• Publisher: Level 5
  • Release Date: Dec 13, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 32
  2. Negative: 2 out of 32
  1. Feb 19, 2013
    If you like classic RPGs and, most important, reading, Crimson Shroud will be your thing.
  2. Games Master UK
    Feb 9, 2013
    A cult gem in the making. [March 2013, p.87]
  3. Feb 4, 2013
    It’s not the longest game, but it tells a decent yarn and has a pretty good hook to the combat. Sure, there’s a chance that you, too, might spend five (FIVE!) hours searching for a stupid item, but aside from that and some niggly presentational bits, it’s definitely an enjoyable game.
  4. Feb 4, 2013
    Crimson Shroud is a short but sweet burst of JRPG that the 3DS is surprisingly short on these days.
  5. The attention to detail, the personality, the tiny touches; this feels like a game that someone loved making, and you'll love playing it as a result.
  6. Jan 24, 2013
    Crimson Shroud takes the RPG formula and boils it down to its essence. The story reads like a novel, the characters are tabletop miniatures, and instead of exploring dungeons, you select areas from a map to enter and roll dice during combat. It's a blessing for old-school RPG fans who love managing statistics, but it also showcases why some old RPG mechanics have been abandoned.
  7. Jan 23, 2013
    If you don't enjoy experimental games or those that refuse to handhold, or if you simply have no interest in the tabletop roots of RPGs, forget about it. Crimson Shroud's unique concept and esoteric execution make it a perfect match for my RPG desires, however, and one of my favorites of 2012.
  8. Jan 21, 2013
    The unusual style, the well-staged story, a fantastic soundtrack and challenging gameplay assemble to a great Crimson Shroud that may have its flaws but all the more strong points.
  9. Jan 13, 2013
    Crimson Shroud is a love letter to the origins of the RPG genre that acknowledges how important a well told story is for this kind of game.
  10. Jan 10, 2013
    With patience and persistence, this nostalgic electronic journey through unplugged gaming's past is a stirring romp that'll undoubtedly rekindle deep rooted passions for tabletop adventure.
  11. Jan 9, 2013
    First original project from Yasumi Matsuno since Final Fantasy XII, Crimson Shroud fits perfectly with its universe. At the core of a world in decay, the story relates the adventure of a group of adventurers known as Chasers. They ought to bring back a special items, the Crimson Shroud, lost in a complex mess of corridors and dungeons. But their first task is to survive. Very dangerous enemies have to be beaten with an intelligent system of luck determined attacks : in order to receive bonuses the player can use dices. A great idea which give Crimson Shroud a lovely board game's aspect. Tough and challenging, Crimson Shroud is a new form of T-RPG who worth more than a simple glance.
  12. Jan 8, 2013
    If you enjoy either RPGs or table top games then you should definitely check out Crimson Shroud on the 3DS.
  13. Jan 7, 2013
    Full of pathos, well orchestrated and absolutely epic (but at the same time cryptic), Crimson Shroud will attract its target audience, keeping away all other types of gamers.
  14. Dec 26, 2012
    What it may lack in terms of presentation, Crimson Shroud more than makes up for in the narrative department, soundtrack, and the originality of its battle system (at least for a video-game RPG).
  15. Dec 20, 2012
    A niche little gem, not to miss if you're a fan of the old role-playing style, but just a tad too slow JRPG for all the others. You might want to try it before proceeding to the download.
  16. Dec 19, 2012
    It's a masterfully constructed piece of tabletop theatre, whose spell is only broken once, as we were delayed for over an hour by some key loot that took over a dozen attempts to drop. Many won't make it past this preposterous roadblock, but those who persevere to the bitter end will be heartily glad they did.
  17. Dec 18, 2012
    For lovers of RPGs, [it's] close to essential. It's much more than a reminder of where they came from; it's a welcome - and long overdue - reminder of one of the genre's strongest voices.
  18. Dec 17, 2012
    The combat, while competent, is hardly the selling point of the game. The mechanics in place here aren't the thing that causes Crimson Shroud to really stand out, despite its unique use of tabletop RPG elements that are rarely seen on the surface level of most video games. It's really the superb presentation, writing, and music that will sell you on Crimson Shroud, and make it one of the best E-Shop titles available on the 3DS.
  19. Dec 17, 2012
    Although there are a number of hang-ups, and the audience is decidedly niche, Crimson Shroud is an incredibly unique game that will satisfy table-top fans everywhere. While I didn't get into the story as much as Matsuno probably hoped I would, I had a great time hanging out with Giauque and crew in this incredibly well-crafted RPG.
  20. 85
    Thankfully, despite having systems upon systems upon systems, the game really isn't as complex as the string of tutorials at the beginning would have you believe. I was overwhelmed at first but, after some practice and going over the in-game tips, the battles become second nature.
  21. Dec 12, 2012
    As an RPG that digs into the table-top history of the genre, Crimson Shroud is both a great deal of fun and an artistic triumph.
  22. Dec 11, 2012
    The Crimson Shroud is a game that's completely comfortable to be exactly what it is: an extremely hard, dense celebration of what makes tabletop RPGs so fun. There are gameplay issues that will aggravate some, but any gamer who's spent a Friday night rolling dice will be more than willing to forgive them.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Jan 10, 2013
    Crimson Shroud harks back to the days where video games were operated with quarters and playing an RPG required you to gather 2 or 3 of yourCrimson Shroud harks back to the days where video games were operated with quarters and playing an RPG required you to gather 2 or 3 of your buddies for a night of dice-rolling and imagination. For those of us who can remember those days, this game is a wonderful pseudo-trip down memory lane. For those of you who are too young to have enjoyed that era, Crimson Shroud is probably more of a miss than a hit. CS uses several novel aspects of game play and presentation to accomplish its table-top RPG feeling. In terms of its appearance, you are presented with a map on the bottom screen and a still scene on the top screen of the 3DS (with party members having a base at their feet as if they were figurines on top of a paper map). You can move your party using the d-pad or by tapping on a room on the bottom-screen map. Little footsteps represent your movement to the new room while the top screen loads a new scene as well as a set of text that tells the next snippet of story. All-told it's an interesting and novel approach to bringing the table-top feel to a hand-held gaming device. It is worth noting that nearly all of the story is delivered via text that is displayed upon entry to a new room and after an event has occurred (be it combat, or finding treasure, or the occasional flashback). If you aren't into reading, you'll have a hard time getting the full enjoyment out of this story.

