A Quiver of Crows

  • Couch Co-Op: 2 Players
A Quiver of Crows Co-Op Review
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A Quiver of Crows Co-Op Review

Congratulations, you're dead!

Have you died in the last 20 seconds? You obviously haven't been playing A Quiver of Crows, a twin stick shooter from Sheado that sounds like a secret follow-up to Game of Thrones. In reality, it's a unique spin on the shmup genre that draws its inspiration from classic games of old. You know, back when they killed you instead of giving you a tutorial every four seconds.

Here's what it's like to be a crow. You start with a basic weapon, the type that shoots out little bullets at a reasonable speed. Since this is a twin stick shooter, you can roll all around and fire in any direction. That's good, because enemies will be coming at you from every direction. All of the time. And they never stop. And you can't run away. And oh my crow-god somebody help me I just need to--there, I died. Time to restart the level! The basic goal is to explore the two dozen plus stages to find your trapped crow buddies and set them free.

When you do manage to stay alive long enough to progress, A Quiver of Crows rewards you with about half a dozen different upgradeable weapons, everything from spread shots to lasers and a tractor beam like attack, and several different special moves that help you in a pinch. All of these upgrades and downgrades happen on the fly, which is a really good pun you should be laughing at since you're playing a flying crow.

Enemies will cause you to invent new curse words. Most shooters set foes on some kind of pattern, allowing you to learn their behaviors and plan accordingly. A Quiver of Crows says "Nope. You gonna die.", sets the enemies to charge straight at you, then watches and laughs as you struggle to survive. In addition, enemy spawn points seem to be random, meaning you literally never know where they'll come from next. Think you can backtrack a bit to get out of a tough situation? Nah, enemies are flying at you from behind, too. Spin and shoot, young crow. Spin and shoot.

After a handful of levels your little crow will be kitted out to the max. Several weapons, several special moves, and a whole lot of chutzpah. The game constantly cranks up the difficulty with new enemies to contend with, including a couple of boss fights that will probably make you wish you were never born. The good news is that the game encourages you to do more than just hold the fire button and dodge enemies. Switching between weapon types is the best (and sometimes the only) way to defeat some foes, especially when you've got undead beasts nipping at your tail feathers from all sides.


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