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A Quiver of Crows Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While the challenge may turn some gamers off, I had a good time trying to crack each stage. It may be a simple premise we've seen countless times before, but there's something to the level designs and fast-paced action that kept me glued to the screen. A Quiver of Crows gets a lot of the fundamentals right and manages to stand out thanks to its unique premise. I'm not sure that would have been enough to win over my grandparents, but this is one of the few times in my life where I found myself rooting for a crow. Rating: 71%
A Quiver of Crows
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  • Review Score:

  • B
You don't know these two old-timers, but they are my grandparents. Although they've been dead for well over a decade, I still have fond memories of spending the night on their farm and eating all the junk food my parents hated. But even more than the candy and the fresh grown vegies, I remember how much they hated crows. From the loud squawking to the mess they made of the garden, it's no exaggeration to say that at least half of the conversations they had were about shooting down crows.

I couldn't help but think back to those good old days while playing A Quiver of Crows, the newest game from California-based developer Sheado.net. It's a fast-paced dual-stick shoot-em-up starring a rebellious crow on a suicide mission to save his friends from captivity. And while it's a story that has been told countless times, you've never seen a rescue mission quite like this.


I'm not sure how it happened, but somebody has captured all of the crows. This includes the nameless hero of the piece, who is only able to escape his predicament after a gust of wind sends the tiny bird cage crashing to the ground. Free at least, we set out on a journey through the deadly terrain to destroy the rest of the cages and kill those responsible. This is not an easy task.

While it looks like a traditional horizontal shoot-em-up, A Quiver of Crows is actually a dual-stick shooter with a heavy emphasis on exploration. Each stage is purposely large, complete with branching paths that hide the caged birds. To make matters worse, the aggressive enemies are constantly respawning, causing a nerve-racking situation where death is always right around the corner.

I'm not sure how he does it, but the crow at the center of this game is somehow able to shoot bullets out of his beak. It's even more baffling when you complete a few stages and earn extra weapons and upgrades. And don't even get me started on the special attacks, which include everything from lobbing homing feathers to detonating a bomb that kills everybody in the area. Again, I have no idea how he's able to pull any of this off, but I'm glad he's not completely defenseless.

A Quiver of Crows (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

It's probably worth mentioning that this is an incredibly difficult game. Not that I have anything wrong with that, as I tend to like this kind of punishing shooter. However, there are a few design decisions that create a lot of heartache and frustration. For one thing, I wish the enemies would disappear when they die. For whatever reason, A Quiver of Crows sees the lifeless corpses fall to the ground, occasionally getting in the way of the action.

I'm also not a big fan of the way the weapons become less powerful whenever the crow takes damage. This tends to happen when I'm already battling dozens of aggressive birds, so making my ship less powerful only makes the game feel more punishing. This is the kind of shooter where your fortune can turn without much warning, and the way the weapons are handled made some of the levels needlessly aggravating.

While the challenge may turn some gamers off, I had a good time trying to crack each stage. It may be a simple premise we've seen countless times before, but there's something to the level designs and fast-paced action that kept me glued to the screen. A Quiver of Crows gets a lot of the fundamentals right and manages to stand out thanks to its unique premise. I'm not sure that would have been enough to win over my grandparents, but this is one of the few times in my life where I found myself rooting for a crow.
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