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Crow review (iOS / Universal)

April 13, 2012

“Lonesome crow
Where are they from
Where are their thoughts?”

10 word description: Story driven 3D action-adventure. Explore landscapes, defeat enemies. Game Center.

10 word review: Infinity Blade wildlife flight simulator, as imagined by Stephen King.

You will like this if you enjoy: iOS games with very pretty 3D visuals. Games with dark themes, especially where the protagonist isn’t particularly nice.

The good news: The graphics, obviously, are great. Sound is restrained and atmospheric. Presentation is very good, production values consistently high throughout. The dark, mysterious theme is quite original (for iOS action games) and is a highlight of this app.

Crow can be upgraded by spending the trinkets that you collect

The bad news: Exploration tends to be along the lines of “find blue trinkets in random places through a process of elimination”, rather than actual exploration. Combat sequences are on rails, which is fine if you go in knowing that and are not subsequently disappointed by it. The story panels, in a subdued brown-on-brown, are very hard to read on the smaller iPhone/Touch screen.

Arcadelife verdict: As with Infinity Blade, which I also enjoyed, the limitations of the gameplay are efficiently bailed out by very impressive visuals and a lot of atmosphere. Playing a crow, and a rather nasty one at that, also adds a level of uniqueness that helps to distract the player from what is essentially a cyclic sequence of search tasks and rail-shooting exercises. Performance on my 1st gen iPad and 4th gen iPod Touch is fine, no issues at all. Just out of interest, I installed it on my old 3rd gen Touch and it’s perfectly playable on that apart from a few stutters every now and then.

The theme, story, graphics and atmosphere are all highly commendable. The combat sections, although on rails, are entertaining enough and really show off the game’s graphics. The challenge levels are good fun, possibly my favourite parts; it’s really only the simplistic exploration (trinket hunting) that feels rather weak compared to the rest of the game.

Overall, if you’re after a new action/adventure game with an original theme (and you don’t mind a lot of on-rails combat sequences), or maybe you’re looking for a simple/pretty alternative to Infinity Blade, Crow would be a fairly obvious choice as there isn’t very much else doing this sort of thing on the app store.

 

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 9.5/10
Audio – 9/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 7/10
Final rating – 85/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.01
iTunes link

Sunside Games website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.0.1)
iPad (iOS 5.0.1)
and even my old 3rd gen iPod Touch (iOS 5.0)
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