A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950: Review


This game was reviewed on PC.

Reviewed by:  Ke'Juan Valentine

I have always enjoyed storytelling within video games. Video games have a remarkable way of transporting us into worlds unknown, allowing us to live lives we could only dream of. "A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950" is no exception to this. As a narrative-driven adventure game, it offers us the chance to dive deep into the tragic history of a quaint village, exploring themes of love, resistance, and the human struggle against impersonal industrialization.

I will admit, I have never heard about "Curon" or what it was until I recently played this game and made me curious to learn more about it. The game takes us to the charming Südtirol village of Curon Venosta, as it was before being swallowed by Lake Reschen in 1950 due to the construction of a dam. The devastating event happened amidst the protests of its inhabitants, marking a poignant moment in history. Our protagonist in this tale is a painter named Tomasso who, through an intriguing twist of fate, is pulled back in time to the pre-flooded Curon. We find ourselves surrounded by the villagers of old, witnesses to the village's impending doom.

The graphical choices in the game give it a charming uniqueness. The blocky Minecraft-esque aesthetic of the characters and environment may be a bit jarring at first, but they quickly grow on you as you explore the depths of the narrative. The game incorporates real paintings and hand-drawn pictures as Easter eggs, which adds an artistic flair to the gaming experience.

Gameplay is straightforward, making the game accessible to players of all skill levels. The interaction with the game primarily happens through dialogues and multiple-choice interactions. You control the actions of the main character, shaping his personality and his relationship with the other villagers. Sporadic mini-games and challenges are sprinkled throughout to keep things interesting. A notable standout is the translation mini-game, a delightful challenge that adds depth to the gameplay experience. A minor gripe that I had while playing is the camera. The camera stays in a fixed position, so you can barely explore and see the entire area. To me, that does take the immersion away a little bit.

"A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950" is a narrative-heavy game, and the plot does a commendable job of blending historical events with a unique, original storyline. The themes it explores – that our identity can be so closely linked with our homes and our possessions – resonate on a deeply human level. There are, however, areas where it falls a bit short. The pacing often feels rushed, and some dialogues end too abruptly, making it challenging to form a deep connection with certain characters. Also, since the game's storyline is pretty short, some plotlines are resolved in an unsatisfactory manner.

The musical score is another highlight of the game. The classical tunes, particularly the beautiful piano arrangements, form the perfect soundtrack to the game's atmosphere. They resonate with the narrative, complimenting the highs and lows of the story, and heighten the immersive experience.

Despite a few missteps, "A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950" provides a valuable gaming experience. It doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of history, while at the same time telling an engaging story of its own. The game is a poignant reminder of the human cost of industrial progress, effectively utilizing the interactive nature of the medium to drive the point home.

On a scale of 10, I would rate "A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950" a solid 7. It may not be a perfect game, but it is not a horrible game either. It tells an important story in a creative, engaging manner. It is definitely worth a play for those who enjoy narrative-driven games and are looking for a quick experience. Whether you're a fan of historical fiction or just a gamer who likes storytelling, "A Painter's Tale: Curon, 1950" is the quirky game that might catch your attention, despite the setbacks it may have.

Reviewed by: Ke'Juan Valentine