Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
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  1. Oct 31, 2014
    Pirate's Curse works in a way so positively different than the previous games that it may represent the pinnacle of the series.
  2. Oct 30, 2014
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is packed full of good times guaranteed to please fans of platforming games.
  3. Oct 28, 2014
    The gameplay is fun, varied and challenging, and will test the skills of even the most hardcore platforming fans.
  4. 90
    Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is a must-play game. If you’ve enjoyed the previous Shantae games at all, or you just like well-designed platforming action games, this is something special.
  5. Oct 22, 2014
    Whether or not you’re a platforming fan, and whether or not you’ve played any of the previous titles in this series, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is an exceptionally well-crafted game that should not be ignored.
  6. Jun 22, 2015
    It's a great experience, one that you won't regret getting into.
  7. Feb 17, 2015
    High quality level design and music deliver a funny adventure with the lovely Shantae; this quest is a truly enjoyable one, even if it ends a little bit earlier than expected.
  8. Feb 8, 2015
    As was the case with so many games from the Golden Era, the pros in Pirate’s Curse far outweigh the cons. If the Super Nintendo has a special place in your heart, like it does in mine, this is a game you’ll want to waste no time in picking up. Even if you’re of the misguided opinion that other generations are better (hint: you’re wrong), if you like platforming, pirates, genies, or just good games in general, Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse is worth your attention.
  9. Oct 29, 2014
    Though it’s an unmistakable tribute to Metroid and Castlevania, infusing a sharp wit and bold style helps Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse stand above its retro-inspired contemporaries.
  10. Oct 19, 2016
    The best retro throwbacks rise above their influences to become something endearing of their own accord. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse does just that, with quality and production values that rival many AAA releases. The franchise clearly has a lot of heart, and the developers at WayForward have established a bright world filled with fun and interesting characters.
  11. Feb 19, 2015
    A well-done and solid title, a simple yet intriguing metroidvania. There's a little bit of backtracking and the game is pretty short, but the replayability is good and the price is definitely right.
  12. Apr 8, 2015
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a testament to the way platform games were made back in the days of GameBoy, with a lot of attention to details and pixel perfect jumps:in 2015 this is still the way to go for 2d games, no matter the platform and the budget.
  13. Feb 18, 2015
    Without magic, Shantae is even more charming than ever, and transforms this pirate's curse into a blessing. The belly dancer not only captures all the platformers tricks, but she also expresses her hairy character to boot. Such mischievous narrative, passionate work, sharpened gameplay and gripping adventure will generously fulfill the wishes of the genre's lovers.
  14. Jan 13, 2015
    The lack of meaningful obstacles lessens the overall experience a bit, but Shantae and the Pirate's Curse still stands as an excellent addition to a series with a devoted fan base. The Pirate's Curse adheres to the Metroidvania formula from previous games, but everything here feels bigger and better. I imagine the devoted fan base will only grow after more people play it.
  15. Oct 22, 2014
    Shantae has always been a passion project for WayForward, but this is the first time the series feels like it properly realizes the developer's ambition for it. A fun, funny, and pleasant substantial Metroid-alike boasting phenomenal old-school visuals and a refreshing sense of optimism, it's both an eShop standout and a great (though by no means final) conclusion to a slow-burning trilogy of games.
  16. Oct 23, 2014
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse under-delivers on a few aspects of the overall package, but the fact remains -- genie or not, Shantae is still very much relevant in the current market. Just keep in mind that at times it feels like an appetizer for the upcoming Half-Genie Hero, which sees the full return of Shantae's powers as well as a fully playable Risky Boots.
  17. Nov 5, 2014
    Fans of Shantae's previous adventures will likely find more to love with Pirate's Curse, but there are enough superior retro-inspired games (Shovel Knight, Strider, Azure Striker Gunvolt, etc.) to make this one hard to recommend unless you've already played them all. However, there is fun to be had if you're a tenacious enough pirate to dig for WayForward's buried gold.
  18. Oct 26, 2014
    Shantae and the Pirate's Curse might put off a lot of its target audience with its bright and cartoony graphics, but devoted Metroidvania/platformer fans will not want to miss this excellently animated sprite game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 134
  1. Oct 27, 2014
    Quite possibly the most fun I have had in a Downloadable title in my entire life. The game looks great, the animations are smooth as buttah',Quite possibly the most fun I have had in a Downloadable title in my entire life. The game looks great, the animations are smooth as buttah', the music is good, the gameplay is fun. 60fps and it never dropped for me once.

