Originally released on PC and Switch in October 2020, Crown Trick is a gorgeously-animated roguelike with a difference.
Rather than focusing on hands-on, toe-to-toe combat like Hades or Rogue Legacy, Crown Trick differentiates itself from other roguelike games by having a very strategic element to its combat. Enemies only move when you move. That means you can’t rush into a room, all-guns-blazing, wildly swinging a weapon. Every move you make must be measured and methodical. In Crown Trick, the fastest, bravest person isn’t the winner. It’s those who choose to take it slowly.
Since enemies will only make a move when you do, you’re safe when you’re stood still. There’s a range of weapons up for grabs in Crown Trick, and the type you have in your possession will determine what sort of attack you can do. Daggers can only damage the square directly in front of you, for example, while a gun will be able to deal damage to any enemies in a line up to four squares away from you. Your equipment will ultimately decide how you need to approach combat, and with every weapon having its own perks and quirks, you’ll need to choose carefully.
As you’re probably already realising, ‘careful’ is a theme that runs through Crown Trick. It’s a bit of a culture shock if you’re used to your roguelike games being fast and frenetic, but the change of pace is a welcome one. The strategy genre works surprisingly well in a roguelike setting, especially when it’s coupled with engaging exploration and such beautiful art direction. Yes, Crown Trick looks delightful; environments, characters and enemies have a hand-drawn sheen that’s hard to match. There’s no voice-acting here but the writing carries enough personality that it doesn’t matter.
Of course, since Crown Trick is a roguelike, it means death is usually not far away. But the nature of the game means failures are easy to own; you know what you did wrong, and you know how to avoid doing it again. You’ll become familiar with enemies and their attacks, and you’ll learn the best ways to deal with them. You’ll know to keep your distance until you’re ready to hit, skirting around traps and enemy attacks with careful consideration. And when you do die, you’ll have gained currency that can be spent on persistent upgrades, and hopefully unlocked some new weapons that you’ll be able to pick up in future runs.
You can read more about Crown Trick in our original PC review by clicking here. But if you’re a fan of roguelikes, and especially if you’re a fan of strategic combat, this is one very much worth jumping into. Watch 15 minutes of gameplay in the video below:
Crown Trick is available now on PlayStation and Xbox. It’s also available on PC and Switch.