While Flynn: Son of Crimson immediately invokes pirate imagery in my head, it turns out it’s an ambitious action platformer that started its life as a Kickstarter project back in 2017. While I’m not completely familiar with everything that was promised during its Kickstarter campaign, I’m thrilled to have had a chance to play Flynn: Son of Crimson.
Flynn: Son of Crimson is a 2D action platformer. In it, you play as Flynn, heir to mysterious Crimson powers which enable him to wield powerful weapons and perform abilities that are devastating to his foes. Fight across the land of Rosantica and rid it of the encroaching Scourge. You’ll even have to dip into the Scourge world to close rifts and end incursions, eventually meeting the Scourge threat at its source. It’s all pretty by-the-numbers style of storytelling, but it’s enough to get out and fight a whole bunch of bad guys with cool crimson abilities.
While Flynn: Son of Crimson is a platformer with a bit of exploration attached, its main gameplay is its action sequences. Luckily, moving and fighting in Flynn: Son of Crimson feels tight, and extremely fun. Care must have been taken to get its controls just right, because Flynn feels great to play, with the three Crimson weapons each feeling substantial—and useful in their own niche ways. Combat isn’t relegated to melee, as Flynn has three schools of magic to conjure from: ice, fire and electricity. Though each of these are shot out as charged blasts, they do have their specific uses against enemies, or even in the environment. Fill up the crimson meter by defeating enemies and use it to unleash powerful crimson powers.
Flynn: Son of Crimson features an interesting variety of enemies to face. Even enemy types you encounter multiple times will often have variations throughout play. Boss encounters are difficult, but not overly punishing, with interesting move sets that must be learned to come out on top.
Flynn: Son of Crimson does a good job of invoking that retro game feeling while keeping modern gameplay philosophies. Dying in Flynn: Son of Crimson isn’t very punishing, often only putting you back a screen or two, and taking away a percentage of experience points you have gathered, which are represented by crimson crystals.
Production-wise, Flynn: Son of Crimson suffers a bit. It has a bit of a generic story, but that’s made up for with gorgeous pixel art graphics that are reminiscent of the Super Nintendo era, with great animations and detailed environments. While there are a cast of interesting looking characters, the writing in Flynn: Son of Crimson is dull, and despite the great job in visual storytelling and world building, characters and dialogue leave much to be desired.
I don’t think Flynn: Son of Crimson is going to top any best of lists for 2021, but it’s a hidden gem buried in mounds of indie game releases. It has great combat and pixel art, which is hampered a bit by its generic story. If you’re looking for a competent action platformer, Flynn: Son of Crimson verges on brilliant.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review.