Reverse Crawl
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Nerdook once again impresses with a title that delivers turn-based strategy in an engaging, humorous and very accessible manner. The visuals are charming, the gameplay addictive and although short, there are enough reasons to replay the game a couple of times. Anyone looking for a turn-based strategy title that can be enjoyed without a degree in military tactics should definitely add Reverse Crawl to their library.

Gameplay: Easy to play, but with enough depth to keep it interesting right to the end.

Graphics: Features the typical charming Nerdook visual style.

Sound: No voice acting, but the music is pleasant enough

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Reverse Crawl

Developer: Nerdook Productions | Publisher: Digerati Distribution | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / RPG / Strategy | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Skeletons, zombies, rats, dark elves, wraiths and goblins are no strangers to games, but usually they are on the receiving end of our attacks. However, in Reverse Crawl it is your job to recruit these unsavory types, and many others, to your cause in a quest for revenge. The target of your ire is the Red Queen, who showed up and slew the ruler of the kingdom. As luck would have it, the king’s daughter has a fondness for necromancy and brought back her father as a revenant. The Red Queen is no push-over though, and has a small army of heroes who are all willing to send the revenant king back to the grave for good.

Reverse Crawl is the latest title from one-man indie outfit, Nerdook, to hit Steam after his previous hit Vertical Drop Heroes HD. Reverse Crawl features the same unique art style, but favors turn based strategy over platform based action. The game is spread across 25 chapters where you square off against enemies in combat. The game features a branching storyline with three different endings, so while a single playthrough will only take about three hours you’ll have to complete the game multiple times to experience everything it has to offer. Fortunately, the game is addictive enough that this is something that fans of the genre will love doing and unlocking the endless- as well as “new game+” modes make it even more fun.

The cute visuals might lull you into thinking that Reverse Crawl is a casual experience, but the game packs plenty of strategic depth. In addition to the missions that advance the storyline you are often also presented with a choice of three different side missions. Each typically offers something that can help you, be it a new group of monsters or new spell, but you can only choose one. This boosts the replay value even further and forces you to make strategic decisions based on your own playing style. Each mission pits you against a certain amount of enemy waves and you need to carefully choose which of your groups to send into battle. For example, sending in your undead against clerics is clearly a bad idea and slow moving monsters will probably be killed by ranged attackers before they get the chance to do any damage. Since some units are naturally stronger or weaker against other types of units the fights are always interesting.

Your groups can consist of units with melee, ranged or magical attacks, while you can also use spells and abilities from the sidelines. These spells require a resource called “Threat” which is generated by defeating foes as well as the appearance of new units. This means that using some of the more powerful spells require you to hold back on casting anything else in order to build up enough threat. The hex grid on which battles take place are rather small, so you are guaranteed to get to the action very quickly and there is no place to hide. Enemies can be flanked for extra damage during attacks and status effects like poison and burning can also quickly change the tide of battle. Eventually you can even summon traps to the battlefield or encounter treasure chests that can bestow advantages to whichever unit opens them. The gameplay is centered purely on the tactical battles, so there is no exploration or interaction with other characters apart from during cut-scenes, but this doesn’t detract from the experience.

Emerging victorious from battle rewards you with ability points that can then be pushed into categories such as necromancy, saboteur, warlord, marksman, magus and beastmaster. Once again, it is impossible to max out everything during your playthrough, so you will have to choose which ones fits your playing style the best. Saboteur centers on sabotaging your enemies health and power while marksman bolsters the abilities of your ranged units and so forth. Some missions also present you with three different rewards from which to choose one new unit, ability or upgrade while missing out on the rest. When selecting which group of units to send into battle you will also notice that some of them are assigned random traits. These traits can be either positive or negative, with new ones unlocked by completing certain missions.

Since the art, coding and animation is all done by one person, the game doesn’t exactly look cutting edge, but definitely captures the same charm that fans of Nerdook will already be familiar with. Character and enemy designs are very cute, which gives the game a lighthearted look despite the rather dark storyline. It is all a matter of taste though, as some players might not enjoy the Flash style 2D visuals. The same goes for the audio, which is pleasant enough, but not exactly catchy. The mouse driven interface is very easy to use though, and everything is clearly explained. This means that the game is quite accessible and even people who are new to the genre should have little trouble getting into the swing of things.

Overall, Reverse Crawl is a blast to play and although short offers plenty of replay value. It doesn’t have much in the way of visual or audio options, but when it comes to gameplay the game is hard to fault. The developer has also hinted at adding new content to the game, so value for money is certainly not an issue. Making the wrong choices can increase the difficulty of the game somewhat, but overall it is easy and accessible enough to remain entertaining without veering towards frustrating. Hardcore strategy fans might find it somewhat simplistic despite its depth, but there is certainly plenty to like about Reverse Crawl.

*Review based on Reverse Crawl Update v1.0.0.3

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
  • Processor: Processor 2 GHz (Dual Core)
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible 3D graphics card with 256 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: Windows Vista / 7 / 8
  • Processor: Processor 2 GHz (Dual Core)
  • Memory: 512 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible 3D graphics card with 512 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • OS: OS X 10.7.0 or later
  • Processor: Processor: 2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 256 MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: OpenAL-compatible sound card
  • OS: OS X 10.7.0 or later
  • Processor: Processor: 2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 256 MB RAM
  • Graphics: OpenGL 2.1 compatible graphics card with 256 MB VRAM
  • Hard Drive: 50 MB available space
  • Sound Card: OpenAL-compatible sound card

Related posts

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood

Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood

The Mists of Ravenwood is another solid hidden object game from Artifex Mundi, one of the most respected developers in the genre. It takes place after the events of The Ghosts of Maple Creek and features another gripping adventure for the detective protagonist to solve. Improvements, such as the polished visuals and fast travel system, make the game more enjoyable to play while the story remains engaging throughout thanks to the “evidence board” feature. If you are a fan of the genre and enjoyed the original then The Mists of Ravenwood should not be missed. Gameplay: Not too difficult, but remains fun to play all the way through. Graphics: The hand drawn scenes are stylish, detailed and very interesting. Sound: A little too similar to the original for our taste, but the sound effects are great.

Wooden Sen’SeY

Wooden Sen'SeY

Wooden Sen'SeY is perfect for gamers looking for an old school platform challenge but prefer modern visuals. With nine unique and varied levels as well as an addictive Time Attack mode, there is a lot to like about Wooden Sen'SeY. It can all be over a bit soon if you rush the game, but completionists will be busy for ages. Gameplay: Old school platform action at its best. Graphics: Beautiful and varied. Sound: Very fitting tunes for each level.

Atom Zombie Smasher

Atom Zombie Smasher

Atom Zombie Smasher is one of those games that look deceptively simple, but once you start playing the hours just fly by. It's got a lot of replay value and while the visuals are very basic they convey the sense of urgency and excitement very clearly. All in all a game that should be added to your collection without hesitation. Gameplay: Save citizens while killing zombies. Graphics: As basic as you can get, but still very stylish in its own way. Sound: The wacky music somehow fits the game perfectly. Good sound effects as well.

Epistory – Typing Chronicles

Epistory - Typing Chronicles

Basing an entire game around typing is not a new idea, but Epistory does it extremely well and never feels like it is an “edutainment” title. It has a vibrant game world to explore along with plenty of enemies to kill and puzzles to solve. Seeing as the entire game is keyboard driven and requires lots of typing it is a bit of a niche title, but definitely worth the effort. Unless you absolutely hate typing or still get by using only one finger Epistory should not be missed. Gameplay: Expect plenty of typing as you explore, fight enemies and solve puzzles. Graphics: The origami style visuals look great. Sound: Great soundtrack and the narrator does a stellar job as well.

Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!!

Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!!

Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! has a lot to offer fans of the genre with its large roster of unique characters, interesting Arcanas and fast paced fighting. The character designs are great and it is only the pixalated sprites that let down the visuals somewhat. The fighting offers a lot of depth, but even novices can have fun by switching to Simple mode. For a great 2D fighter that is unlike anything else available on PC give Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!! a shot. Gameplay: Fast, frantic and once you have mastered the moves, a lot of fun. Graphics: Sprite are a little low-res and the 4:3 resolution makes things feel a bit cramped, but overall quite good. Sound: Full Japanese voice acting and some nice albeit unremarkable background music.

SteamWorld Heist

SteamWorld Heist

SteamWorld Heist is set in the same universe as its predecessor, SteamWorld Dig, but opted for a completely different genre and play style. Despite the switch, the game retains the charming visual style and addictiveness that is becoming a hallmark of Image & Form titles. If you are a fan of turn-based strategy games you really owe it to yourself to add this one to your collection. Gameplay: Despite being turn-based, the game feels fast and action packed. Graphics: Detailed, vibrant and well animated. Sound: Great sound effects and the soundtrack is brilliant.

Leave a comment

seventeen − 14 =