game, it's content with letting me be confused and interested, and leaves it to me if i want to pick the game clean or let secrets remain to be secret.

At time of writing, I haven't cleaned this game up yet. There's still a bunch of stages and a bunch of things i've yet to collect, and i"m eager to keep playing, even when this game was kicking me in the teeth I spent at least an hour trying to get the key on the secret hard level after you collect all the roses, the one where you can only take one hit while dodging like, a hundred soft balls coming at you This game is exactly the reason I play video games for

If I need to give this game a numeric score, then I give it a perfect 10/10
This is a must play


Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils is a 2D platformer with an emphasis on fast paced gameplay. It tells the story of Belle, a young girl who gets her boyfriend kidnapped by her rival Bonnie and whose goal is to rescue him. It's also a hidden gem of a game that deserves some of your time.

It's a simple story that's more of a pretext to set up a colorful world filled to the brim with interesting characters, locations, secrets and lore. You could simply get through the end of the 25 main levels, beat the final boss and call it a day ; but why do that when there's another 15 levels off the beaten path as well as 10 post-game extra tough levels?
In the same vein, you could just get through the levels as fast as you can, but you could also collect the three roses as well as secret stuff hidden in each of them - Oathblades, Lore tomes, Gate pieces, post-game Lost souls? And that's not even mentioning the fact that each of these 50 levels has three medals to collect (one for finding a treasure, one for being fast and one for hitting the end goal in an interesting way)! There's a ton of completely optional content for people who enjoy it, and it's mostly great content as well.

Collecting these items and medals will ask you to do some creative platforming in order to reach places, and that's where Curse Crackers really shines. In short, platforming feels great. You can run, jump and launch a bell that bounces off enemies and walls. When it comes back to Belle, she can jump on it to get some extra height as well as distance. Furthermore, you can slide into a jump to get some extra speed and distance, and even combine that with a diagonal bell throw in order to go super high!
All of this allows you to get creative in order to get through levels super fast, which feels great. Going back to the first levels after a while and just blazing through them is something few platformers manage as well as Curse Crackers. Harder levels are a bit more limited since they tend to expect one specific move in order to advance, but they're never too punishing and checkpoints are plenty.
Accessibility-wise, some quests you can complete are tied to unlockable passive items which can make gameplay way easier. Stuff like running twice as fast or having a double jump makes levels trivial, and it's great that these options are included in a diegetic way for people who have trouble with the platforming.

NPCs live in the different locations you can go to and always have a lot to say. They interact with each others, form relationships and ask Belle to help them with stuff. I think this is one of Colorgrave's strengths, as their previous game Prodigal had just as many interesting people to speak with! Nevertheless, I can't say I was a fan of the world's "hidden" lore. It's well-thought, with an antique war that separated the world, a bunch of different races with interesting origins and deities... but it's mostly hidden in lore books and long dialogues that don't feel great to read since it often feels like a lore dump. I would have loved for it to be more present throughout the game, but I can respect the purity of platforming and the fact that everything else is optional.

Curse Crackers is a wonderful platformer with a lot of love and passion put into it. It feels great to play and explore and can be short or quite long depending on what you want out of it - completing every quest and level with all the collectibles took me about 20 hours. I've played some great platformers in 2022 and it managed to outshine all of them - I absolutely recommend giving the demo a try if you're into platformers, since it's quite generous. Colorgrave's other game Prodigal is a Zelda-like that's also worth trying out, as it's super good and shares some ideas as well as game design philosophy!

Find more reviews of small and overlooked indie games that deserve more recognition at our Hidden Indie Games curator page!

A fun, challenging at times platformer reminiscent of the Gameboy era. It has a lot of charm sprinkled all throughout it, and even tons more lore than I think I've seen in any actual Gameboy games if you like doing some deep diving into that stuff.

The biggest gameplay challenge is mostly building up muscle memory, me personally finding the vast majority of the presented challenges to be more than fair, ignoring the ingeniously and maliciously placed couple of enemies and traps here and there to ruin your day.

Looking forward for what else this developer has in store.


Absolute banger platformer. Controls great, level design is consistently on point, pixel art remains very good, and the music slaps so hard. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a 2D platformer to play, this game will not disappoint.

