Crowman & Wolfboy is a highly stylistic post apocalyptic platform runner. Wither Studios sent us an iOS copy to review of the game's first part, World One, and the first thing we noticed about this unique game is its art style. Crowman & Wolfboy reminds us of a few other recent indie titles we've seen, and if you're a fan grayscale shaded games such as Limbo, The Bridge, or Monocrhoma then you'll fall in love the art direction in this title too.
It's a Dark World, and Crowman & Wolfboy are sick of being evil monsters in it. After discovering a scrap of paper with mysterious "humans" depicted on it, the two of you decide to leave the shadows and find out what's happened to humanity. An ever present and consuming evil darkness chases after our protagonists, and you'll have to reach the goal of each level before being caught up in it.
Collecting small orbs of light will keep the darkness at bay, and are also used as an in-game currency to skip levels and purchase power ups. You're able to earn three stars on each stage, for collecting three large orbs, rescuing baby animals, finding hidden artifacts, or other level specific goals.
Unlike Monocrhoma, Crowman & Wolfboy's two main characters both have pivotal roles to play as you navigate through the game's myriad of dangerous levels. Crowman allows you to jump, double jump, and glide. Wolfman can climb up walls with his claws, grab onto things, attack enemies, and dash. As you progress through the game you'll unlock these special moves and more to help get through the ever increasingly difficulty levels.
Crowman & Wolfboy features a myriad of interesting settings. You'll start finding your passage through creepy forests, eerie abandoned cities, and other steam-punky landscapes. Along the way as you collect artifacts you'll begin to unravel the mysterious plot of the game, answering questions such as "where did all the humans go?" and "what's going on here?" As you do so, color slowly comes back.
Controls are easy swipe gestures, forward to dash, up to jump, down to slide, and ect. That's fine for the early stages, however several of the more advanced levels require more complex and precise platforming which can sometimes be a bit more troublesome. For instance I found myself in rapid succession needing to dash over a pit, attack a box, jump over a possessed trash barrel, double jump so you don't land on spikes, dash through the air to make it far enough, fall quickly to avoid saws, and you get the idea. This won't be a problem for those who pick up the title on PC or a game console, however we felt that sometimes the game wouldn't recognize the correct swipe fast enough. Given how easy it is to die in Crowman & Wolfboy, in later levels this this may become quite aggravating especially to those who prefer exactitude in their platformers.
Because you unlock moves, there's some replayability to go after collectibles you may have missed in earlier levels. In fact, we've played it for about twenty minutes a day for three weeks and still haven't unlocked all the content. At the moment there's over 30 levels, and Wither Studios is promising future updates.
- Exquisite art direction.
- Fantastic and eerie soundtrack.
- Touch controls can become finicky in the more advanced levels. Given the option of platforms, we'd recommend picking this title up on PC instead.
Our rating: 8 out of 10.
Crowman & Wolfboy is currently available on iOS devices free to play, and is certainly worth the download. The premium version is for $2.99 from the Apple Store. Crowman & Wolfboy also was recently successful on Steam Greenlight. The PC version is promised to include more content, better graphics, and more advanced controls.
For more information about the game, visit www.witherstudios.com.