Sawbuck Gamer

Crossroads: The Haze

Crossroad Blues

Not even a deal with the devil could save Crossroads: The Haze.

By Anthony John Agnello • July 3, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Awesome things happen at the crossroads. It’s where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil to become a legendary bluesman, for example. I kept waiting for the devil to show up while playing Crossroads: The Haze. One thing’s for sure: Skyfort Games’ little strategy exercise could have used some Satanic excitement to pep things up.

A band of thieves are putting the squeeze on King Auberdeen’s castle. He and his five brothers can’t figure out how to escape, but the Queen Mother says they can slip out through The Haze, a mystical land of monsters that’s in another dimension or something. Four bros slip out with mom while two stay behind in the castle. Each brother has a distinct set of skills. Murphy’s a ninja, good for close and ranged attacks, while Bertram the Paladin can hit hard and defend. But since you don’t actually know what you’re doing until you make it into The Haze, the variety is meaningless. Mostly you’ll be fighting at crossroads over and over, with your four siblings surrounding mom and fending off orcs. From there, it’s like a slow Expanded Rock, Paper, Scissors. Rotate your dudes around Mom, and try to keep everyone’s health up before an enemy knocks out the matron and ends the round.

In theory, the strategic options are vast, but it took a ton of repeating the first fight to build up my characters’ strength enough to progress. Even then, I found myself restarting because my brothers’ health got chipped away and had been drained too far in the process. It’s not that much fun to see the interplay between the different characters you bring out, as the writing isn’t particularly funny. You might have to sell your soul to spice up this game.

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6 Responses to “Crossroad Blues”

  1. boardgameguy says:

    I played the Crossroads so I wouldn’t be lonely.

  2. Effigy_Power says:

    I played the Crossroads so other games would seem more interesting.

  3. Kylie says:

    I played the Crossroads because that’s what I deserve.

  4. CNightwing says:

    Not to denigrate your skill, but I didn’t find it particularly difficult to get through the game. Perhaps your choice of characters makes a difference? There is an obvious combo with the paladin being near-immune to damage whilst the archer can shoot guys in any column every other round. The sorceror is just excellent against sand golems too.

  5. Berzee says:

    Hello there, developer of Crossroads here. Thanks for reviewing my game! :) It fills me with grief that you had such a bad time of it, but also fills me with joy that you played it.

    Out of curiosity, how many quadrants of the game did you progress through? (Not that there’s any giant gameplay shift later on that would suddenly make you love it, just curious =).

    CNightwing is right about the Paladin and the Sorcerer making the game quite a bit easier. I recommend using both of them if you are having trouble making it through to the bittersweet emotional finale.