Game: Flynn: Son of Crimson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer,
System: Steam (Windows) (Also on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox)
Developer|Publisher: Studio Thunderhorse | Humble Games
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £15.49 | US $15.99 | € 15,99
Release Date: September 15th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Studio Thunderhorse
I’ve been quite impressed with the publisher Humble Games in 2021. They are starting to rank high up there with Devolver Digital when it comes to supporting new indie games. When I initially heard the company responsible for selling bundles of games for charity was going into publishing I wasn’t sure what to expect. But now the time has passed and we have seen many talented developers showcase their original titles, A Hat In Time, Slay the Spire and Unpacking to name a few.
Big AAA companies rarely take a chance on new ideas anymore so it’s very refreshing to see a publisher support new budding developers. But it’s also great to see these smaller developers also get their time to shine. Flynn: Son of Crimson was released in September 2021 and is yet another winner from Humble Games. If you like 2D adventures then do not let this one pass you by.
Walk the Dog
Flynn was just walking his guardian spirit dog Dex one day, like any typical Tuesday. Then all of a sudden he stumbles across a suspicious hooded character who steals his dog’s life source and power. Before you know it Flynn is on a quest to save his beloved companion and restore peace to the land of Rosantica from an evil entity known as The Scourge.
It’s certainly a familiar narrative but the game easily held my attention with its witty dialogue and keeping its story beats short and to the point. This was probably one of the few games I found myself actually stopping to talk to every character I met to learn more about the lore of the game. The game balances its gameplay with story beats really well without wasting the player’s time.
Fight and Fury
Flynn: Son of Crimson is a 2D action-adventure game. The general goal of the game is to find four macguffins to power up your dog and also grant you a new weapon or power. Once you’re fully powered up you take on the big bad and sit down with a nice cup of coffee or preferred beverage. Ok, there’s more to it than that. The game is presented with a level-based structure. Each level is a mix of combat, light puzzling and platforming. Controls are very easy to pick up and play and the game does a good job highlighting the controls when new mechanics present themselves. I found the combat to be instantly enjoyable. You attack enemies with melee weapons and dodge roll to avoid attacks.
As you wear them down a stun meter fills up and once it reaches its peak the enemy will stagger for a while allowing you to unleash as much damage as possible. Once defeated, the enemies release a shower of red gems, the game’s currency you use to upgrade with later. There is a nice variety of enemies to encounter on land and in the air. As well as melee attacks you can also use spells to attack them from a safer distance but it does significantly less damage. You can take multiple hits before falling in battle, if you do, you lose a percentage of your total red gems and restart at a nearby checkpoint. You are able to heal by collecting gem orbs and activating a power but this takes a few seconds to work so use it at the right moment if you can.
Memorable Level Design
Later in the game, you can also unlock a rage state, where for a short period you can unload horrific damage on enemies or bosses silly enough to get in your way for the short period that it lasts. You can also unlock more melee moves as well as other perks via a skill tree system you can access in the game’s main town hub. Rarely did I find the combat grindy or dull it just seemed to have the right balance. This has probably helped with the game’s level design regularly changing. Each level in the game feels quite unique.
Some focus on combat, others on platforming and puzzle-solving. Sometimes you’re using a leaf to glide through an area, the next you’re reading books to try to work out the code for a door. For me, the highlight was the occasional level where you get to ride your giant spirit dog, which always brought a smile to my face. Levels can be revisited any time to collect more red gems or possibly hunt for an alternative path or a hidden collectable. I genuinely found myself compelled to hunt down every secret in this game which is quite rare these days.
Pixels and Music
The game presents a beautiful pixel-based art style. Characters have that kinda cute appearance to them, many of which will present with some rather humorous animations. There are many NPCs to encounter humans and various animal-like races that inhabit this world. I was kinda getting mild Zelda feels, particularly when I went to the fish world, but there is enough here to give the game its own personality.
Level environments are nicely varied and the soundtrack to accompany you on your adventure is just great. Yet another one I’m gonna have to buy on steam to probably listen to while writing future reviews. A mixture of epic style tracks with the occasionally relaxing number well suits the fantasy adventure you are embarking on.
Short and Replayable
The main adventure will take you about 6 hours to finish. So this game is not going to take a lot of your time which may be very appealing to gamers who struggle to finish games in general. If you are a completionist there are collectables to find. The game highlights which levels have these so you don’t waste your time hunting about aimlessly, a feature I really liked.
There are also a few challenge rooms and there is the incentive to power up Flynn to the max with all his collected red gems. There are multiple difficulties so you can tailor the game to suit your style. While it seems short I can easily see myself replaying this game on a harder setting just because I enjoyed the adventure so much.
Conclusion – An Adventure to Remember
Flynn: Son of Crimson may just look like another 2D adventure, something that there really is no shortage of in releases this year alone. But this one ranks up easily as one of the greats. Tight combat, a great soundtrack and an adventure that is short but instantly replayable. Flynn: Son of Crimson is a game that doesn’t waste your time. I don’t remember a moment where I was bored or frustrated despite playing many games like this before. It even gave me Wonder Boy vibes which is always good in my book. Plus it has one of the coolest spirit dogs in gaming. A fantastic way to top off 2021 for me and I hope you too find the time to check it out.
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up