Review – Flynn: Son of Crimson
Humble Bundle’s publishing label, Humble Games, is known for its impeccable level of curation and the quality of its releases, especially considering how much they ask for their offerings. In the last few months alone, they have graced us with games like Dodgeball Academia and the excellent Mega Man Battle Network-inspired One Step From Eden. Time to add another hit to their portfolio, with their latest outing, Flynn: Son of Crimson, being one of their best releases to date.
Flynn: Son of Crimson follows the story of Flynn, a Demi-god, as well as his guardian dog Dex, following an unfortunate attack on the guardian. The game leads you through a bunch of different areas and biomes, each of them filled with their own batch of puzzles, challenges, and collectibles, all topped with a generally interesting boss fitting perfectly with the area’s aesthetics.
Simply marking Flynn: Son of Crimson as an action-adventure game might do it a bit of a disservice. This is a game that consists of an overworld similar to that of Super Mario World, complete with secret exits and all. Akin to its sources of inspiration, its levels have scrolling screens, various paths, collectibles, and a plethora of enemies. There are a lot of enemies, but not a huge variety of them. Each area also adds a reskin of the main foe (a goblin) that is usually not much different outside of being able to take more of a beating.
The bigger enemies do end up being quite different, but they’re also pretty few and far between, with maybe a couple per level. The bosses in each area are unique though. They aren’t exactly hard per se, though , as once you grasp what they’re capable of doing, or if you’re consistent (or stubborn) enough, you may just be able to tank their hits and end up victorious. Still a fun set of bosses though, with some surprise twists along the way.
Flynn: Son of Crimson is completely designed in a pixel art style, and it looks pretty good as a result. One crucial element in a game all about finding secret paths and invisible walls is being able to achieve that fine line between having everything designed in a way that isn’t unfair, but also not condescending. The use of foreground and background elements, in a lot of levels, especially the sky and ice ones, is wonderfully done. I also feel like I should praise the developers for coming up with excellent level design for what are essentially two of the most annoying kinds of levels in gaming: ice levels don’t mess around with slippery ice physics, and water levels are more than bearable. I also really enjoyed its soundtrack, with Jacob Lincke’s tracks matching their specific areas masterfully.
I really enjoyed the game’s wide variety of unlockable weapons and abilities. From the beginning of your journey, you’ll be thinking “that looks like I can wall jump here,” and you’re absolutely correct… but not for now. Simple abilities, those you would expect to have right from the getgo, are only unlocked way later into the game, encouraging you to visit previous levels in order to solve lingering puzzles.
You will be able to acquire multiple weapons, such as swords (as opposed to the literal wooden stick you start off with), axes, knuckles, and so on. Certain weapons are useful in certain situations, meaning you’ll be switching between them often. The same applies to magic. During certain moments in the game, you’ll be sneezed on (yes, you read that right), and by suffering said, uh, orderal, you’ll unlock new spells to use, such as fire, ice, electricity, each one with its specific utility throughout your adventure.
Flynn: Son of Crimson has been one of the few games in recent times I couldn’t put down once I got started. It was a perfect mix between great visuals, retro-styled gameplay, a challenging but never unfair level of difficulty, and an excellent progression system encouraging you to revisit past levels. This is a game I really want for people to find out about, as it would be criminal for a gem like this one to be overlooked by players out there.
Simply put, Flynn: Son of Crimson is one of the few pixel art style games that manage to make the foreground and the background interesting and different, while being distinguishable
A very competent game that makes handling puzzles, exploring, and combat all fluid. A very smooth feeling game even in high intensity parts.
Flynn: Son of Crimson is full of great songs that match each of the individual areas wonderfully. Absolutely stellar work from Jacob Lincke.
Fun Factor: 9.5
This has been one of the few games in recent times I couldn’t put down once I got started. An absolute joy to experience, and while some areas may be tough, it never feels unfair.
Final Verdict: 9.0
Flynn: Son of Crimson is available now on PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4.
Reviewed on PC.
A copy of Flynn: Son of Crimson was provided by the publisher.