Crimson Keep review – Jazz Hands

I love a good rogue-lite game, and there are some notable titles in the genre that I’ve enjoyed in the past, such as 'City of Brass' and 'Immortal Redneck'.

So when I heard about ‘Crimson Keep’ I jumped at the chance to cover it. It’s right up my street, and that’s where my excitement ended. Sometimes you get let down in life, and you just have to deal with it and move on. This is one of those times.

From the get-go, you will notice the graphics and just how poor they are. Not the worst, but not a million miles away. Animations look like they were rushed, you are literally just a pair of floating hands wandering through a generic underground cavern.

About that Gameplay…

Weapons look pitiful, to say the least. My eyes have been offended and that’s just the start. Nevermind, gameplay over graphics is my mantra and I have always stuck by it. What else does Crimson Keep have to offer me?

Dwelling in the dank and dark depths are various enemies that seem to be able to attack you from a great distance, quickly draining your health and leaving you a lifeless husk on the floor. Thankfully this doesn’t equate to a real-life scenario for you, and you can quickly reload and try once more if you really fancy having another attempt.

Combatting Mediaocrity

Combat really does suffer with an inconsistent hit box for both enemies and player alike, which make it a chore to play almost immediately, quickly removing any desire to play for a great length of time. The more I played, the more I realised just how little effort has gone into creating a living and breathing environment for any would be adventurer to explore.

It all looks the same, and inevitably you will get lost along the way. Even a simple map would have helped with navigating the tunnels. As it is, the constant aimless wandering around in search of the exit will no doubt bring frustration to a head and make repeated playthroughs less appealing.

What Was The Point Again?

Crimson Keep had promise, of that I’m sure. Had there been a longer period of development time, better ideas and implementation of said ideas, and just more work involved, I’m certain that it could well have been a much better game.

It feels unfinished, look unfinished and plays unfinished. A crying shame personally, and as I stated earlier, I really enjoy games of the genre as they can keep you coming back for more, yet Crimson Keep is likely to remain hidden away among better, more enjoyable titles stored on my HDD and quickly become forgotten about.


Graphics: 5
Presentation: 4
Gameplay: 4
Sound: 3

Overall Score: 4/ 10

Crimson Deep is a game that falls short of expectations, with practically every area of the game in desperate need of attention and works to bring it up to scratch. The developers shouldn’t take it to heart though and would benefit from taking a step back from their game, look at how other titles work and what makes them successful and fun to play, then work at integrating these ideas into Crimson Keep.

Should they consider any future updates or another rogue-lite experience further on down the line? As it stands, I can’t justify suggestions of purchase to anyone, unless of course they just don’t believe me and want to take a bash at the game themselves.

Format: Xbox One (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Steam
Price: £14.99 (Microsoft Store)
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: Team Crimson
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 06/03/19

Review copy provided by publisher


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