So, time for a long-overdue post about Crow on the iDevices.
I’ve long been a fan of the Starfox-style rail shooters- it’s sad that there aren’t more of them out there. I picked up Crow on the iPhone after seeing a series of good reviews- it’s not as long or polished as a full-size effort, but it’s a solid little game.
The game’s somewhat gothy setting puts you in control of a Crow, an emissary from the spirit world in this setting. An unseen spirit gives you orders to curse various foes, while a second voice implores you to spare them instead. Whose orders will you take? Realistically, it’s all pretty predictable, and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of overall change in the plot in response to your choices (save perhaps the final enemy), but the plot isn’t the real attraction to the game to begin with.
The rail-shooter sections are smooth and pretty, and work very well. You control the crow using the touch-screen as a mouse, much like in any number of iOS shooters; it’s responsive and smooth. Your offensive and defensive spells are triggered using gestures- a diagonal swipe on an enemy attacks it and a circle drawn on the screen creates a defensive shield. The levels start to feel a bit repetitive after a while, but the game is short enough that it didn’t realy botter me.
The only thing about the game that I wasn’t quite so fond of was the “hunt-for-hidden-items” sections that bookend the action levels. These allow you to earn more ‘trinkets’ by flying around, and they do show off the area you’re in, but they feel like an unneccecary break in the action and finding trinkets can be a bit irritating. While they can be skipped and the game would probably seem a bit sparse without them, I would have preferred some other sort of minigame- or at least some more rail-shooter levels!
Crow is good, solid, pretty fun- I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I’d say it’s worth the $3.