Dr. Ivo
Dr. Ivo

Game slaps.
Great level desing complementing very well your movement options with Chime, nice artstyle with a GBC aesthetic, banger soundtrack and a lot of content.
The only gripe I have with the game is that in some of the vertical rooms sometimes it's hard to see when there's an enemy above you because of the height and speed of your jumps with Chime.

Glide Glaze
Glide Glaze

Fantastic game, great music, a lot of content even past the levels. The levels themselves are fun and beyond getting medals for specific objectives per level, you also get a handy system to show which ones still have secrets to find for completionists.
Could use some cloud support and I feel a few tricks like alternate paths and secret walls and stuff got sparse as the game went on.
A great price, a fun ride and controls perfectly for a platformer, with plenty of variety in how you can get through a level, with as much style and speed as you want, and with a clear show by the dev rewarding both safe and dangerous tactics with just the right platform placed here and there as a safety net and as a pat on the head for taking a risk.
Looking forward to see where we go from here!


I love this game so much! The mechanics are solid, the characters are *adorable*, and there's tons of secrets and post-game content for completionists. One of the best platformers I've played in a while - I hope we get to see more!


Absolute blast of a game, extremely fun movement and super pretty presentation. Plus theres alot to come back for if you feel completionistic


Beat the game before realizing there was a run button the whole time. Don't need to say "would do again", because I've already lost count of how many times I've gone through every level looking for secrets. Still in the process of going through the levels an additional time to get all the medals on each level. For real though, if you like platformers with insane movement tech, this is for you, and its why I'm still playing.

The Big Jumbo
The Big Jumbo

Yea do yourself a solid and get this.

- Extremely fun platforming, tossing Chime around with Belle's momentum is extremely fun
- Charming art and music with some really creative character designs
- Really fun writing and a really interesting world lore
- Some of the most clever and fun to find secrets around

It plays like Shantae meets Super Mario World, and it's well worth your time

1960s Batman
1960s Batman

Extremely cute and very polished. Movement is incredibly fluid and leads to a lot of fun speedrun options. There's also lots of optional content beyond the main story. Highly recommended. You can pet a giant dog.


Insanely cute platformer with great dialoge/lore and really deep movement mechanics. The sprite work is also really well done. ;D

I'm not even close to finishing it but I felt like this game has to be played by more people. Please go pick it up if you are a fan of platformers to the slightest degree. The dev team really know their stuff and I'm excited to see more like this in the future.


The game is cute and feels really good to play.


The movement is really fun and levels flow quite well. Lots of secrets/collectibles/objective per level. Surprisingly beefy, would take a while to 100%. Playful cast/music/animations. Having a blast, considering checking out their previous game too.


-You can't change keyboard controls.
- You can't skip already listened dialogues.
-Dosens of characters will tell you everything - from problems at work to the entire history of the world. Everything, except THAT monologue which will grant you missing achievement.
- Annoying fetch quests.
-Shooting enemies attack you through the entire level...
-Apparently, you can attack anything through the entire level as well. But it's slow and boring.
-Battle with the harpy boss (not fused one) fully depends on your luck. Either you die from her quick attacks (those feathers are literally everywhere), or you easily defeat her when she hovers at the same place long enough.
-Most of "difficult stages" is a mess of shooters, maces, spikes and deadly spinning things placed in dozens on the same screen.
-For some reason everybody forgot about Clyde, so I had to rescue him "one more time". That guy deserves better.


“Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils” is a game I’ve actually talked about in the past, during one of my Nextfest roundups, and called it one of the highlights of the event. Now that I have beaten the game, I have to say I stand by those words and consider it one of the best indie games I have played this year. It’s a great linear platformer with a lot of great stuff going for it, and very few flaws.

The plot is very simple: Belle the acrobat is on a date with Clyde the knight, when suddenly their childhood friend Bonnie appears and kidnaps the latter, which leads to Belle having to rescue him with the help of her pet bell Chime. While it is mostly just an inversion of the “damsel in distress” trope, there are plenty of sidequests, NPCs, and books you can read that do a phenomenal job at worldbuilding; to the point where most of them are more interesting than the actual main plot.
This is not an issue, however, since it adds a lot of context and charm to one of the oldest archetypes in videogame storytelling.
The writing is for the most part, really good, with every character having very distinct personalities and speech patterns; with some of the sidequests ending in some of the most endearing moments the game has to offer. I did find some typos and grammar errors, but nothing too egregious.

