Roguelikes and roguelites tend to throw players through their shifting murder and death gauntlets at a rather frantic rate. Recent popular examples, such as Hell and Dead cells, really put an emphasis on that almost uniform focus on speed and that’s totally understandable in a genre where repetition is such a fundamental part of the core process, with the ability to work your way through places. where you have been several times almost essential to deny the potential boredom or fatigue of the player.

It is here, however, that Crown tip, NEXT Studio’s all-new roguelite adventure, differs the most from the rest of the crowd. It has just as many complex moving parts; weapons, spells, environmental traps, relics, upgrades, trinkets, chests and so on, but the pace some movement and combat here is often freezing compared to how The Beheaded or Zagreus go to work. Crown Trick then eschews the fast, fluid hack-and-slash action, in favor of a slower turn-based style that sees your enemies moving or attacking only when you do. Take a step here and the various poisonous goblins, killer chickens, and mad scientists all around you will be bound to follow, attack, and swoop into action. It is a dungeon crawler that takes a sheet of Necrodancer’s Cryptthe book and, for the most part, it results in a period of satisfying tension, tactics and atmospheric conditions.

The story here sees players take on the role of Elle, a mysterious maiden who finds herself in the Realm of Nightmares with a rather abrasive and omnipotent crown for company. She, it seems, must take on the role of the hero of the world, battling nightmares in a procedurally-generated, shape-shifting maze of dungeons that exists in her sleeping mind as she slowly reconstructs the real reason behind. his presence here. It’s a setup that makes about as much sense as any other example of its kind and, most importantly, doesn’t waste time showing you the ropes before you embark on its fairly sharp chaotic fields of destruction.

When you start a race through Crown Trick, you’ll have a choice of two random weapons, each with base attack power alongside a host of other perks, boosts, and magical properties – we’ve started our first race with the Ancient Tree’s Ax, a satisfying bulky effort that applies the root to nearby enemies when you swing it, rendering them unable to move or attack for a set period of time. Once you’ve chosen a weapon, you’ll embark on your rhythmic adventure, collecting more and more weapons, items, and, most importantly, relics as you go. Relics here take the form of common to legendary flavored trinkets such as a Philosopher’s Stone which reduces your MP cost when you use a skill or spell, Glass Daggers which increase your critical damage, or Elemental Cubes which grant your attacks a random elemental advantage. These are powerful, stackable perks that go with you throughout an entire race and, alongside the game’s familiars, are perhaps the most important aspect of successfully blitzing through the game’s dream maze.

And what to say about these familiars. As you fight your way through the Realm of Nightmares, you’ll dance the Dance of Death along with a host of bizarre mini-bosses who, when defeated, become your friends, granting you the attacks they were used to before. . try to end your life. Familiar powers can be equipped – two at a time from your current collection – at resting points dotted around the floors of dungeons and they are a real game-changer, giving you tons of options when it comes to various area strategies. effect and spells that can be used to lock enemies into specific areas or disrupt their timing or their ability to move directly after you. So far, we’re big fans of the familiar Firebreather, the very first miniboss we’ve come across, which has given us the ability to make a three-square-long flame path in any direction. We also really like the Electricity-based Trickster whose zap attacks bounce between groups of enemies causing group damage, it also comes with a nifty gravitational field that sucks any nearby dangers into its core before knocking them out. stun for a spin.

In short, there are a ton of moving parts here when it comes to offensive skills, perks, and upgrades and it all sits very well above the game’s distinctive turn-based grid movement system. Of course, zapping on a grid that prohibits diagonal movements when enemies are closing in can quickly lead to you being surrounded and therefore Crown Trick provides Elle with a clever Blink maneuver that allows her to magically move away from her current position to respawn. anywhere in a specified area – giving him the ability to get behind enemies and escape tight turns or incoming AoE attacks. It’s another nice little wrinkle in the gameplay that gives you even more strategic control. It’s also aptly limited in its uses in a dungeon, and can only be completed during battle by breaking down enemy defenses in order to charge up a Break Gauge that also boosts your attacks, essentially encouraging an offensive playstyle.

There are so many other aspects of your journey here with weapon gachas and slots sucking your coin in exchange for prizes, a bunch of pretty fun NPCs to save who will then populate the central area of ​​the game – you. allowing your turn to become permanent improve your health balloon, increase the amount of loot you find in a race, etc. – and choose your own adventure-style moments where you’ll examine an ancient monument or gaze at a crystal ball before making an offer that will allow you to gain HP or strength at the expense of another aspect of your being. It’s all been done before, that’s right, but Crown Trick does it pretty well and with a lot of its own style.

Where this game Is running into slight difficulties, however, is through a sometimes clunky user interface that can see that you have to move away and re-approach items in order to interact with or collect them – which is not a problem. huge but can get frustrating – combined with battles that can be so busy that it is sometimes very difficult to see exactly what is going on. Indeed, as hugely satisfying as Crown Trick’s chess fight can be when you have room to sit down and think about moves ahead, when things get hectic, everything can start to unravel slightly when you run out of options or find it difficult to do so. see Her or the small icons on her enemies that indicate who is ready to move against her next.

It’s also a game, like many of its roguelite brethren, that can sometimes struggle depending on what random weapons, items, or relics are given to you at the start. We’ve had a lot of races here where our demise is entirely the result of our own mistakes, but we’ve also found ourselves dying quite often because we just didn’t have the right tools to beat a big boss or whatever. It’s a frustration that’s built into the genre, of course, but it’s nonetheless a frustration that can sometimes make you feel like you’re embarking on another attempt. That slow pace too, well, that can sometimes make it hard to go through the same areas and the same patterns. Once you have fully improved an area you will start the following races again from the next point on the route which certainly helps things but when you are deep in the mud struggling to progress and you keep coming back to the same starting point … it can slow down.

Overall, however, Crown Trick is a sleek, clever, and intriguing addition to its genre. The combat here, when not completely transformed into chaos, is a satisfying strategic element with its own unique pace, and it all takes place in a wonderfully well-crafted world filled with quirky and entertaining characters. In terms of performance, too, on Switch things run smoothly and well on both the docking station and the handheld and look just as good as you choose to play. For fans of roguelites, this is another important addition to the genre that has more than enough of it to warrant a warm recommendation despite a few irritations here and there.

Conclusion

Crown Trick is a sleek and strategic roguelite that slows down the usually frantic pace of its genre and introduces rhythmic turn-based battles into the proceedings. Elle’s ability to blink around arenas, combined with the plethora of powers she gains from the many weapons, relics, and pets she encounters along the way, also adds a lot of variety and flexibility to the races. that you will do here. There are a few UI issues that need to be addressed, the inherently random nature of the base gameplay can affect procedures from time to time, and busy battles can get hard to read at times, but, overall, it is. is a very solid effort that fans of roguelites should definitely check out.





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