Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Sydney Hunter is a brave, whip-wielding adventurous archeologist.  Think Indiana Jones if he looked like a European comic book character.  One day while exploring a Mayan pyramid, he gets trapped inside and now must collect pieces of a talisman and other doo-dads to stop a curse that’ll release an evil god unto the world.  This game is a retro styled 2-D platformer that looks like something that would’ve been on a late 80s/early 90s computer.  It also gives me Pitfall vibes as well, and it’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

Sydney Hunter can move left and right as well as jump.  He can also use weapons like a whip, and later he’ll get other ones like a spear.  From an inventory screen, you can also select secondary items for him to use, like bombs, healing potions, etc.  You’ll have to avoid traps and defeat enemies, because if you lose all your health, you’ll have to start over from the last save point statue you used.  You pick which levels you want to visit via a hub, and unlock them by collecting enough crystal skulls in the stages.  The levels are maze like, but you only see one screen at a time.  Other secret items you can find include gems for buying more healing items in the shop, and keys to open areas.  At the end of each level is usually a boss for you to defeat.

My main problem with this game is that it gets too darn hard!  I had it set on “Easy” and after a few levels I just got bombarded.  Some enemies are hard to see until it’s too late, and I wish you either had more health or more save points.  And a map would’ve been handy, too.  It’s a shame because there’s a lot about this game that I really like.  Feels like a long lost Pitfall title.

Kid Factor:

Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.  I really didn’t notice any blood, and you only hit pixelly enemies that disappear when defeated, and when you lose all your hearts, you just fall off the screen.  Reading skill is a must for the text, and younger gamers may find it too difficult.

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