Steam Gems – Coin Crypt
This time I’m offering up a review on a Steam Gem from my own personal list of over 400 games. This Indie Title had me coming back again and again. It has ‘Very Positive’ Steam Reviews, but despite this not a lot of Gamers I talk to have heard of it.
Have you ever had the sneaking suspicious that your Grandma may be hiding something? If you did I’ve got something a heck of a lot more likely to amuse you than that terrible new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Coin Crypt is described as a rogue-lite deckbuilder, but don’t let that description fool you. What Coin Crypt actually is, is a monster in disguise; an unexpected, addictive little git that will worm it’s way into your heart and leave you wanting more. The Grandma? Well, we’ll get to that. As for Mr Shyamalan, I have only one one thing to say to that guy.
Coin Crypt doesn’t have a real clear tutorial. Like many roguelikes, it’s content to let you figure it out for yourself. While I’m the type of person who normally gets frustrated quickly when I don’t understand something, I have to beg you not to give up on this gem of a game too fast. There’s something charming about that ‘aha’ moment when you finally understand the basic premise of the game and can unravel it’s secrets long after you’re considered a casual beginner. For those who need to be in the know, you can always consult The Beginner’s Guide to Lootmancing, but I’d recommend giving it a few tries by yourself first. There’s no better feeling than reaching the end in a blaze of impossible glory
Coin Crypt could be compared to the classic card game magic, except that instead of cards with attack and defense damage, you use tokens that have just as many differing uses as Magic cards do. Coins can be taken from chests and won from enemies (unless your character type disallows it). There’s also a shopkeeper that allows you to sacrifice some of your precious coins for an item and it’s given effect. Be careful though, in Coin Crypt there are two ways you can lose, running out of coins or health. This makes the addition of the store and a God ‘donation’ system even more precarious.
Donate to one of the Deity statues throughout the game level and that God will lay benefits upon you, but eventually this makes the other Gods jealous and they will buff up your enemies. In Coin Crypt, everything is a see-saw of up and down, always weighing up if this decision will help you keep the eternal balance required to make it to the end.
The real draw of the gameplay and what makes it wildly addictive is how varied and different this experience can be, giving the game almost unlimited repeatability. For a start, you spend in-game money (earned through your runs) to unlock different character classes.
Each person has an alternative set of traits, forcing you to play in a new, untried manner for the best results. There are some characters who have almost no health, but are literal coin magnets. There are some who cannot heal, but can bring coins back from the dead. Each class has its own individual strengths and weaknesses.
So Coin Crypt has the coins, it has the classes, Deities and even two different ways you can go to change the ending of the game completely (if you’re ever lucky or skilled enough to see it). Honestly, it’s so jam-packed with features I’ve never seen before, combined in such a stunning way, that I’m having trouble fitting them all into this review.
There’s at least one more noteworthy feature I should mention before we move onto the scoring. There are pale, ghostly apparitions that float around certain levels and offer you blessings that always come with a humbling curse. If you’re tricksy, you can avoid this and pick something that plays well with your character type and avoids the negative. Once spoken to, the dead adventurer insists that you choose and if none look good enough for you, there’s always the random option.
I cannot properly explain how fun this game is. If you like stats and deckbuilding, you’ll enjoy it. If, like me, you can’t get enough of Roguelikes; you’re gonna love it. It has a sense of twee cuteness and humor that makes you want to keep on trying, again and again. You never really feel like you’ve lost out by dying, since you gathered resources that you can use to unlock funner, more complex members of the cast. The shine can rub off the apple if you take yourself too seriously or are obsessed with winning, but that’s were the amazing guide comes in handy.
Give it a try, even if it doesn’t seem like your type of game, you might be surprised.
Fun Rating – Four LORNAS out of five
Controls and gameplay
This is a game I would definitely use mouse controls for. It has the ability to be played with a gamepad, but frankly I found the controls less intuitive and less quick that way. The mouse does everything you need with the greatest of ease; a simple click to make your character walk, open your coin bag, select the desired coin, etc.
I talked about the gameplay a fair bit above, but to sum it up; Addicting, fun and above all else, something new. For me, Coin Crypt is like a mishmash of a lot of ideas and themes I enjoy, but it combines to create something utterly unique. For the first time in a long time I was playing a game that I couldn’t predict and that’s just flat-out awesome.
Gameplay and Controls Rating – Five LORNAS out of Five
Graphics and Sound
It’s hard to believe Coin Crypt came from a three person team, especially when you take into account that two of those people were separately responsible for the sound and the graphics. It’s obvious how much work went into both of those with this game. The graphics are simple, but ultimately polished and give Coin Crypt an adorable feel that just makes you want to keep playing. The design is amazing, with some characters being traditional (the wizard is an old bearded man) and others being cast as people of different colors and genders both expected and unexpected. You can even play as a Monkey!
The enemy types are just as fun, ranging from a cutesy take on a classic slime to a pixie that can kick your ass.
Even though the graphics are great, especially when you consider this is an indie title, it’s not often you find a game where the sound keeps pace. This is one of them. The sound effects are on point every time, both funny and fitting and the music feels like one of those classic video game tracks from your youth, but thoroughly modernised.
The art and sound never feels like a case of ‘couldn’t afford’, but rather a stylistic choice and one that works out in Coin Crypt’s favour.
Graphics and Sound Rating – Five LORNAS out of five
So Coin Crypt delivers on multiple points, but it’s time to talk about the one that should scare you, from the top of your pretty head down to those low down dirty shoes you wear.
Are you coming to Grandma’s house for supper?
Because to do so, you’re gonna have to go all the way downtown and Grammy’s ready to take you there.
You might think I’m joking. I’m not. I don’t want to spoil too much, but if you see a sweet old lady down in those dusty crypts, you run. Run fast and run far and don’t look back. When you don’t take my advice and you inevitably die, you’ll know you should have listened. Oh, you’ll know.
+ Unique gameplay mechanic.
+ Ability to play with extremely different conditions each time.
+ Very replayable.
+ Bright, flashy design.
– You will develop Babushkaphobia (Fear of Grandmothers).
– After unlocking all character classes money has no further use (Solved by the DLC which adds more totally new features to unlock using in-game money.)
Overall Rating – Five LORNAS out of five.
Coin Crypt is a finished, entertaining and replayable game that will have you selling your partner on the black market to get more time on your shared computer. It’s gotta a little bit of something for everyone in a shiny, fascinating package. In my opinion, this is one you shouldn’t pass up.
Price Rating – Five LORNAS out of five.
At just $10.99 for all the regular content (A further $5.49 for the DLC which unlocks many worthwhile add-ons) Coin Crypt is a steal! I got this through a bundle, being the penny pinching Scot that I am and even I’d pay up to $15.00 for this game. (Fifteen dollars is a lot of money for me) Definitely worth the price.
Buy Coin Crypt here on Steam.
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As always, opinions are my own, no monetary gain, etc, etc.
Lost Glasses photo credit: They are Prada via photopin (license)