Platform(s): Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Genre: 2D Platformer with A Few Giant Good Boy Segments
2D indie action platformers are plentiful this year, with one of the best starring a robot ninja. Flynn: Son of Crimson from Studio Thunderhorse (and published by Humble Games) offers the same kind of challenges but in a brighter and more fantastical 2D pixel-savvy setting. And it comes with a giant dog too.
It’s clear as day that this 2D title is a huge labour of love; after all, it came out of a successful Kickstarter years ago before finally coming out a few days ago, and also getting some sweet Xbox Game Pass spotlight. You play the title character who has to scour the whole island he’s guarding from the dark forces known as The Scourge, while also visiting shrines to get powerups in hope of curing his recently-weakened dog guardian Dex.
Red Player One
Your red-haired hero has the power to summon Crimson energy as melee weapons: he can use swords for basic attacks, giant axes to break down armoured and crystalized enemies and barriers, and a pair of crimson claws that just make the sword obsolete since it lets you do air combos like a boss. He can also cast elemental spells that also act as puzzle solvers for the game’s many platforming segments.
See a spot where you can use ice magic for additional platforms? Just charge up your magic button and cast that ice spell to proceed. Pathway’s too dark and can’t see what’s ahead? Charge up and launch your fire spell to light up the area and the nearby torch so you don’t go falling into a ditch or spiked area.
Flynn: Son of Crimson’s mix of action and platforming in its 2D world is not only gorgeous to look at and listen to, but it also controls tight and fun. The game’s many levels and surprise Scourge stages will challenge you, though not to the extreme extent of Cyber Shadow. But they will entertain you all the same because of how well they’re done. Honestly, this title is one of those rare instances where I enjoy the 2D game’s series of water levels, and those kinds of stages are usually hampered with terrible underwater physics and restrictions.
Having said that, the boss fights can be a little bit more challenging; Flynn’s dodge invincibility frames and Crimson Anger berserk state are pretty game-breaking in these instances. I could also have used more Dex segments, but that’s just a nitpick than an actual complaint.
Flynn: Son of Crimson might fly under the radar for most gamers, but this is one 2D action platforming indie title you should not miss out on. It’s polished, it plays tight and controls like a dream, the action is challenging but manageable, and its pixel art impresses.