    Combat is interesting enough to keep the player engaged, but really smacks of a traditional turn-based JRPG. You have initiative (determined in part by the weight of the equipment you wear, but entirely behind the scenes) and you take turns selecting actions from context-sensitive menus much like nearly every JRPG combat system for the last 20 years. It does deviate from the norm in several interesting ways though, the most obvious of which are the dice rolls. Certain actions require the player to roll the dice during combat. This is accomplished by picking them up (touching the lower screen), swirling your finger around to shake them, them letting them go by lifting your finger. It's a nice, visceral feeling. I think Level 5 did a good job of balancing the number of times you roll dice. Too few opportunities to do so and you would wonder why that mechanic exists at all. Too many rolls would make combat tedious. The developers did a very nice job of finding the sweet spot. You will find yourself looking forward to your rolling opportunities, not bogged down by them.

    Combat keeps the player engaged by granting each character the ability to perform two actions in a given round of (one attack, and one of magic casting, combat skills, or item use). This extra action is tempered by a combo system that lets you earn extra dice that you can add to any given roll to enhance its chance at success or overall effect. Performing an action out of sequence is sometimes necessary to ensure the survival of your party, but at the cost of losing your combo.

    There are several other minor novelties that I'll leave for you to discover, but I have one last neat little addition I'd like to talk about. After you have completed combat, you are awarded a certain number of treasure points based upon how well you fought. You are also presented with a rather lengthy treasure list. Each item of treasure is assigned a value and you have to spend that many of your treasure points to acquire it. It often forces the player to make a (sometimes fairly difficult) choice after combat about what to take and what not to take. I should mention that you can spend your bonus dice (earned through combat combos) to bolster the number of treasure points after combat as well. This might allow you the edge you need to get an extra piece of powerful equipment for your party!

    All told, I found Crimson Shroud to be a wonderful trip back to days of pen & paper RPGs. The story is engaging (provided you read it all), the combat is varied and fun (especially the dice rolls), and the item system kept me hunting for that next battle! This game is a solid A for old timers like me, but it's certainly not for everyone. Due to that, I can't quite justify giving it a 9/10, but 8/10 doesn't seem like enough. If you're a fan of the old school role playing experience, then this game is a must-play! And even if you're not sure whether this game is for you or not, the $8 price tag makes it a low-risk purchase. I heartily recommend Crimson Shroud to any fan of RPGs!
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 7, 2013
    Crimson Shroud ia presented as a table-top RPG: the characters and the enemies are represented by static figurines, the exploration isCrimson Shroud ia presented as a table-top RPG: the characters and the enemies are represented by static figurines, the exploration is accomplished by selecting which room to go in a featureless map (as if it was drawn on paper), the story is delivered via text and resembles a novel, and there are some gameplay mechanics with dice involved. I find the story and the storytelling particularly compelling, with two narratives and a convoluted plot that is kinda mature for the genre. The long turn-based battles have great depth (also excelent soundtracks), but the dice rolling is, in fact, a very secondary aspect of it: you'll spend much more time micro managing your stats, magics and skills (which is done via your equipaments), which I think is for the best. The game's other elements probably do better in actual table-top games, but since the game is kinda short, it never really became a hindrance. I'd recommend it only to RPG fans, as there are certainly rewarding moments. Full Review »
  3. Aug 3, 2013
    I am just going to come out and say this; Crimson Shroud is my game of the year. Now, I admit, my tastes probably fall pretty far out of theI am just going to come out and say this; Crimson Shroud is my game of the year. Now, I admit, my tastes probably fall pretty far out of the mainstream, but I genuinely enjoyed this game immensely. Combat is old school turn based RPG fare, but this is the best implementation of that style that I have played since Final Fantasy X. After Final Fantasy XIII, I felt that the idea of an RPG without mazes could never work, but Crimson Shroud totally pulls it off. You don't direct a character around in a typical fashion; instead, you select any room in the dungeon, and your characters go directly there without random battles, it doesn't matter if it is the room next door or three floors away. Now, in order to proceed to the next level, you will have to find the room with the trigger, but that is part of the fun. Several things about the production really grabbed me. The US translation is top notch. There is a lot of text in this game. Every room and item has a detailed description and they are written in a way that really pulled me into the fantasy atmosphere. I also fell in love with the soundtrack, which definitely has a deep Final Fantasy Tactics lineage. I have read other reviewers mention short play throughs of Crimson Shroud, but it took me 12 hours to complete my first time, which is a perfect length for a busy guy like me. Save anywhere also fits well with my lifestyle. This is the game I have been silently begging for for ages. This game feels like an evolution of the original NES Final Fantasy, if they had decided to forget about flashy cinematics and focus on telling a story through limited visuals with solid writing. If the idea of a turn based RPG by the Final Fantasy Tactics team sounds at all interesting to you, I highly recommend you download Crimson Shroud. Full Review »