Crown Trick – Review
Follow Genre, Adventure, Indie, Roguelike
Developer: NEXT Studios
Publisher: Team17 Digital
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested on: PC

Crown Trick – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Enough variety so no two playstyles have to be the same
Bad: Levels are quite long
User Score
10.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Roguelikes have been popular with famous ones such as Hades and The Binding of Isaac getting a lot of attention. With Roguelikes having permanent character death, where you’ll have to restart once you die, the genre is not always easy to get into. A new Roguelike has come out recently, called Crown Trick. Crown Trick was developed by NEXT Studios and published by Team17 Digital. In the game, you will take on the role of Elle who got sent to the Nightmare Realm and now must fight her way out.

Story

Elle wakes up in another strange world, after meeting a sentient crown, she finds out that this is the Realm of Nightmares. She was brought there because she’s humanity’s last hope. The nightmares have brought death and chaos to the world and it’s on the brink of destruction. Elle is the chosen hero who is destined to venture into the unknown and save the whole world.

The crown is the observer and guardian of the Nightmare Realm and he will help Elle out to fight the cause of the nightmares. This cause is non-other than a human whose heart is filled with greed, called Vlad. He did a forbidden sacrificial rite which caused the power of nightmare to run rampant, not only in the Nightmare Realm but also in Elle’s world. The crown helps Elle by giving her some of his power to support her. Together they will need to fight their way towards Vlad.

The story is mostly contained in the first part of the game to give a background story. While you’re playing, you will meet different characters that will support you along the way. These characters do talk about their story and what’s happening in this Realm. You will also pick up fragments of Elle’s life in the real world as well, which also gives more backstory. The continuation of the story is nicely done but the game isn’t fully story-orientated.

Graphics

The art style of Crown Trick looks really great and immediately catches your eye. The design of Elle looks nice and flashy with her pink hair, which is perfect for when you’re in a room full of different monsters. There are a lot of enemies you can encounter, and each has a different design. A lot of enemies also have different attacks that have a unique design depending on the element they use. You will also get access to some of these attacks, to use, when you beat an enemy. There is also very varied weapon design. The game itself is played in a top-down perspective and the different areas you traverse through all have their very own distinguishable look.

Sound

Crown Trick has calm background music most of the time until you start fighting, then it packs a heavier punch. Since the music stays more in the background it isn’t bothersome at all, and even helps with the atmosphere of the different themed levels. There are a lot of sounds that are important in this game, such as the sound of an enemy charging an attack and the sound of an enemy’s shield breaking. You’ll have to pay attention to those sounds, because, together with the visual cues, they could help you win or lose the battle.

The enemies don’t make many other noises besides when they are charging or dying. Elle herself also doesn’t make many noises besides if she’s attacked or dies. There is also no voice acting in the game, which isn’t really an issue since you can just read the story in any voice you want. There is a little moment in a cutscene where Elle does scream, but other than that there isn’t much in terms of sound effect or so-called voice acting.

Gameplay

Crown Trick is an adventure indie Roguelike where you play as Elle who must fight the nightmares in the realm that she is stuck in. She gets help from an omniscient crown, who is also the guardian of the realm. Elle met the crown when she woke up in the Nightmare Realm and he’s the one who guides her. Not only does he guide her, but he also gives her the power to defend herself. Since Elle isn’t strong enough to hold a weapon, Crown, which is what it likes to be called, holds it for her. This is also why you see weapons floating next to Elle instead of her holding them.

You will learn that in the Nightmare Realm time only flows when you do an action. So, if you stand still nothing happens. Once you take an action, attack, move or use an item, time will move further one step. This means you can plan your strategy for as long as you’d like and there is no need to rush. It can also mean that if you attack and keep attacking without noticing what’s happening around you, that you can suddenly be overwhelmed by enemies. So, it’s a good thing to take Crown Trick slow and steady.

Along the way, in the tutorial, you’ll find an elixir and blink boots, which are two items that will really help you out along your journey. The elixir is a healing potion that you can use as an action, and the blink boots are boots that will teleport you a limited radius of squares away. These blink boots can really help you avoid attacks and spells, but they can also help you get closer to enemies faster. They are also handy to break a lot of enemies fast after one another. “Breaking an enemy” is breaking the little shield that they have. Once you break an enemy, they will be stunned for a bit. Breaking an enemy means they will also take more damage and you’ll also refill your blink boot uses. As you break more enemies, you’ll also fill a gauge, which temporarily makes your attacks stronger. So, it’s a good thing to think strategically about how you can break as many enemies as possible at the same time.

There are all kinds of weapons Elle can use, ranging from swords and gauntlets to shotguns and rifles. Each weapon has a different attack range, so trying them all out is a must to see which you prefer the most. All weapons also have some kind of special ability and different stats. This special ability can range from giving you more special defense, to drenching or burning enemies. You can also find different items and relics along the way. Relics will give you a special ability such as doing more crit damage or gaining more MP when an enemy attacks you with a skill. Items will have different but are only single-use and you can’t take a lot with you.

You will be able to upgrade a few things such as your elixir and items from the people you meet on the way. These people got stuck in the Nightmare Realm and you can save them by bringing them to your sanctuary. There is a smith, an old lady, a banker, and an alchemist. Each has its own upgrades which you can buy with soul shards. These soul shards you collect along the way.

As you play Crown Trick, you’ll also collect familiars, which are mini-bosses that you get to keep. You can only keep two familiars at the same time, and each familiar has two abilities that you will also be able to use. Besides the familiars, there are also the actual level bosses which are quite hard to beat, but once you do, you can go to the next floor/level. Each level in Crown Trick is quite long since you always have at least one mini-boss, and one boss, and then a few rooms with enemies in it. Each floor, your health, and elixir get refilled, but it’s still quite hard to keep your elixir full before you get to the boss. Then after a few levels, you’ll also run into the actual boss, Vlad, whom we mentioned above. You need to beat Vlad to advance to the next day or you’ll need to start this day all over again.

Conclusion

Crown Trick is a great and fun game. It surely isn’t an easy game that you can beat swiftly. Depending on how good you are at strategy it might take you quite long to even advance to the next day. The game has quite a few different environments, enemies, and even bosses so even if you need to replay certain parts over and over, you won’t get bored of looking at the same thing. There are also different play styles, thanks to the different weapons that have different ranges, and the different abilities because of the familiars. So, two people might not have the same kind of experience depending on how they play. Crown Trick is certainly a game that you would enjoy if you like Roguelikes, but even if you are not familiar with that genre, the game is genuinely fun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Crown Trick - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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