Crow Country review

by on May 13, 2024
Release Date

May 9. 2024.


The survival horror genre is one that’ll always hold a special place in my heart, as a lover of all things spooky and tense. In my younger years I wasn’t quite so willing to brave the scary games though, and because of this missed out on some of those classic Resident Evil and Silent Hill games that started it all. I went back to play a lot of these games, but I always felt sad that the golden era of survival horror passed me by. Thankfully Crow Country is here with a ticket back to the late nineties and a creepy game that’d fit right in back there.

Without a whole lot of explanation, the game opens with our protagonist Maya arriving at an abandoned theme park called Crow Country. Due to a string of “accidents” the park was recently forced to close, and it won’t take you long to realise what the main issue this attraction was having was: terrifying and aggressive monsters. Maya is on a mission to find the owner Edward Crow and find out how this nightmarish situation came to be, but that’s be easier said than done.

Crow Country

As in most survival horror games you’ll spend a lot of time in Crow Country wandering around the environments and solving puzzles while trying not to get mauled by monstrous mutants. The wandering is thankfully not restricted to the traditional tank controls the genre is known for, but you can’t shoot your weapons and move at the same time ensuring there’s still plenty of tension when a creep crosses your path.

Aiming weapons isn’t always easy in a survival horror situation, but in Crow Country it’s pretty straightforward. By holding the aim button you’ll bring up a crosshair that you can aim wherever you want, and one button push later you’ll be blasting away a baddie. Bullets aren’t exactly plentiful though, so that genre staple of avoiding enemies instead of fighting them wherever possible is often recommended.

One of the aspects of Crow Country I appreciated the most was the monster variety. So often old school horror games feature only a handful of enemies to run away from, but that’s not the case here. Initially you’ll bump into your first baddie that’s essentially just a basic fleshy humanoid, but before long you’ll find long limbed nightmares and bizarre spikey giants. It’s hard to really describe the monster designs because they’re both extremely unique and extremely bizarre, but they’re a perfect fit for the off the wall setting.

Crow Country

When you aren’t fighting for your life in Crow Country you’ll be wandering around the park, trying to find where to go next. The loop of finding various coloured keys, gems, and other important items is pure unadulterated PS1 Resident Evil, and the map is just as cleverly designed as it was in those Capcom classics.

There are also plenty of puzzles to solve if you want to progress on your adventure, with helpful employee notes littering the park to assist you with them. Whether you’re playing the correct notes on a piano or figuring out a code based on the VHS tapes left in a security office, the solution to a problem was usually simple enough that I didn’t get stuck too much.

Perhaps the best system that Crow Country added to a usually far too obtuse genre is the hint system, which involves asking an animatronic crow in a booth for help. You only have ten opportunities to do this, but when you’re just not sure where a new item you’ve picked up needs to be slotted or are stumped by a puzzle, you’ll be glad you’ve got them. Asking for multiple clues in a row will even give you some extra detailed instructions, so you’ll never have to bash your head against a wall unless you burn through the ten hints too quickly.

Crow Country

In most ways Crow Country is a game that strikes that perfect balance of tension without resorting to any mean tricks, simply by providing the right amount of ammo and healing items to keep you concerned but not feeling hopeless. Eventually the game starts adding traps into the environments that just feel way too punishing, with small markers that let out poisonous gas, chandeliers that fall on you when walked under, and even fake items that explode when you try to pick them up. For most of the game I felt like I was doing a good job of gathering healing items and using them sparingly, but once all these annoying traps appeared I burned through my supplies and it just felt miserable that it was for a reason that didn’t feel entirely fair.

Outside of this issue though there wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t enjoy about Crow Country. The PS1 style visuals won’t appeal to everyone (and I’ll admit they do take some of the spooky atmosphere out of the game) but they’re pretty darn charming and a throwback we don’t see that often in the horror genre.

If you grew up hanging out at the Racoon City Police Station with Leon then Crow Country will provide you with all the nostalgic joy you could ever want. This wonderful retro inspired survival horror game is packed full of well designed puzzles, unnerving environments and creepy monsters, and as long as you can tolerate some overly cruel traps you’ll be in spooky heaven.


A great throwback to early survival horror
Full of great puzzles
The hint system stops you getting stuck
Really unique monster designs


The traps are frustrating and punishing
Some will find the retro visuals take away from the horror

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Crow Country is a wonderful throwback to those early survival horror games that scared us years ago, with a couple of great mod cons.