If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Have You Played... Shantae And The Pirate's Curse?

She is a pirate!

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse was the first Shantae game I felt compelled to give a proper chance. I'd played the previous two games for a few minutes each, and while they were okay, they didn't keep my attention for long.

Ironically, it was taking away Shantae's genie powers that made Pirate's Curse click for me. Now just a regular human, Shantae needs to rely on pirate-themed swag to traverse the islands. They're rather unorthodox in their usage as well, like a pirate hat as a parachute, or a cannon that blasts downwards acting like a quadruple jump.

It means you don't ever have to stand still and dance to transform into an animal, which improves the pacing dramatically. Dancing didn't take long to do in the previous Shantae games, but over time it added up to too much watching Shantae wiggle her belly. In Pirate's Curse, Shantae just uses the items and that's it.

It does bring the Shantae series more in-line with regular Metroidvanias, but it's still a welcome change. Future games would strike a balance between quicker ability selection and the dancing that the fans liked from the previous games.

I'd actually say that Pirate's Curse is the best place to start with Shantae if you've ever had a passing interest. Its levels are well designed, the soundtrack has some absolute bangers, and the whole game still holds up well to this day.

About the Author

Dave Irwin avatar

Dave Irwin


When Dave was guides writer for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, it was his privilege to understand how to play certain games well, so that newer players can understand the more complex things about them.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


More Features

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch