[Beyond PlayStation] Crawl Review
Crawl from Powerhoof is a pixeltastic action release for some fun single and multiplayer mayhem. Learn more about it in our Crawl review!
You can move with the left analog stick and attack with the A button, except when your shadow is red since that means your attack is on cooldown. You also have a special attack you can activate with the B button which you can use again once a blue swirl shows up at your feet. The game will show you the basics during the first few minutes you spend playing, along with how even in death you can still carry on.
You see, when you are defeated, you will turn into a ghost and will get to attack other adventurers – just not directly since spirits can’t touch the living. You will need to possess traps and scenery, as well as summon monsters. For summoning monsters, you will need to hover over pentagrams to bring a monster to life – which you’ll get to directly control. There’s also the option of summoning weaker followers by using the ectoplasm you collect which is great since heroes can’t go on to the next room until they defeat all of your followers and pentagram summoned monsters.
The damage you get to deal to heroes while in spirit mode will allow you to be rewarded by the Gods with gold, which can then be used to upgrade your hero… once you’re alive again. You see, when you kill a hero you will regain your humanity, and the hero you killed will turn into a spirit, with all the pros and cons that entails. While you’re in hero mode, the enemies you defeat will drop XP which can be used to level up your hero, and when you level up spirits gain wrath which can be used to power up your monsters.
The goal of the game is to level up your hero to level 10 so that you can open the portal that will allow you to escape. Crawl can be played on your own with AI heroes or with up to three friends so that each of you controls one hero. At the end of a stage the levels of all heroes are tallied, and when a hero gains a level all other heroes gain wrath, and it is between stages that you will get to spend that wrath to upgrade your monsters. For example, I turned my skeleton into a skeleton with a fiery skull, and I could have upgraded him even more into a lich if I had more wrath. I also had a rat that could be upgraded into a wolfman or some type of monster with horns, and those are just two examples of monsters you will get to command.
The gold you collect can be used at the blacksmith to purchase artifacts (such as a scripture to increase magic efficiency so that spells recharge faster), weapons (maybe you’d like a mystic dagger with improved damage and speed?), spells (conjure a bow of pure energy!), or to get some potions (which increase one stat while decreasing another one). Use your gold wisely since picking up the right artifact for your current situation, and the best weapon on the table, can make a huge difference.
Getting your hero to level 10 and opening the portal is only part of the equation since once you enter the portal you will still need to defeat a deadly boss… which will be controlled by the spirits of the other three heroes and, as you can imagine, the other three heroes/spirits won’t just happily allow you to kill the monster so that you can escape.
As you complete each session, you will add new entries to the vault where monsters, weapons, items, and objects will be added to their corresponding lists based on what you’ve discovered. For your information, there are 61 monsters, 40 weapons, 61 items, and 66 objects to discover. On top of this, monsters in the vault can be clicked on to attempt a challenge fight in which you try to kill as many heroes as possible in a row with a single monster and no healing between heroes. The vault also has a quests list for milestones you need to reach such as regaining your humanity X number of times, killing Y number of monsters, spending Z gold on total, discovering all entries in the vault, slaying a giant monster with a pebble, buying every item in a store, defeating each of the bosses in the game and more.
Crawl is a very fun and hectic game you can definitely play on your own with bots or with human soon-to-be ex-friends at home or on the go. The gameplay is easy enough to quickly understand the basics in a couple of minutes, and the randomly generated dungeons will keep you busy for a while. Crawl is a Switch release I definitely recommend you check out.
This Crawl review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy of the game provided by Powerhoof.