Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Crimsonland by 10tons gets to the very heart of what action games are about: mowing everything down in a hail of bullets. Zombies? Kill 'em. Hostile aliens? Kill 'em. Giant spiders? Oh God. Kill 'em, kill 'em, kill 'em.
Crimsonland doesn't lie about its name. This twin-stick shooter has players painting the pavement red by the end of each stage. Levels start out calmly - monster here, a lizard-person there - but within seconds all hell breaks loose.
As the player guns down the bad guys, their progress meter fills up. When it's full, the invasion ends and the player moves on to the next wave of chaos.
Things get pretty frantic between the word "Go" and the end of a level, but monsters drop weapons and power-ups that help victory come easier. Players begin with a piddly pistol that shoots slowly, but they can upgrade to a submachine gun, a futuristic ion rifle, and a good old-fashioned shotgun that sprays a wide cone of bullets (don't venture into a zombie apocalypse without one). Each gun has varying power as well as different rates of fire and clip sizes.
Players may also stumble onto "perks": single-use items that can be a life saver. Some perks temporarily up the player's performance, while others directly damage the bad guys by incinerating them with a wheel of fire or otherwise clear the screen of scum.
Crimsonland is a ton of simple fun. The action's a bit hard to see on a small-screened device (the player character and enemies are tiny), and the monster designs aren't the fanciest ever seen on a mobile platform. Nevertheless, there's something primitively satisfying about finishing a level and standing alone on a rust-red battlefield, surrounded by a litter of body parts and spider legs.
Crimsonland is free to download, and offers a pretty significant chunk of content at no cost. Players that enjoy the game can opt to pay for the full experience (which includes more levels, weapons, and perks). There are even three pay tiers to choose from: $4.99, $9.99, and $14.99. All three offer the same amount of content; the chosen amount is simply a matter of how kind the player is feeling. It's an interesting monetization formula, and Crimsonland is definitely worthy of a full purchase.