Curse of Anabelle

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Curse of Anabelle Game Poster Image
First-person horror is cursed by glitches and poor design.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Main focus is to solve the mystery of the Ramsey mansion and cleanse it of the demonic influences within. Players have an added incentive to do so, as it's seemingly the only way to return to life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While there's an emphasis on saving "what was left behind" of Anabelle, it's difficult not to feel as if characters are simply doing whatever it takes to accomplish their own goals.

Ease of Play

Although controls are generally basic and straightforward, the game's vague and obscure clues often lead to long periods of frustration as players blindly stumble around trying to get the story to progress.

Violence

Scenes of intense violence and death, including scenes showing a dead child and the murder of a main character by a ghost; his limbs are twisted and slammed around into walls. Other disturbing imagery appears, including depictions of demons.

Sex

Some nudity in the depiction of some demonic creatures.

Language

Some mild profanity shows up regularly in the game's dialogue.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Curse of Anabelle is a first-person horror adventure available for download on Windows-based PCs. Players explore a cursed mansion throughout its history, seeking to cleanse the home of its demonic possession. Although violence isn't constant, there are numerous frightening moments complete with disturbing imagery of dead bodies, ghosts, demons, and the like. Some of these images and scenes can get graphic, including watching a person get twisted and beaten to death from the victim's point of view. The game does feature some nudity in the presentation of the demonic forces (creatures with exposed breasts, etc.), and the dialogue makes occasional use of mild profanity.

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What's it about?

CURSE OF ANABELLE is a supernatural horror mystery filled with ancient rituals, trapped spirits, and malevolent forces, all swirling around the long-cursed Ramsey mansion. The story begins when the body of a 9-year-old girl, Anabelle, is discovered on the grounds of the mysterious mansion days after her reported disappearance. Her older sister, Emily, begins to have nightmarish visions connected to her sister's death. After research into the history of the Ramsey mansion uncovers a past laden with dark rituals and demonic possessions, Emily becomes convinced that her spirit is trapped within its walls. While attempting to help Emily save her little sister's soul from the grasp of the mansion, Emily's boyfriend, Nathan, winds up becoming its latest victim. But while his soul may be trapped within its walls, Nathan now has the ability to explore the house not only as it now stands, but as it once was, transporting his essence to any point in the mansion's timeline. Even with the voice of Emily guiding him, will Nathan be able to purge the demonic forces from the Ramsey mansion, breaking its curse and freeing the souls of its victims once and for all?

Is it any good?

It's hard to deny the appeal of a good scare from time to time. Unfortunately, Curse of Anabelle is anything but a "good scare." There are fleeting moments where you can see the potential of a decent horror adventure, but technical glitches and other issues are more of a curse to the game than the demonic forces of the Ramsey mansion could ever hope to be. From frequent misspellings in the subtitles to the horrendously bad and cheesy voice acting, there are signs that things are going downhill before you even take control of the game. And once the (sadly unskippable) opening wraps up, it only goes from bad to worse.

For starters, there's a lot of awkwardness in the environments. For example, light switches, clearly marked "On" and "Off," can't be used; instead, players have to individually touch every lamp to turn on the lights. Also, certain rooms in the houses seem to have a different scale than others, making it feel like you're a giant towering over the furniture. The highlighted outlines of interactive objects also occasionally bleed over from other rooms or even other floors. Topping it all off, even if you could find a way to look past the multiple glitches and bad acting, the overall plot and gameplay are hard to follow. Clues to advance the story are overly vague and lead to frustrating moments of clicking on anything and everything just to hopefully stumble across a solution to move things along. Sadly, the only thing scary about Curse of Anabelle is the realization that you paid money for it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about horror in entertainment. What are some of the reasons people like to be scared for fun? How young is too young for children to be exposed to the horror genre?

  • How can things like glitches, misspellings, and other technical issues hurt the enjoyment of a game? What are some reasons different issues might have been overlooked before release?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

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