PAX Online: Crowsworn breathes new life into the Metroidvania genre


With PAX Online taking place this week, a number of hit indie games are taking center stage. But one that players may have missed out on – and shouldn’t – is Crowsworn.

The game, currently in development over at Mongoose Rodeo (nice dev name!), has a Kickstarter campaign that’s literally the hottest thing going right now. It’s already made nearly $375,000 at the time of this report, and when everything is said and done, it could be at a cool million, making its development all more worth the while.

So what makes the game special? Well, as you can surmise in the trailer and screenshots in this article, Crowsworn has a Bloodborne sort of vibe to it, but with some Hollow Knight and Devil May Cry thrown in for good measure.

In this Metroidvania open-world adventure, you’ll “explore a grim fantasy world inhabited by men and monsters alike,” using an array of weaponry and power-ups to send them back to the grave.

What makes Crowsworn stand out from other games of its type is its visual design. It looks astounding, even based on its early footage, and the entire game is set to feature a hand-drawn style, similar to Hollow Knight. Only this game looks a little more visceral in its use of colors and, of course, bloodshed.

The developer notes that “exceptional care has been taken to handcraft every single art asset as well as animate every single frame in a beautiful, traditional animation style.” And with a bigger budget based on the Kickstarter success, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The game features a mix of combat-based scenarios (including large bosses, duh) and platforming challenges, including dodging incoming attacks and preparing for what’s next. You’ll use your scythe, pistol, and Corvian Magic to overcome the odds, and then make use of a special power-up screen, where you can level up abilities and become even more of a bad-ass. And who doesn’t want that?

“We have gone to great lengths and spent countless hours iterating on the control feel and responsiveness in order to ensure that the game feels great to play,” the developer notes.

Even with a small team, Mongoose Rodeo is setting out to change up the Metroidvania game with Crowsworn. But there’s a catch – we’ll be waiting a while for the final product. Due to complications with COVID-19 and, well, the elaborate time it would take to develop something like this anyway, we won’t see it until December 2023 at the latest. Still, that gives us something to look forward to, and the developer is likely to have updates as it comes along. And, yes, it’s coming to all current consoles, as well as PC, so don’t fret that. (There’s even a physical version in the works, collectors!)

Crowsworn should be a sweet addition to the Metroidvania genre, and a whopper of an action game for fans of the genre. You can bet we’ll be following along as the, ahem, crow flies.

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