[Review] Crown Trick – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: NExT Studios
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Release Date: 16/10/2020
  • Price: £14.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by Team17

Introducing: Crown Trick Nintendo Switch Review

I have always been a huge proponent for role-playing games. First Person Dungeon Crawlers are at the top of the list with JRPG’s a close second. Nowadays there are so many sub genres to the role-playing branch that it can be tough to master every game. One subgenre that still eludes me as a fan is the rogue-like RPG with turn based movement. The thought of losing the majority, if not all, of my progress generally has me sidestepping these games. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally find a gem and have an absolute blast with rogue-likes that are well done. Having a good balance of fun versus frustrating is key to me giving these games a shot. When I took a crack at Crown Trick, the first hour was predominantly frustrating but then it clicked, and the remainder of my time was enjoyable to the point I couldn’t stop playing. Take a look at my full review as I dive into the intricacies of Crown Trick.

Tricks are for Kids

Our heroine of the story, Elle, is awoken in the Nightmare Realm by an omniscient Crown. It’s a shocking manifestation to the young lady who soon learns that the fate of the World rests on her shoulders. As it turns out, things in the real world are bad and will only get worse. Elle learns that a human, consumed with greed has performed a forbidden sacrifice in the Nightmare Realm. This sacrificial rite broke seals that bind horrendous acts and thus unleashed them on humanity. Though the Crown is a guardian of the Realm, it cannot act and takes an observational role. It will be up to Elle to stop Vlad and end the nightmares on Earth.

The story doesn’t win any awards for originality and checks off the typical tropes found in role playing games, but it does have heart. Elle finds herself alone with a less-than-helpful Crown along for the ride. The narrative has a storybook feel and was passable enough to set me on my journey. However, once I got into the game, the story took a backseat and became an afterthought for the whole experience.

Trick or Treat?

Like I mentioned above, Crown Trick is a turn based rogue-like RPG. The levels are procedurally generated so each time you “fall asleep” and enter the nightmare realm, the layout will be different. The levels aren’t huge and consist of a handful of chambers. These rooms range in purpose. Some are trap laden, enemy filled barriers which lock you in until you survive. Others have shrines which present you with a brief story and reward or hinder you based on the outcome you select. Some rooms are peaceful respites with either a treasure chest or slot machine. There are of course mini bosses, who join you upon their defeat and finally, the main boss for each floor.

Combat depends on a few factors. There are a variety of weapons but chance determines what you start each runthrough with. Before setting off you are given a choice between two random weapons but can only hold one. I found a lot of battles, especially the bosses, came down to me having the wrong weapon. There is a chance you’ll find weapon substitutes as you traverse the random rooms. Knowing each weapon type is key to success. Rifles can shoot a line of four enemies but need to be reloaded. A spear can hit two enemies whereas daggers have a range of only on square but hit twice. Each enemy has a breaking point. If you hit them enough, they’ll become stunned. Either allowing you to finish them off without fear of retaliation or focus on another fiend.

Rooms holding monsters typically had traps strategically placed. I found that my early attempts resulted in failure because I rushed in without pausing to plan. Taking your time and making use of the traps to trick enemies easily turns the tide in your favor. Once I had a better grasp on the mechanics, weapons and overall structure, Crown Trick started to suck away hours instead of me plucking out my hair. The game is well balanced with what you are given and the creatures you face.

A Trick of the Mind

The visuals in Crown Trick are reminiscent of age old fairy tales. This stylistic approach was as much of the story as the narrative. The levels are adorned with thematic odes to those fantastical tales I grew up hearing. The animations are smooth and there’s a fair assortment of monsters, spells and skills. The presentation in Crown Trick was accentuated by fitting music. The sound track equally brought to mind rustic folklore and times of innocence. Crown Trick may have been light on the writing but the art and music took over the tale by presenting the story in a more magical way. A story which was experienced more than read or narrated.

Little by Little Does the Trick

Crown Trick is a great fit for the Nintendo Switch. It was nice playing it on the big screen where the ardent colors came to life and then pulling it in close for a more personal feel in handheld mode. It looked great in either mode and ran effortlessly without any glitches or bugs.

Final Wrap

Crown Trick had a bit of a learning curve up front. One that nearly turned me away from the game. Once I grasped the mechanics, the game did a complete u-turn and was exciting and engaging. Crown Trick is fairly priced and has good value for the content. Though I’m not a purveyor of rogue-like RPG’s, I would certainly recommend Crown Trick not only to seasoned role players but to rookies alike. Just know that first hour might trick your senses until you get a hold of the combat system.

Pros

  • Beautiful Visuals
  • Engaging Combat
  • Excellent Sound Track

Cons

  • Steep Learning Curve

Verdict
Crown Trick is artistic rogue-like with a fabled feeling. Don’t be fooled by the difficulty, fun is around every corner.

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