Yet another rogue-like RPG makes its way to the Nintendo Switch. This time it’s Crown Trick, an interactive strategy adventure that moves as you move. Brought to you by Team17 and NEXT Studios, find out if this game is for you by reading our review.
When fate brings a young girl named Elle to a one-eyed Crown, it’s up to her to set things right in the Nightmare Realm. The evil Vlad has performed a forbidden sacrificial rite in the realm. This has caused the Power of Nightmares to run rampant. The death and destruction have not only spread to the Nightmare Realm but also to Elle’s world as well.
Crown Trick is the type of game where you’ll set off into one of its procedurally generated dungeons to try your best to survive. All of the weapons and relics you’ve acquired during your journey will perish with you as you die from the enemy’s hand. Not all is lost after death, though. There are permanent upgrades you can retain, as well as a limited amount of currency.
Thrown into the land of dreams, you’ll need to progress through these dungeons and get support from various NPCs—after you rescue them, of course. It doesn’t take much to get familiar with most of the controls, but some will really test your explorative side to figure things out. You are shown tips during loading screens, which is always nice to have.
Entering dungeons and overcoming the various challenges they provide is the heart of Crown Trick’s gameplay. Luck plays a critical role in becoming victorious in the game. Finding the best weaponry and relics that suit your playstyle will make it easier to climb higher. The choices you make are one of the most notable traits of the game.
Besides choosing between weapons and relics, you’ll occasionally have to decide on factors that can make or break your character. Multiple choices with a risk follow your character around every floor’s corner. You can take the risk and aim for the skies, or fear the drawback and continue onward. There are many decisions to make which are challenging to get tiresome of.
With that said, climbing floors can get repetitive. There are many weapons, relics, items, and abilities to choose from, but dungeon runs can sometimes feel the same with nothing new in the mix. This becomes more noticeable the higher you climb. Some additions become accessible with your success, but it doesn’t always feel sufficient enough to keep the gears moving.
Each room in Crown Trick has a purpose. One is a battle room filled with several foes. These rooms are common in the game, and you won’t be able to escape until you’ve slain all of the enemies that dwell within. The enemies you’ll face will move as you execute your actions in a synchronous turn-based cycle. Strategy comes into play here to defeat them all while managing to save your HP for the scarier foe that is to come.
The abilities from Familiars you’ve unlocked are essential in deciding the outcome of an intense room filled with formidable foes. As combat is turn-based, the character’s special Blink ability gives you the upper hand to teleport to nearby blocks. It’s imperative to dodging enemy fire and getting quick attacks in. As each room resets your MP and Blink Points, you can worry less and focus more on the battle at hand.
The majority of battles in these rooms never get too intense. The struggle comes from avoiding the loss of health to be fully prepared for a boss room. There will occasionally be mini-bosses that are stronger than the usual small-fry; however, defeating them gets more manageable the more you play. As they are Familiars, slaying them will make their abilities accessible to you for future runs.
The Boss Rooms in the game are the head-scratchers. They’re often the room that’ll kick you from your dream and back to the safe zone. It’ll take all of the strength that you possess to overcome these fearsome foes. Learning their patterns and what they’re capable of will be vital to advancing. This game’s boss-tier enemies will surely test how well you utilize your abilities, items, and blinks.
You won’t face these bosses in an orderly format. The game throws you onto random floors, which means the boss you’ll encounter will be random, as well. This is the much-needed approach for such a game to cut down on its repetitive gameplay. You’ll never know the set of bosses you’ll go toe to toe with when the game throws you into slumber.
Crown Trick has two types of currency: Soul Shards and Gold. You use Soul Shards to purchase permanent upgrades at your base. On the other hand, you can exchange gold for a random set of temporary weapons and relics during dungeon runs. These two currencies play an essential part in progressing further in the game. Unfortunately, collecting one of these currencies can be a pain in the butt.
Several merchants will require your assistance during your journey. Rescuing them will make permanent upgrades accessible, and you’ll be able to spend Soul Shards to obtain them. These goods you’ll be purchasing will significantly improve the performance you put out on your future runs. While you’ll be able to buy all of the cheap upgrades over time, you won’t have the same experience with the more expensive goods. This is because initiating another dungeon run shaves off any overflowing unspent shards that you’ve amassed. As luck plays a role in affording one of these expensive upgrades, it can be frustrating having to give up your hard-earned shards when there’s nothing new you can afford.
Graphics and Sound
Crown Trick has a beautifully designed cartoony art style in a darkish dungeon setting. The artwork is vivid, and you can clearly see it in each dungeon. Even though there’s some minor lag, the game still runs nicely in both handheld and docked mode for most of the gameplay. This lag usually presents itself upon entering dungeons or during some parts of the gameplay. The cursor can sometimes deceive you by letting you mistake it for lag, but in reality, you sometimes have to move it before you can make your move.
The game’s music feels ominous. It’s fitting for a dreamlike dungeon crawler such as Crown Trick, where things aren’t in order. You’ll hear every jab from your spear and every shot from your shotgun. Sometimes these sound effects work to your advantage so that you can avoid charged attacks or be informed when you’ve broken an enemy’s shield. They’re crisp, pleasant, and add to the dungeon crawling experience.
Crown Trick’s gameplay can either be a hit or miss. It can be fun for a couple of hours, but it can also get repetitive faster than you may like. By that time, it’ll introduce struggles that keep you at bay where luck determines progression. Overcoming these hurdles will leave a sense of accomplishment, but at what cost relies upon yourself.
Crown Trick gets a 6/10.