Crossbow Crusade – Review
Follow Genre: Arcade, Platformer
Developer: HugePixel
Publisher: HugePixel, Chilidog Interactive
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Crossbow Crusade – Review

Site Score
Good: Visuals
Bad: Length, Artificial difficulty created by poor controls and mechanics
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)

We quite like the occasional retro-inspired title, especially ones that try to emulate the experience of older games, albeit with their own twists and new mechanics embedded into the core gameplay loop. Creating old-school pixelated games is often an easy threshold to overcome for indie developers who want to tread the waters of game development. Sadly, not every product turns out to become a success, or even good for that matter. We now see Crossbow Crusade being ported to consoles for our entertainment, but sadly this felt more like an arrow to the knee.


The narrative value of Crossbow Crusade is almost non-existent. You’re a demon hunter and you arrive at the doorstep of a monster-infested country. You’ll have to wade through enemies, going through meaningless oneliners from a handful of bosses, to reach the credits of the game. The game drops you a line at the beginning, a tagline for the different bosses, only for them to say the exact same line when being defeated, ultimately getting another single line of text at the end. We have to be honest, even most NES titles delivered a better or more engaging plot than this one.


When examining Crossbow Crusade, its graphical quality and style are actually enjoyable for its theme. The game drops you in different environments, each with its own backdrops, tilesets, monsters, and so on. Sadly, with only around four different themes and half an hour to an hour of content, there just isn’t much to explore and take in. We enjoyed what is present in the game, but other than a small pack of different assets, the game feels like a rudimentary version of a bigger project. The game does tend to reuse a lot of its monster designs, or even the spirits that are released when defeating the four bosses.


The sound design is also fairly okayish when playing through the game. The backdrop is of a cinematic and adventurous nature, and will not start to annoy you when you have to retry certain segments over and over again. The sound effects, however, will more than likely annoy you rather quickly. The grating squeal your hunter makes when getting hit, or the extreme loudness of thunder in the background will all contribute to making you irritated with the game sooner rather than later.


Crossbow Crusade is an old-school platformer, in which you’ll also have to best the evil monsters that you come across. You’ll only have a crossbow in your arsenal, as well as the ability to jump and roll. The crossbow can only be fired straight ahead (also when crouching) or upwards. In terms of progression, you’ll be able to upgrade your crossbow that it allows you to fire arrows rapidly in succession. In the beginning, you can only fire one arrow, and at the end, you can fire four in rapid succession. Other than that, the game has no items or gear that will aid you in your quest. The biggest portion of the game is played in an old-school run-and-jump format, where you determine the pace. That being said, there are a few levels that put you ‘on rails’, making it a timing-based affair. The game tries to make platforming interesting by using your arrows as small platforms when being fired upon corpses or wooden beams.

While the limited arsenal can be forgiven, as well as the somewhat silly way of upgrading your crossbow (by collecting tickets), the horrible controls cannot. More than often you’ll find yourself being the victim of lousy hitboxes, making sure you receive damage when you were not even touching the enemy model. This is made even worse when jumps do not trigger because the game already thinks you’re not on a ledge anymore. This will result in instant death, putting you back at the previous checkpoint. Deaths like this occur constantly, and just make the extremely short game extra frustrating. Good news for the hitbox issue, however, as there is an invulnerability cheat for the game, which allows you to ignore basically all the monsters and bosses. Pitfalls and spikes will still kill you and force you to replay a section. We reckon the developers added this cheat, to allow speedrunners to just stick to platforming, as well as unlock all achievements/trophies within half an hour.


Even though Crossbow Crusade comes at a fairly low price, it’s hard to recommend, other than for the sole purpose of getting a Platinum score within the course of an hour. The game has a few good elements, but these are overshadowed by the very limited content, the poor hitboxes, and the failure to get basic controls fully functioning. While we did enjoy seeing that Platinum trophy appear, we also immediately deleted the game afterwards, even though it was smaller than an actual save file of a modern game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Crossbow Crusade - Review, 1.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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