Some Thoughts on Crow Country

Crow Country is the most recent game by British developer/publisher SFB games. It’s available for PlayStation 5, XBox Series X|S and Steam, and I recently completed it on the Steam Deck where it ran just fine.

The PSx era inspired graphics add to the atmosphere

Crow Country is a survival horror game in the vein of original PlayStation classics like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, not just in content but in presentation – the game leans heavily on PSx style graphics, controls and interface to create the mood it’s going for. A mood it generally nails throughout the roughly six hour run time, give or take. All the normal survival horror staples are here – puzzles to get objects that shouldn’t used as keys and them using them as a key, characters with odd backstories and even odder motivations, and so forth.

While the game has what I’d call an interesting combat system – hold one button to ready your weapon (which is fairly standard for that era of game) and use the right analog sick to aim (which is the unique spin), combat is mostly optional. Like the survival horror of yore, you can try to blast everything in sight, or you can conserve ammo for the boss fights and just try your best to dodge creatures.

Or you can use disable combat entirely.

The developers have, thankfully, embraced the modern trend of adding accessibility to the game in the form of just doing the puzzles and experiencing the story. Which, frankly, is what I ended up doing because it turns out I’m rubbish at combat. I don’t blame the game for this – it’s designed well, it’s implemented well, I’m just not great at it.

I’m very happy I was able to complete the game though. The story is engaging, for what it is, and the puzzles are challenging without relying on moon logic. The game also uses notes well, providing enough clues to keep a player trucking along.

With the exception of a single side puzzle, the game flows well and was a joy to play from start to finish.

I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers when it comes to the story, so here goes:
Set in 1990, you play as someone investigating the abandoned local theme park Crow Country as you search for its mysterious, and missing, owner. The park was closed suddenly, and it’s up to you to uncover what exactly is going on.

All told this was a lovely way of spending a relaxing day in, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys cozy horror games.