Friday, May 10

Review: Reverse Crawl [Nintendo Switch eShop]


With indie games it can be tricky sometimes, as games that can appear to be quite plain can pack a surprise punch if you give them a chance. One such game is Reverse Crawl, a serviceable strategy game on the individual battle level but one that will show some more serious chops the more you play it. If you’re willing to stick with it, you may find the options and variety it offers to be a pleasant surprise.


In the game you’ll start out with a limited number of units, and there’s a bit of an initial learning curve as you come to understand how the tactics play out. You’ll want to position your melee units flanking enemies to pick up bonuses, make smart use of the limited skills you have available, and if you’re feeling lucky charge up an attack to try to get a critical hit (though you may also just miss entirely). In each scenario you’ll essentially need to weather multiple waves of enemies with a growing assortment of units of your own. As you come to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each of your groups you’ll then make better choices on which to use in what situations and against which types of enemies.


Where the game steps things up a bit is in giving you a pretty large degree of control over which missions you undertake, which each have their own benefit, and which perks you choose as you level up. What paths and objectives you pick can give you new units, make one of your groups more powerful, and some can affect the storyline as well. The game’s roguelike quality does then help to ensure each time you play things can end up working out quite differently if you’re game for exploring different options.


I’m not sure if the pitch for the game ultimately ends up sounding that good, but while the overall look is quite plain and the combat rounds are a bit on the dull side the meta game sitting on top of those conflicts can at least be interesting and affords you a fair amount of latitude. Whether that’s enough to excite you for more than a few hours of kicking around but I’ll at least give the developers credit for having that silver lining to offer up. There are more attractive and engaging strategy games on the Switch but none of them have quite the same style, which is at least one firm positive.


Score: 7

Pros:
  • There’s a great deal of latitude for player choice in the perks and missions you can choose
  • The roguelike elements add a layer of unpredictability that at least makes repeat playthroughs less repetitive

Cons:
  • In terms of aesthetics and individual battles everything is a bit ho-hum and vanilla
  • Mechanically the controls aren’t the greatest and take some getting used to