This game is odd
The Crow's Eye is developed by 3D2 Entertainment in March 20th, 2017. I have found one previous game made under their name, and a new one coming soon named Arima. Oh yeah, and before I forget, this is the aforementioned previous one:
You play as an estranged child confined within a long abandoned college, under duress by a morally bankrupt scientist. I didn't find the story too interesting, but mostly because what I found is in audio logs, and I tend to have trouble focusing on them in particular while I am doing tasks. You won't feel moved at the end if audio logs don't do it for you, I know I wasn't.
(Disclaimer: I haven't played many puzzle games, and I'm not good at them either)
The puzzles themselves aren't that complex, mostly consisting of sliding blocks and boxes, along with some gravity based portions. A reoccurring one (shown in the screenshot above), color coded boxes have to be inserted into their corresponding slots, but the boxes keep moving in a direction until they collide with something. These are usually solved in a specific way, and since I suck at puzzles, these took longer for me to solve than they should have, the normal box moving puzzles aren't that difficult though. There is a more interesting one that I personally have not seen in a game before. Essentially there are rooms where there is a strong magnet in the wall, and boxes have to be placed in specific spots so that when the magnet is activated the boxes fill in parts of a platform, this occurs two or three times throughout the game, it's not hard, just thought it was neat. The only really complicated puzzle is during the transition from mid game to late game, where blocks have to be rolled onto a plate, with the insignia matching the pattern under it. There isn't much to right home about in this category, but it does have the experimental feel to it. It has all of the more basic puzzles, including the trial and error press and flip switches until you find the right order that opens the way forward. It's not bad at all, it just has that jank feel to it, and it's nothing ground breaking.
There are a multitude of platforming segments along side of puzzles. The player acquires two tools for platforming, one of which is a hypodermic needle of adrenaline. You read that right, each time the player character needs to reach that next platform that's out of reach, he shoots himself up with epinephrine to slow down his perception of time, and zooms faster and harder to an adjacent platform he previously could not fathom reaching (meaning he would be long dead before the end). That, and he gets a high power magnet, that honestly isn't powerful enough to pick up a metal box, but powerful enough when encountering a magnet platform with the same polarity to launch a grown ass man into the air, but I digress. Most of the problems in need of solving during the platforming segments usually entail just traversing from Point A to Point B via either the magnet, or maneuvering though moving platforms, or getting to a specific set of levers and activating them to progress.
Visuals and Audio
The game isn't a looker by any means, the textures and lighting are basic, but this game because of it has this sort of middle market charm that's not really seen a lot today. It's definitely not going to be liked by people who prefer graphics to look just better, and is subject to who grew up with what (I know how it feels to play an old game everyone loves and not understand why).
In terms of music, the best way I can describe it as a person who only knows a little about instrumentation, the game uses orchestra to set the mood, using soft sounding strings and piano to create a solemn mood while still creating wonder, and uses harsher strings to create tension. It sounds good, and it does the job well. It looks like they hired a composer to create music for the game which is a plus.
Listen to the sound effects from the video, specifically the first room alone. They aren't great, but they do the job. They sound like stock sound effects, though I can't confirm it myself. What's used for opening a door, or opening the players inventory sounds like it was recorded from an old phone.
Now to tie it in with why I consider this game weird has mostly to do with the time period it was made in, which was March 2017. It mostly has to do with it's dated appearance, which to me isn't a problem, but when have you last played a middle market game? It has this very distinct feeling to it that comes from it's visuals and gameplay that hasn't been around for a while. Usually a game like this would be used to experiment with design and game mechanics, and would have this level of experimental imperfection that has been lost to the sheer mechanical and calculated nature the entire entertainment industry at this point. Though, that being said, it isn't impressive by any means, and is technically inferior by most games that even came out during 2017, but it was a nice breath of fresh air and can be picked up for five bucks for about 2-4 hours.
Review: The Crows Eye
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