The gameplay is fantastic, giving the player lots of movement options that feel really good to play around with. Not only can you throw Chime at enemies to attack them, you can also make him bounce off surfaces to thrust you higher up onto higher platforms. Most of the different forms of movement are explained in two different optional tutorials that I recommend checking out as soon as you have a chance to do so.
As you play through the game and finish sidequests (and different parts of the main quest), you will unlock different items, both passive and active; that give the player new movement options. Keep in mind the active items are usually consumables and can only be used once before having to buy them from the shopkeeper again.
The level design is amazing, with almost every single stage being filled with secrets and collectibles that are needed for 100% completion. Some secrets are really hard to find, but worth the trouble. Exploration in Curse Crackers never feels unrewarding.
On top of 25 main levels, there are secondary stages that can be accessed in very different ways. The game is a bit on the easier side, but as it goes on the player’s mastery of its mechanics are put to the test, leading to some challenging, yet fair stages. There are post-game sidequests and stages, for those who are interested in that kind of content, and they are for the most part really well designed.
The game also includes an Arcade Mode, for those who want an experience closer to linear platformers of the 8 bit and 16 bit eras, making the player go through every stage in a row with no overworld map.

As for the presentation, Colorgrave did a wonderful job emulating the color palettes of Gameboy Color games. Not only that, the music is spot on, with tracks that range from something that wouldn’t feel out of place in a game on the aforementioned console, to tracks that sound like they’re out of a 32-bit title. The character design is one of my favorite aspects of the game, with most of them being quite unique and creative.
The game’s soundtrack also includes an artbook with some pretty interesting commentary, and a recipe book with pastries I plan on trying eventually.

All in all, would I recommend “Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils”? Absolutely. It’s one of the best platformers I have played in years. While it’s somewhat easy, the movement, soundtrack, characters and aesthetic make it a great experience, and a must play for platformer fans. It took me almost seven hours to beat the main game with a 35% completion rate, and I’m currently sitting on a 65% completion rate savefile at 11 hours of gameplay. I would say it's worth getting at full price, considering there is at least one free content update planned, and how many hours of great gameplay you can get out of it.
For those who are unsure as to whether they should get it or not, I would recommend trying the demo out.

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Mad Engineer Kyouma
Mad Engineer Kyouma

A true hidden gem of platformers and my favorite game of the year so far.
This game is to the GameBoy Color what Shovel Knight was to the NES, great pixel art and extremely fluid platforming that rewards mastering the controls, as well as likeable characters and a LOT of secrets to find.


I normally wait much longer to review games, but since this is all the time I had in the morning and there aren't any others yet: It's quite good so far. Colorgrave already made a modern GBC Zelda game with Prodigal, and now they're doing the same thing to puzzle platformers. This one doesn't have as obvious of an inspiration in any specific game as Prodigal did, but that's fine. What I've seen is a good mix of reasonable difficulty in the required stuff and some satisfying challenges/exploration needed to get to any of the optional collectibles. Great music, too.


This game has a nice Game Boy Colour aesthetic and a solid, crisp platformer feel to it. If you're an aging platformer fan that likes a nice blend between hop and pop combat mixed with having a projectile attack all with nicely sturdy platforming and intuitive controls, then go ahead and treat yourself. I've been waiting for this since the demo and I'm pleased to say the full version delights as well.

[Edit: I was having gamepad issues, turned out it was my gamepad causing them. Carry on, nothing to see here!]

Grail Knight
Grail Knight

Colorgrave's previous game Prodigal is one of my favorite recent games, so I had to buy Curse Crackers immediately. It's a little bit early Shantae, and a little bit handheld Kirby. It plays fast, and while it's easy to pick up the skill ceiling is high. The controls are smooth, with just the right weight. The writing and design are endearing too.

Why are you reading this? Buy it, already!


Really solid, really fun little GBC-looking 2D platformer. Controls feel zippy and bouncy. There are several cool acrobatic moves and neat bounce tricks you can pull off with your companion Chime. Levels are all well designed and have a bunch of collectables and hidden secrets. The game gives occasional, tantalising hints to the player of hidden depths to be uncovered, secret worlds and greater mysteries (the developer's previous game, Prodigal, did the same thing, and is also great). Still not finished with this one, but looking forward to playing more. Great value, strongly recommended.


