An abandoned university, a missing father, foul play and a mad scientist. It’s a well worn storyline that is notable only because it takes place in a university as opposed to a hospital or mental asylum. I wasn’t too sure what to expect when I started tentatively walking the Halls of Crowswood University. Undelivered letters and audio logs scattered through the dimly lit rooms fill you in on the disappearance of many of the students some twenty years ago and the police’s increasingly erratic attempts to figure out what’s going on.
The game was tagged as a horror and me not being a huge fan of getting scared crept around for a good half an hour before I realised that there wasn’t going to be anything chasing me. This game is no Outlast or Amnesia: Dark Decent, it’s not so much ‘horror’ as it is ‘creepy’. It’s atmospheric and certainly a touch disturbing in places but you needn’t worry about jump scares (with maybe a handful of small exceptions) or hiding in wardrobes. It is in essence a mixture of a first person exploration and puzzle game.
Throughout The Crow’s Eye you’ll be exploring room after room looking for the key, pipe or other miscellaneous object to get you through the next door and then occasionally come up against a puzzle that may require platforming, logical thinking or at least bashing your head against it until you stumble across the answer. All the while being taunted by a screeching and clearly insane scientist.
Despite the relatively promising start after it lost all the suspense it quickly began to feel generic and I stopped caring about the story which became increasingly complex but ultimately seemed to go nowhere. The game play also became fairly monotonous and only the puzzles offered any interest.
The Crow’s Eye is by no means a bad game, however it became busy work. I carried it through thanks to a mild interest in the reveal but could have happily put it down and never picked it up again. It has a short runtime of around four hours and even if I tried to 100% it then not too much time would have been added to this.
The game ends on a satisfying but dull reveal which uncharacteristically for such games answers all of your questions in a very straight forward manner even if you hadn’t been paying attention to the notes along the way. Ultimately it’s a game I was glad to have finished but wouldn’t suggest to anyone unless that’s your thing.
Disclaimer: The review key for this product was provided by the developer free of charge.