Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Indie Impressions - Crowtel Renovations

Crowtel Renovations

Now Available on Steam

Developed by SinksAdventure 


Crowtel Renovations has its humble beginnings as a quaint and colorful yet simple and straightforward action platformer on, where it was already a satisfying romp through a dysfunctional hotel starring an incredibly likable scarf-wearing crow. Since then developer Sink has retrofitted the cute indie gem and given it a fantastic new story mode now with multiple playable characters (frog!), squashed some literal and metaphorical bugs, and added plenty more surprises in the gameplay to see and probably die to.

The whole game is a wonderful potpourri of cute, fun and very clever ideas both in gameplay and appearance that never fail to put a smile on the player's face. From the little sign-in sheets your cute crow character signs to save a checkpoint to the chilling and possessed air-conditioners hiding mischievous little spirits waiting to pop out and surprise you. Each transition of an area really feels like another step into a progressively unruly hotel thanks to the wonderfully simple but effective backgrounds.

D-Do I really have to hurt these cute little guys?

The obstacles you come across are always ridiculously clever, beautifully simple, and very accessible outside of the bosses which in classic retro platforming fashion feature difficult patterns that need to be memorized and probably tried a few times. They aren't anywhere near something like Megaman in terms of difficulty but are very similar in their charismatic design and engaging attack patterns. Every little set-piece and every transition tells a part of the story, and every quirk in every level really feels like part of the adventure.

It's also easy to notice that the developer of Crowtel really has down the characteristics of animals as portrayed through the colorful guests and visitors of the Crowtel hotel. The Health Inspector Cats are appropriately nosey pricks, Bunny likes to poop way too much, and Rat is a lazy and reckless jerk who likes to slam. This incredibly adorable and effective portrayal of animals acting in human roles gave a welcoming, old school, almost classic Japanese feel not unlike the cartoons and picturebooks I remember as a child, and this nostalgia is a very good thing!

Crowtel Renovations already has a spot in my heart next to other personal indie platforming favorites like the Momodora games and (Ok I'll mention it) Kero Blaster or Cave Story. The levels are fun, the characters are memorable, the art is stylish, and everything works together really well for an overall fantastically adorable and funny story. There isn't much more you could ask for.

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