This game is excellent! Everything from the graphics, music, and level design are top tier! I recommend this game to anyone looking for a straightforward 2D platformer, but with that extra goodness sprinkled on top: I'm talking all that optional content like hidden collectibles, NPC dialogues, town areas, etc. It's the whole package! Incredibly fun game that's worth the money, right up there with the best of the Shantae series!


prodigal was already a fave from the past couple years, and colorgrave absolutely nailed it with this game, too! cute characters and graphics, fun gameplay, heckin lot of hidden goodies, and some solid world building


Very good game! Retro like is on GameBoy Color with diversity. You can play the game and later have fun speedrunning this even if not for a record and just because is fun. I will for sure follow you on steam for other games~


Games good, playable on day one, and the dev team has already proven they're dedicated to their projects, worth full price.


Absolutely fantastic platformer. It's colorful, charming, and controls excellently. The levels also have an absolutely fantastic sense of flow to them which makes it a blast to replay when going for the achievement medals or hunting down the many, many secrets littered throughout. Definitely worth grabbing, and the music is also great which reminds me that I need to grab the soundtrack too.


Cute, fun indie platformer. Haven't gotten too far but I'm having a lot of fun so far.


Levels are fun to go through at your own pace to try to find the many secrets. Then they're also fun to speedrun with the main character's acrobatic move-set. The devs went out of their way to try to make the world seem more alive by focusing on populating the game with unique NPCs and fleshed out lore. Lots of secrets to find, lots of fun to be had.
Colorgrave has quickly become an underappreciated game developer that more people should know about and follow. They've put out nothing but quality so far.


One of the most polished platformers on here, feels like it could actually have come out on GB. Lots of movement options, secrets and abilities to keep you replaying levels. I will say though that not having a quest menu makes it really annoying sometimes trying to find who you need to talk to between towns, and I wish there was some indication for which levels have hidden items or secret exits.


Curse Crackers is an incredibly tight platformer!
Colorgrave back at it again with some astounding game boy color-style art and delicious chiptune tracks for this one.
Extremely fun movement system and very solid level design. I absolutely cannot wait to see how speedrunners can use this movement system to absolutely tear the game apart (complimentary).
The most surprising thing to me is the game's lore and just gigantic cast of characters!


This is a seriously impressive platformer with great movement and some pretty fun writing. The gameplay feels very authentic to early GBA platformers like Wario Land. The gimmick bosses are fun and don't overstay their welcome. The level design is excellent overall, it has a nice difficulty ramp from some calm initial levels out to massive airborne gauntlets, and I didn't often feel like I wished I had save-states. Every level has a good flow to it if you want to go fast and multiple secrets if you don't.

If you've never played a platformer from the early 00's, seriously just play this game. This game has basically curated everything good from those games and then merged it with its own style into one excellent package.


Although I've just started the game I wanted to write a review as I'm really enjoying it so far! Everything from the art to the movement just feels so classic and enjoyable. The dialogue is fun, the gameplay is juicy, and the atmosphere really compliments this!

Highly recommend this to any platformer fans out there. And even if this isn't your favorite genre I still think you should give it a try. The platforming isn't very difficult (at least from what I can tell) and the checkpoints are quite generous!



Fantastic art, music, control, and level design. Great characters. This is everything I'm looking for in a cute and charming retro-style indie game.


The most fun I've had playing a 2D platformer since Sonic Mania.

Best way to describe it is Shantae meets Monster World IV with a splash of Zelda II. It's a mostly linear game with no forced backtracking, but there is an overworld to explore and towns to visit. The movement here is the star of the show- just moving Belle around is infinitely satisfying *especially* once you get used to backflipping as it gives you a short burst of speed and has a good distance to it. The arcade mode is also pretty interesting in that you actually have to be ballsy in order to get the achievement tied to it, but I also had a lot of fun with it. There's also quite a bit of content here for the price, and (shockingly) not a lot of it feels like filler whatsoever. 15 hours in and I still haven't quite seen everything the game has to offer.

I *really* hope this winds up on Switch at some point. We need more platformers like this on there since the Eshop is kind of just flooded with mid rogue lites and metroidvanias when it comes to the genre.