It always saddens me to write a review for a game like Krut: The Mythic Wings. From developers Pixel Perfex and Good Job Multimedia and publisher Blowfish Studios, it is an indie game with a lot of passion evident in its bones. But unfortunately, that passion doesn’t translate to the game’s technical aspects, making it a side-scroller with very little to offer players.
Krut opens with the story of the avian people Garuda having their homeland of Krut destroyed by an army of giants. Afterward, Veera, a wounded warrior of Krut, awakens on a magical island where he is gifted the powerful Mythic Wings to help him fight to save his homeland. While on the island, Veera has to earn the power of the elements by defeating mighty warriors that live there before trying to retake his homeland.
This sets up the entire story, with almost its entirety being delivered by an introductory cutscene and brief dialogues with bosses before and after their encounters. These cutscenes give each character a portrait with dialogue appearing between them.
The portraits of the characters are the best part of these segments. Each one has some interesting details, but they never change. It would have been nice to see the portraits change periodically throughout the dialogue to help show their emotion or emphasize crucial moments.
These dialogue scenes are also let down by the writing. Even with how simple a story is being told, the dialogue is often poor enough to make the conversations between characters feel incredibly basic. The dialogue often feels more like an outline of what essential information had to come out of the conversation but never got another pass to write actual dialogue to provide that information. This makes the exchange feel like robots reading through a document rather than a conversation between characters.
Unfortunately, Krut also disappoints in the gameplay department. Every level is a linear side scroll that is split into three sections. The first section introduces the enemy types you’ll face in the level until you reach a checkpoint and miniboss. The second section is more of the same enemies until you reach another checkpoint just before the level’s final boss.
Each of these levels is extremely short, with players being able to run past the enemies quickly. The enemies have some variation later in the game, but they never evolve past extremely simple ones. To face them, players have regular attacks, special attacks, charge attacks, and a dodge. These elements can be combined to perform simple combos and avoid enemy attacks.
The base of Krut’s combat mechanics is fine, but the implementation is generally flawed. For starters, enemies are not stun-locked while the player hits them, making using the longer combos in the game useless as they end with lengthy animations in which the player is vulnerable. The same can be said for the player’s charge attacks, which are then canceled when the player is hit, making using them typically a waste of time.
Overall, the combat also feels very clunky. Attack wind-ups take so long that it feels like there is a delay to anything you try to do, while the enemy AI is so simple that they are easily beaten throughout the entire game once you get used to dealing with the chunky controls. Every level also feels extremely repetitive because they all have the same setup, the same way of dealing with enemies, and the same constant running to the right.
The only thing that breaks up the flow of levels is their minibosses and level bosses. Unfortunately, these don’t fare any better than the rest of the game. Their moves are so projected that they are trivial to dodge, while the pathfinding of the bosses is so lackluster that they frequently get stuck in the corner where the player can wail on them without fear.
Players in Krut also have the Majestic Wings, which can be powered up to enter a mode where they can freely fly around the map and spawn ranged attacks. For some reason, though, using the mode removes the player’s ability to dodge, making it very easy for bosses to hit the player with rush attacks later in the game, making using it useless later on.
Finally, Krut also has a progression system. During levels, players get a currency whenever they kill enemies. These can then be spent first to unlock checkpoints and then for upgrades to stats like increased attack, critical chance, and longer combos. This idea could be interesting, but the stats are priced so that your progression through the skill tree is pretty linear. Having to purchase the checkpoints also could be interesting, but they are so expensive that it robs the player of many progressions, and the combat is so dull leading up to them that I only purchased them not to have to repeat gameplay sections.
I always want to root for smaller titles like this. Indie games fill a very important section of the games industry, and every developer has to start somewhere. But, with a price tag of even just $10, I can’t say that Krut: The Mythic Wings is worth it. Even the time investment of playing the game is a deterrent, as it will only remind you that there are better titles you could be playing instead.
Krut: The Mythic Wings releases on July 12, 2022, for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Krut: The Mythic Wings
With a price tag of even just $10, I can’t say that Krut: The Mythic Wings is worth it. Even the time investment of playing the game is a deterrent, as it will only remind you that there are better titles you could be playing instead.