GAMING

Crow Country scratches that PS1 survival horror itch, but it’s also the perfect game for a total genre newbie

Creeping through the deserted amusement park, I whisper a quick thank you to SFB Games for the lack of fixed camera angles in Crow Country. It’s one of the most refreshing twists to a well-trodden genre that the developer has implemented, but Crow Country still oozes many other charming quirks and mechanical sensibilities you might expect from any of the best survival horror games of the late 90s. I’m talking about limited ammo, an isometric viewpoint that makes you dread what lurks just off-camera, lots of backtracking, and even more enemies to shoot, swerve, or trap as you navigate a labyrinthine map that seems to go on forever – and yes, it’s color-coded to denote your progress.

There are many indie survival horror games that want to be like the classics, but Crow Country does a lot more than that. Despite being recognizably devoted to our PS1 darlings, it’s still very much its own game, finely-tuned to highlight the best of the genre while leaving its clunkier baggage behind. The result is a distinct yet familiar blend of vibrant horrors, all underpinned by a tale as dramatic as its eerie setting – and it’s perfect for you, even if none of it is familiar at all.

Come one, come all 

Crow Country

(Image credit: SFB Games)

Playing Crow Country makes me feel nostalgic for a time when I was barely able to hold a controller, let alone play a full survival horror game. The game is a twofold success story in that sense, perfectly encapsulating the genre’s style, form, and gameplay tropes that older fans will love revisiting, while giving greener horror fans the chance to experience it all for the very first time.

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