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CROSSBOW: Bloodnight Indie Video Game Review

Released last September on PC, CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is a game that I didn’t really hear a whole lot about. While I enjoy the occasional FPS, I wouldn’t say that it is one of my favorite genres. On top of that I wouldn’t really consider myself much of a high score chaser. When I was contacted by the developer to check out the game’s Nintendo Switch release though, I was intrigued. The gameplay looked really fast paced as you tried to survive for as long as possible. CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is not the deepest game and may not appeal to everyone, but it can be surprisingly addicting at times for such an affordable game.

In CROSSBOW: Bloodnight you play as a member of The Coven of Crossbow. Your order is sworn to use their trusty crossbows in order to fight back the forces of hell. The year is 1666 and an ancient horror is making its way to our reality bringing many of its nightmare creatures to Earth. You must fight back the horde for as long as possible.

The gameplay of CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is pretty simple. You are basically given a crossbow and you try to survive as long as possible. If you hold the shoot button it will autofire like a machine gun. If you aim and shoot though you end up firing a sort of explosive which damages all neighboring enemies. In addition to shooting your crossbow, you also have a dodge and jump button. Every so often you will also unlock a special ability that lets you deal with a lot of enemies at the same time. Basically enemies will be constantly spawning and your objective is to kill them before they are able to overwhelm you. You have limited health as most enemies will kill you within one or two hits. Therefore you need to be constantly moving around the arena killing all of the enemies that get near you. The ultimate goal of the game is to survive for as long as possible in order to climb the leaderboard.

Honestly this basically wraps up everything there is to tell about CROSSBOW: Bloodnight’s gameplay. The game isn’t the deepest, but it really isn’t trying to be. Simply put the game gets straight to the point, and doesn’t waste you time with a bunch of different mechanics. You just try to survive for as long as possible, while trying to take down as many demons as you can along the way. In a lot of ways CROSSBOW: Bloodnight kind of feels like an arcade game. There really isn’t a story, or any progression in the game. The game only has one arena, and outside of dealing with different types of enemies, the gameplay doesn’t really change no matter how long you survive. While I haven’t played Devil Daggers, CROSSBOW: Bloodnight feels very similar to it.

I will say that CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is a game that will not appeal to everyone. If the game’s premise doesn’t sound all that interesting to you, I don’t think it will be for you. While the game is kind of simple and can get a little repetitive (you basically just shoot and avoid enemies), I have to admit that the game can be kind of addicting at times. It is not a particularly deep game, but there is something fun about trying to mow down demons while trying to stay alive. The game does a good job making you feel powerful. You are always massively outnumbered, but with your trusty crossbow you can mow down your enemies really quickly. There is something surprisingly satisfying about the gameplay.

That said CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is not a game that you will want to play for long stretches of time. Until you get really good at the game, expect most runs to last around a minute or two at the most. Thus the game relies on players playing a bunch of quick games as they try to improve upon their previous high score. With how short each run is, you likely will want to play several games back to back hoping to improve upon your score. The game can get a little repetitive after a while though. For this reason I see CROSSBOW: Bloodnight being a game that is better in shorter 15-30 minute doses. You will probably want to come back to the game at a later time, but I don’t see it as something that you will want to play all of the time.

With how short most of the runs take, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is quite difficult. Unless you are fantastic at these type of quick first person shooters where you have to avoid a lot of enemies, expect to die fast and often. The more you play the game, the better you should get at it. There are different time periods in the game though where the difficulty jumps quite a bit. There is some reliance on luck as well. Expect most of your runs to only last a minute or two unless you put in a lot of time figuring out how to avoid the enemies. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the game is meant to be quick, but it does mean that you will end up playing the same early parts of the game over and over as you try to get past a later roadblock.

Ultimately I think players will have differing opinions of how much time you can get out of CROSSBOW: Bloodnight. After your first couple of games, you have basically seen what the game has to offer outside of new enemy types that you haven’t reached yet. Some players will likely tire of the game pretty quickly. Those that like to chase high scores though could end up getting quite a bit of time out of the game.

In some ways the game feels like a budget title and in a way it is. The game is nowhere near as deep as some other indie games. The graphics and audio are solid, but they won’t compare to higher end indie games. In a way this makes sense as the game was meant to be cheap. In fact the game only retails for $5. I don’t see a lot of people playing the game for hours at a time, but you don’t really have to with how cheap the game is. Some of the faults with the game are much easier to forgive with such a low price tag. If the game doesn’t sound all that interesting to you, the price won’t be enough to change your mind. If you are on the fence though, it might be enough to change your mind.

When many people first see CROSSBOW: Bloodnight they might see a game that looks like cheap shovelware in order to make a quick buck. Due to the cheaper price and simplistic gameplay, that first take is not surprising. CROSSBOW: Bloodnight is not the deepest game as you mostly just run around an arena shooting anything that gets in your way to survive for as long as possible. Yet I was surprised that the game was quite a bit more enjoyable than I was expecting. Most runs only take a minute or two, but it is surprisingly satisfying trying to take down as many enemies as possible. The game is best in shorter doses as the gameplay can become a little repetitive, but I had more fun with the game than I initially expected.

If CROSSBOW: Bloodnight’s premise doesn’t sound all that interesting to you, I don’t see how the game will change your mind. Due to the cheap price though, if CROSSBOW: Bloodnight sounds interesting to you it may be worth checking out.

Buy CROSSBOW: Bloodnight online: Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam)

We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Hyperstrange for the review copy of CROSSBOW: Bloodnight used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.

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