    Quite possibly my favorite thing about this title is how likable and interesting the characters are in this game and often times how funny the game is. It has a way of playing with your expectations in a way that will make all but the most soulless person chuckle.

    Also the 3D effects look fantastic and really add a lot to the experience of this game, something that you really have to see to fully appreciate.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 27, 2014
    Very polished and colorful, the art style is great and the game-play is polished and fun there are a lot of fun collectible items and theVery polished and colorful, the art style is great and the game-play is polished and fun there are a lot of fun collectible items and the length of the game is defiantly justified by the price tag and i really have nothing bad to say about this game. Full Review »
  3. Nov 9, 2014
    An amazingly engaging and entertaining metroidvania game that proves that genre can still thrive. The presentation is amazingly smooth,An amazingly engaging and entertaining metroidvania game that proves that genre can still thrive. The presentation is amazingly smooth, colorful, and fluid with tons of unique animations and detailed sprites and character drawings in cutscenes. There is also some really impressive ( and somewhat humorous) use of stereoscopic 3d. The music is by Jake Kaufman, so naturally it's incredibly atmospheric and catchy, with funny song names like "Rave in the Grave" (Rottytopps's theme) and "DO U EVEN WHIP" (true ending scene music). Speaking of which, this game's writing can be downright hilarious at times! All the characters are funny, there are some very funny references to things like he-man (bran-son) and some fourth wall breaking sprinkled in. Apart from that, the game's story actually feels like it evolves and progresses a lot, with some very touching and plot heavy moments that really feel substantial, and an overall theme that the game makes apparent at the end that makes you really think about the whole adventure.The game never takes itself too seriously, except for when it needs to, and it nails both. The gameplay is nice and fast paced. The combat might feel slow at first, but you'll be able to buy upgrades to increase your attack speed and power. You can also purchase some "advanced fighters moves" which can help avoid enemies, reduce knock back, and perform a super kick move to do more damage.The trademark "hair whip" that Shantae is known for feels incredibly satisfying, and would even make the likes of Willow Smith impressed! On top of that, there's also an Rpg number damage system that displays how much damage enemies take in numbers above their heads, which really helps in emphasizing the power of some items or damage boosters, and let's you know which way is the most efficient for killing baddies. In addition, the combat and exploration is spiced up with pirate themed items that Shantae gathers on her quest, which really help in making for great new scenarios in exploration, puzzles, and combat. I won't spoil what they are, but they're all fun to use and can be upgraded a lot as well, and keep the exploration and backtracking fresh while still offering usefulness in combat. On to the next bit, there is a bit of backtracking in this game, but I never felt it got entierly too tedious. The way it works is that Risky Boots is docked at the beggining of each island, each having one dungeon and a set number of collectibles and a theme. The islands all felt unique, and the collectibles were very well hidden. The collectibles did also require some backtracking to acquire, but the best way to go about it is to just explore every area to the fullest with every item you have when the game needs you to backtrack to progress, which is very often. The backtracking itself didn't really bother me since your items later on make it much easier to travel and traverse, as well as explore.Some areas were complete slogs to travel through again, but then you can just use a pirate flare to teleport back to Risky's boat. Finally, in terms of length, this game is well worth $20. There are 32 heart squids ( think zelda heart pieces, but squids) and 20 Cacklebats (plot devices that give you a much better ending) to find in the entire game, with 3 squids in each dungeon and however many Cacklebats on an island. The game will tell you how many you have on the island select screen. The time it took me to 100% complete the game was 10 and 1/2 hours, which and i enjoyed every moment. The game is definitely worth $20, and well worth completing. There is also and additional "pirate mode" once you beat the game, which lets you replay the game with all of the gear unlocked from the start and challenges you to try to speed run the game in under two hours, or complete it in the fastest time. I have yet to try this mode, but I can definitely see how it can add a lot of replay value to an already great game. The few nitpicky I have with this game is that there is some knock back, which gets very annoying when you get knocked off a screen or chain. Thankfully, you can purchase the recover move to recover from knock back slightly. The item system is also very unintuitive, since you have to double tap the bottom screen to heal, and you have to wait to fully recover. These are just small annoyances on an incredibly solid game. In conclusion, Shantae and the Pirate's curse is and amazingly charming and engaging game that knows exactly what it wants to be, and has an incredible amount of fun with it. If you're a fan of metroidvania games, zelda games, or even just 2d platformer games in general, don't let this one fly under your radar and make this a must buy for this year. Full Review »