Publisher: Cateia Games
Developer: Cateia Games
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7/Mac OSX 10.5, 1 GHz CPU, 512 MB RAM, 64 MB graphics card, DirectX 9.0, 350 MB hard-drive space
ESRB rating: Not rated
Release date: Available now
Red Crow Mysteries: Legion is a puzzle/hidden-object game from Cateia Games that tells the story of a gifted girl on a quest to discover the hidden secrets needed to defeat Legion. In a setting filled with mystery and atmosphere, you guide your avatar through the game’s challenges to reveal its secrets. It’s too bad that so little is revealed.
Red Crow Mysteries blends elements from adventure and puzzle games and puts them in a rich setting. The game’s graphics quality doesn’t rise to the level of a full-priced game, but it has excellent artistic values for a casual title. Red Crow includes some interesting voice acting, and I felt that, when conversations occurred, Cateia Games did a good job giving the characters dialogue that’s not stunted or clichéd. All of the right ingredients for a story that’s supposed to delve into the mysterious background of your avatar are in place, even a devilish chat with Legion himself. The puzzles and interface aren’t too difficult and are mostly sensible once you find the proper objects. I didn’t have to access any walkthroughs, except in rare cases when I was simply being too obtuse about something. The number of tasks to perform are on par for an adventure of this kind.
But despite all of that, my experience was kind of frustrating. The game’s narrative kept harping on the secrets of your family and your destiny to fight Legion because you’re the chosen one; it’s too bad none of those secrets were uncovered. Despite ominous warnings and vague statements, there’s not a whole lot of plot or character development. Yes, I know, it’s a casual game focused on puzzle solving and adventure, and yes, I get the fact that if you plan on sequels, you need to obscure some things for the future. However, I can’t help but feel that Cateia Games served me three entrees of atmosphere and only a small appetizer of character or story. With all the effort put into the art and voice acting, I’d have thought that more time would’ve been spent on narrative to make it all worthwhile. I honestly began to wonder whether some content had been cut before the game was published when I got to the end. Certainly, there are casual games with a mysterious air about them that are much better about this sort of thing (see Resonance).
Priced at $9.99, I’d have to say that, for all its good points, Red Crow Mysteries: Legion just isn’t what I’m looking for in a casual game. The puzzles are okay, but the game’s other content doesn’t really justify the cost. This is a pity, because it had so much more potential than that.