Red Crow Mysteries: Legion iOS Review

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Red Crow Mysteries: Legion puts you in the role of a gifted young woman that’s able see through the veil of our world, and into others. The impending threat of the “Legion” creates a race against time as you search for clues, retrieve special items, and solve puzzles to uncover the key to defeating the legion.

From the beginning, Red Crow Mysteries: Legion has ominous overtones. The opening sequence is very telling of the dark nature of the game. The imagery, as stated, is dark and foreboding. Minimal animation – lightning strikes, rolling clouds, falling leaves – help to add to the mystique. The areas are well lit and rich in detail. The game takes place under cover of night and I found it very easy to find the necessary items at times. As for the times when items were harder to discover, there are additional hints that you can utilize. One stage has you searching with a flashlight. The mood is very tense as you know full well the threat lurking in the shadows. You wonder, what will my light reveal? As cool as the effect was, it became a bit tedious searching with the light.

As for game play, it was at times…irritating. For example, the first puzzle requires you to “spin” pieces of a painting with your fingers. Now, being an avid user of the iPad and knowing you can rotate by using your fingers, I became very frustrated quickly when the game didn’t respond to my gestures. I figured my screen may have been been dirty, turns out it wasn’t. Just when I was going to give up, as a last ditch effort I tapped the screen and lo-and-behold it worked. The instructions were not very clear, so something that should have taken very little time became labored and ultimately boring. This being a pivotal point in the game, to gain access to the outside world, almost lost it for me. Later puzzles were a bit more interesting. Like having to control the water flow in a fountain, memory games, and paint mixing. Others seemed to be recycled form my last review.

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The interaction with characters in the game broke the pacing a bit. Yes, they are important plot points, but I never felt the conversations did anything besides usher the story along. While I was reading dialogue, I wanted to skip through due to disinterest. But in skipping, you may miss something, and therefore your forced read. I believe messages could have been conveyed more uniquely, or shorter all together to alleviate fatigue.

The theme, tone, and art direction are where Red Crow Mysteries: Legion shines, but the poor pacing, strange gesture control choices, and recycled puzzles overshadow the crisp presentation.

+ Great art direction and tone
+ Interesting game play sequences (at times)
+ Good lighting that allows simple item retrieval

– Faulty pacing
– Recycled puzzles from other games
– Dumbfounding gesture controls that drew out the experience in a negative way

Review Score: 5/10