Cursed Treasure 2 Ultimate Edition — what’s that?..

In 2020 we partnered with Surefire publisher to create an updated and localized version of Cursed Treasure 2. And now it’s close to release.

Cursed Treasure 2 Ultimate Edition on Steam

We take part in 2021 Winter Steam Festival and there is a free demo with 4 levels available from the game page.

Basically it was supposed to be the same game with Chinese and other languages localization and a couple of extra levels. But then we thought — hey, the players will be really upset if they find out that we offer the same game again. So we decided to improve the game and to address the most noticeable issues for this re-release.

Here are the changes so you don’t need to read through the whole thing to find this important info:

  • The most important thing: the game is totally re-balanced, including enemies, towers, skills and waves. So the levels are the same, but the waves and the whole experience are different.
  • There are 3 new levels added to the first three locations — so it’s not a new expansion pack, but some extension of the existing gameplay.
  • Now there are 3 gems instead of 5 and the rating requirements are changed: you get Brilliant if all the gems are saved, even if touched. This allowed to make the difficulty curve more comfortable.
  • Updated experience system: now you get experience even if you lose the level. The more enemies are killed the more XP you get. This ensures that the player won’t stuck and won’t need to grind on earlier levels.
  • Improved controls: coins and bottles pick-up with mouse over, auto-collection of bottles. This makes the scrolls misclicks rare.
  • Localization support — finally, the game will have Russian localization!
  • A lot of small bug fixes and improvements.

Let’s now go through these changes in detail.

3 Gems and Brilliant

The original (the very first) game in the series had a subtitle «Don’t Touch My Gems» and the best rating on each level could be achieved only if no enemies even touched your gems. That’s fun, but it makes it really hard to balance the levels because the game designer must ensure that every level can be finished with «Brilliant» that in turn means that the player must kill all the enemies on their way to the cave. Of course, everybody wants to have it, so the feature that the enemy has to make the whole way back from the cave again doesn’t really work, because in many cases the player just restarts the level if an enemy touched a gem.

To address this issue we decide to let the enemies touch the gem. This allows better balance and makes the player fight for the gems even if the enemies are carrying them.

Additionally, we reduced the number of gems from 5 to 3 to make the level rating system clearer: each lost gem makes the rating worse, unlike the 5-gems rating. 3 gems saved — Brilliant, 2 gems — Excellent, 1 gem — Good.

The Balance

The game balance was not perfect. In many cases the beginning of a level was hard and the second half was easy. Usually the player could just watch the enemies being eliminated, doing nothing and piling up mana closer to the final waves. Some tower upgrades and skills were overpowered. In the Ultimate edition we tried to make it better. The whole balance is changed so that each enemy wave requires player’s attention. Together with the updated ratings system it resulted in more fun in every enemy wave.

Using Terror spell to make the enemies bring the gems back to the cave has never been so satisfying!

Mana auto pick-up

Golden coins are auto-collected in the beginning of every enemy wave in the original game, but mana bottles not. This was done because there is a mana cap and the mana bottles will just burn if the mana limit is reached. In many cases this resulted in the level surface covered with the mana bottles all over. That in turn was making it hard to activate scrolls because the player would usually click the bottle instead of the scroll or vice versa losing the important resource.

We decided to add auto pick-up for the mana bottles too to address this issue. In most cases with the new balance (ant updated skill that increases the mana limit) the mana won’t go over the limit, but if it does, it will go over the limit and slowly burn, allowing the player to use it.

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