Before I write anything else, I need to ask you a question: do you like bullet hell games?
If the answer to that is yes, stop reading, skip lunch, and buy Crimzon Clover. It’s one of the best games in the genre I’ve ever played and I can think of no reason it isn’t more than worth your money. But simply saying that doesn’t make for a very compelling review, especially for the people who for whatever reason aren’t already in love with the screen filling insanity of bullet hell games that no doubt take one look at an incomprehensible screenshot and pass it off as just not their thing.
And that would be a huge shame, as more than virtually any game in the genre (save Jamestown), Crimzon Clover is remarkably accessible so much that even a scrub like me was able to clear the game (in only several dozen continues). It’s still not an easy game, but it offers a point of entry that’s often completely forgotten and makes it immensely simple to enjoy regardless of your skill level, and gives a starting point for those new to bullet hell games to build off of before tackling the higher challenges (of which there are many, ready to break you).
The bread and butter of any bullet hell game though, is the feel of the composed chaos constantly happening on-screen, which is something Crimzon Clover understands and executes to near perfection. You’re ship moves with a swiftness and maneuverability to allow you to dodge any obstacle, regardless of how overwhelming things can get at times, and this is matched by the sheer power behind every shot which is nothing if not outrageously satisfying. Crimzon Clover also balances nondescript grunt hordes with memorable bosses, sub-bosses, and distinct enemies, leaving little time to get complacent or bored from fighting the same things again and again. It moves at a ridiculous speed and packs so much into every moment that it’s almost draining to play for long periods of time. It demands your attention, so much that you almost need to rest between rounds to be able to take it all in.
And what a lot there is to take in. In every background shot, enemy design, bullet cascading across the screen, and even the menu designs there is a level of detail and distinction that almost seems unnecessarily robust, as it’s hard to appreciate most of it with how quickly everything moves, but goes a very long way into making a stimulating and interesting visual experience that I kept finding new things in every time I revisited a scene.
Maybe I’m sounding a little overzealous, praising something high and low which prior to playing I’d virtually no idea of, but Crimzon Clover is such an amazingly fun experience that it really requires no introduction. It’s packed with so many modes, made with such a high level of polish, and fine tuned to near perfection that I can’t help but sound so absurdly enthusiastic when I talk about it, nor spend anymore time doing so and continue being held up from playing more.