[Nintendo Switch] Death Crown Review
Death Crown from Badland Publishing, CO5MONAUT, and Stas Pisarev, is a minimalist real-time strategy game on Nintendo Switch. Check our Death Crown review!
In Death Crown from Badland Publishing, CO5MONAUT, and Stas Pisarev, you’ll be taking on a minimalist real-time strategy game on Nintendo Switch. The game is presented in a 1-bit art style, and you’ll be playing as Death itself, commanding its forces as it sets out to punish humans – hence the name of the game. Each match will be fast-paced, not taking more than a handful of minutes before an outcome is known. Generate resources, increase your forces, and use them to destroy everything in your path before your enemies do it.
Why are you playing as Death? Because the King of the humans has gotten too greedy. Sure, he’s the one that at one point managed to unite the lands, but things changed when he managed to cheat Death itself. It was then that he realized that commanding the living was not enough and that he should try to also lead the way for the departed. This is what leads him to try and control the Death Crown, and thus war breaks out.
You could practice in one of the dozens of maps in the aptly titled Practice Mode, or you can go either into the Campaign Mode or into Conquest Mode. Some extra practice certainly wouldn’t hurt since battles can be won or lost in a blink. The Campaign Mode will be split into three chapters: the Undead Campaign, the Human Campaign (which acts as a prequel), and the Demon Campaign. Conquest Mode is a battle against the AI.
You’ll move a cursor over the playing field, which is split into hexagons. You begin with a tower that generates coins at a slow but steady pace. These coins can then be used to expand your territory as you build new structures that can help your cause. Pressing the same button used to build a structure type will allow you to destroy it so that you can regain half its cost. From each barracks, you can start to trace the path your warriors will take in order to destroy your opponents, and you could mix things up by sending troops from different barracks to take different paths.
There might be some spots with forests, mushroom forests, or mountains, which will keep you from building any structure on them. You can build on swamps, but this will cost you ten extra coins for each structure. The good news is that some landscapes can be used to your advantage. Wheatfields can yield an extra five coins per cycle, which can reañly make a difference. Build over a village, and a structure’s cost will be five coins cheaper. Build a mine over a hill, and it will yield 50% more coins!
You can also locate chests on the map you’re currently battling over. Once you manage to get a chest under your area of influence, there’s a 50% chance it will yield 40 coins. Unfortunately, for the other 50% of the time, a chest can explode, destroying every building surrounding it. There will also be crystals in a stage, and whoever can gain control of each one of them will receive s boost to its troop’s strength. Expanding your territory is crucial for you to control the flow of battle, but so is controlling one of the crystals on the stage, both to increase your troops’ power, as well as to keep your opponent from gaining control over them.
As you progress through Death Crown’s Campaign Mode, you will gain special crystals, which can be used to upgrade each one of your three buildings. Upgrade the mine, and it will yield more coins. Upgrade the tower, and it will attack at a faster pace. Upgrade the barracks – Death’s graves in the case of the Undead Campaign, and more units will spawn more often. Since each match is only a few minutes long, every second you can
The game displays in black and white, but you can also select from a variety of color settings such as negative (inverting the black and white colors), giant caves, brilliant lowlands (which has a bit of s Game Boy vibe to it), black lake, magical mine (which feels a bit trippy with its use of orange and blue), brown hills, the very green mount if fairies, the purple King’s cave, or the yellow night sun, to name some examples. There’s also the option of the game selecting a color scheme for you at random.
Death Crown is a challenging, fast-paced, and fun minimalist real-time strategy game that is easy to pick up but hard to master. You’ll need to carefully study the battlefield within seconds of starting a fight since every second counts. You can only build three structures, and you can’t upgrade them during battle, and can only upgrade structures between battles, carefully selecting which one should take priority. Death Crown is out on Nintendo Switch with a $12.99 price.
This Death Crown review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Badland Publishing.