Crooked Path review
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Crooked Path review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on August 5th, 2016
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RUN. DIE. REPEAT.
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If you're up for one heck of a punishing puzzle game, this minimalist runner delivers in spades.

Developer: Ruvix Arts

Price: $1.99
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2

Graphics/Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Crooked Path is an auto-runner and puzzle game that can really test your patience. Although it has quite a few neat tricks up its sleeve, the demanding nature of playing it makes it a bit more frustrating than satisfying.

Run the jewels

The premise of Crooked Path is actually pretty straightforward. You control an auto-running character by tapping the screen to make them turn. The goal of any given level is to reach the finish, though doing so typically involves hitting switches, running through portals, and solving puzzles.

In every level, there are also little jewels scattered along the path, which can help guide you to solutions as well as be collected to increase your score.

Watch your step

The main difficulty in Crooked Path isn't the puzzles so much as navigating without falling off walkways. The paths in the game are so narrow and your character is running so fast without pause that timing your taps to make turns at the right time is actually quite difficult.

If you mistime a tap, your character almost certainly falls to their death. Whenever this happens, you instantly respawn at the beginning of the level, but with any progress you've made regarding solving puzzles or gathering jewels remaining intact. This keeps Crooked Path from feeling impossibly difficult while also opening up the puzzle design so that dying is part of some puzzle solutions.

Running amok

Although Crooked Path has some neat puzzle design and a nice, minimalist look, the game feels like it focuses a little too much on execution, which can make things frustrating. On some levels, it is conceivable that you'll know exactly what to do, but have to spend 10 minutes trying to get to the solution because the act of moving in the game is so demanding.

It's nice that Crooked Path opts to instantly restart you each time you fall instead of forcing you into a menu or asking you to hit a restart button, but dumping you right back into the action can also be disorienting and cause you to fall again.

The bottom line

Crooked Path is a beautiful puzzle game that unfortunately demands so much that it comes off as frustrating. If you are up for the challenge, Crooked Path may be up your alley, but it is just as likely that falling over and over again will just make you want to play something, or anything, else instead.

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