Top Critic Average
It's an unusual game, not because of its content, which is all fairly typical, but due to the precision within which excess has been surgically removed. A shame that the cuts from that surgery are sometimes a little too messy because there's a clever core here and it deserves an audience. Light on content but with enough sharp ideas to keep me coming back for several days, Crowntakers is pint-sized and happily enjoyed in moderation.
There is never a lack of gamers who love a good dose of challenging and well-presented gameplay, and to those Crowntakers could be a real find. It's solid execution, simple but highly diversified play design, and light and colorful environment is welcoming and fun. However sometimes the randomly generated aspects of the game can knock it out of balance, and quickly change a light-hearted strategy experience into a mouse-smashing rage furnace. If you're the kind of gamer who likes a title that challenges your brain equally to your patience, then Crowntakers just might be for you.
Aside from balancing the random elements of the game to make them less unfair, Crowntakers is a superbly focussed effort that can be enjoyed in short bursts or gorged on for multiple hour sessions. It's likely to be better consumed sparingly, like a good port, but it has a complexity greater than it initially appears. As a relief from overly-serious epic games about dragons and Frenchmen this is a welcome diversion.
Not being a fan of Russian roulette, I like it when my saved states are neatly stacked on top of each other, to the point where I can always go back and alter recent events in a way that will help me finish the game faster so I can go on to the next one, instead of repeating the same unrewarding experience that teaches me nothing new.