Developed By: NExT Studios Published By: Team17 Categories: Adventure Release Date: 10.16.20
Crown Trick is more in line of what I expect a traditional roguelike to be. Turn based, everything is on tiles, and of course, incredible difficulty. After seeing so many hybrids of the genre, it is somewhat of a pleasant surprise to see something more standard. Ever play one of the Mystery Dungeon games by Chunsoft? It’s kinda like that.
You play as a young girl named Elle, in a dream, going into dreams. You’re in quite a pickle, in which the titular Crown offers to help you. You’re given the choice to accept, and this is what starts your journey.
You’ll start a run, going floor by floor. A choice of weapon, which can be changed at any time, and a choice of familiar if you have any. Those ones are essentially your special moves. Each weapon has it’s own style and strategy to use. Swords slice in front of you. Axes full surround you, making attacking multiple enemies at once a cinch. Spears go out an extra space for long range. Guns have longer range, but need to be reloaded. Axes were my go to most of the time just for the fact I could reliably hit enemies from behind. You’ll find a decent number of varients of these weapons. Ones that can root enemies in the ground, taking a turn away. Use wind to knock them back.
My lack of skill with the genre rears it’s ugly head again with Crown Trick. I am awful at this game, and was struggling for quite some time to even beat the first boss. Though it was difficult for me to find a particular setup that did well for me, I eventually settled on a spear with thunder as it’s element for one of my more successful runs, despite not being a favorite weapon of mine. The spear would do decent damage, but it had a perk of also doing spark damage to not only the targeted enemy, but enemies surrounding it. I had a similar themed Familiar that had special moves that could vacuum up surrounding enemies in addition to stunning them a turn, as well as a move that shoots a ball of electricity that bounces around close by enemies. All three of these mixed together created devastation results. Sure, I could have picked stronger weapons or even a trusty axe during that run, but that combo was just perfect for me…until I got to another boss.
Combat seems standard at first. You take turns hitting eachother, hopefully you can do it without getting hit. However, you can break enemies, stunning them, and leaving them open to higher damage. If you do this in succession with other enemies quick enough, you can make damage even greater. This mechanic can really help you out, especially when mixed with my play mentioned above and is almost vital for boss fights to quickly take them out. You and everything trying to kill you all move and attack on a grid, turn by turn. You’re always given a heads up if you’re about to get struck by an attack in so many turns and where the attack will hit. This can help greatly if you play with any strategy more than tanking, allowing you to use a move called Blink to evade damage. Blinks teleport you away or past dangerous areas to a certain distance.
You’ll run into strong elite level fights, much like mini bosses. Defeating them has them join you so to say as the Familiars I mentioned earlier. I’ve done runs without seeing a new one, but when I do, it’s always a top priority to me to defeat them, if only to diversify my Familiar collection. After this, and occasionally on each floor, you’ll find big chests, which mostly carry gold and weapons, but you also find skill scrolls and relics. These upgrade your stats until you die. Critical Hit rate, lower MP use and cooldown times for using abilities, just more strength even. The latter of two items can definitely make up for a weaker weapon you have, if you want to keep it’s perks. If you don’t want to track down chests however, you might stumble upon rooms that hold a giant capsule machine or slot machine. If you have plenty of gold, these are safe ways to get new weapons, equipment, items, and so on. I never had much luck though.
Monoliths, Cursed Runes. You’re given the choice to indulge in these, they can be worth your while, but if you’re unlucky, it’s going to cost you. Healing, granting you riches if you risk taking damage, increase your internet fame by taking majority of your health away, leading to greater rewards. My favorite is just one that allows you to pick a stat to upgrade, no questions asked. With the Cursed Runes, it’s harder to say if you should use them. With these, you’re promised something good, but aren’t told what it is, which in many of my experiences with this, what was taken from me, wasn’t worth it.
You’re not alone through all of this. You’ll slowly, meet and therefor rescue and take back people you meet in these dreams you’re in. These allow for permanent boosts as long as you can pay them in the soul shards you collect. Ways to upgrade your potions and even drop healing items in dreams. A bank that saves or raises your money or soul shards earned. Even a blacksmith. It might take some grinding to not only find these people, but get the upgrades as well, but it’s totally worth it.
Crown Trick has an incredibly cute artstyle reminiscent of a picture book. The lead Elle, emotes constantly to her surroundings, opening a treasure chest is one in particular I love to see. Enemies are cute as well, though they can look intimidating. You can reference everything you’ve encountered, weapons, monsters, bosses, etc…, so if you just want to stare at them, feel free. The dreamlike music is pleasant, all of it was enjoyable. I just wish that pausing paused the music.
Crown Trick may have some minor flaws at best, such as slightly long load times and steep difficulty but I really liked the game, and if you’ve played games as much as I have, these aren’t too much of an issue. Crown trick feels like if you grabbed a traditional mystery dungeon title and modernized it. It’s truly refreshing to see a more traditional rougelike in a sea of hybrids of the genre and it doesn’t hurt that looks and sounds fantastic.
Buy Now: $19.99
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes