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The Crow’s Eye Review

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A storm rages outside, the unsettled abandoned buildings keep making noises as they groan into settlement, and I’m alone with nothing but a lighter to guide me.  I turn a corner and gasp loudly.  It’s my worst nightmare: another box puzzle.  The Crow’s Eye is a crafted puzzle experience that doesn’t just focus on keeping your problem solving skills in check, it has ulterior motives.  Despite some design choices that can dissuade you from continuing the experience, there’s no denying that the world set before you has been carefully crafted and even comes with a story to compel you forward.

You play as a young man who awakens in the abandoned Crowswood Medical University, seemingly as part of someone’s twisted experiment.  It’s been nearly twenty years since the disappearance of four students ignited a massive investigation that saw several more people go missing until eventually the facility was shut down by faculty.  Now you wonder the halls of the abandoned buildings with nothing more than a lighter and the items you find in the environment as you attempt to overcome the challenges set forth by a sadistic puppet master.  It’s honestly a heck of a setup for what could have merely been a series of puzzle rooms thrown at you in succession and instead becomes a cohesive adventure.  If you look at these screen shots you may notice the game borrows some aesthetics and HUD elements from another popular first person franchise, but aside from the look the comparison stops there.  I’m actually okay with this given that it’s a sense of familiarity that invokes the same type of mindset without having to be told.  In that game I picked up audio logs and focused on any shiny piece of paper that could offer information vital to the story, and the same is true here without having to be given so much as a hint.  The way the story unfolds in these journals, letters, and well-acted audiologs is also commendable and assists in the atmosphere that’s critical to keeping you in tune with the story.  There’s no doubt that the world of The Crow’s Eye and the story embedded within it is quality, but you won’t be calling this a “walking simulator.”  It’s a puzzle game with some adventure elements.

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Written by Fred Rojas

March 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm