Crimsonland is an excellent clone of Phobia II, spiced up with a few nice innovations: mouse aiming, loads of weapons and gaining allout-ish 'perks' by killing a load of aliens.
Like in Phobia II, you control an armed person against a never-ending wave of aliens. Actually number of aliens coming at you keeps getting bigger and bigger, while the aliens themselves get faster (and smaller, difficult to hit). It does get quite hectic. Luckily, you're the only one around here armed with projectile weapons - even though it's the aliens which sometimes drop heavier weapons to replace the humble pistol you start with.
Of the weapons, flamethrowers, rapid fire weapons, rockets, plasma guns and shotguns are each equally satisfying tools of slaughter. Mean Minigun (dig that name, huh) is especially fun - very powerful against the masses, but so heavy it slows you down and so slow to reload they just might get you while you're not able to shoot back. The dying aliens also drop bonuses such as force fields, smart bombs and the neat flaming-piercing bullets, which are able to rip through whole packs of the creatures. The sounds are good too.
The idea which really adds to the games longevity is the inclusion of perks. Once you kill enough aliens, a ?level up? sign appears. Hit space and choose from a list of skills, mutations and oddities: for instance, 'Radioactivity' slowly damages the ones close to you - effective against the little ones. 'Spontaneosly Combusteous' might as well be called 'Pyrokinesis' - those you merely target get burned. 'Sharpshooter' gives you a laser sight, 'Fastload', 'Fastshot' and 'Long distance runner' are quite self-explanatory. Picking the right combination of perks for your weapon so you'll be able to survive just a little bit longer is an important part of the fun in Crimsonland.
This would account to nothing unless the rest of the game was good. But it is. Execution is flawless with great graphics, good soundtrack, excellent playability and it even seems the AI is good in surrounding the player. The big playing field allows for a little more thoughtful playing than Phobia II.
There is also a co-operative mode, which is ok when you switch to the Phobia II -styled controls. Unfortunately the game does not support multiple mice.
This is not the type of game you could win - except that, if you allow me to get a bit poetic here, you can win yourself, aiming for a higher high score. Neither is Crimsonland the type of game you would spend the rest of your life with. What it does, it does very, very well. Excellent for short bursts of entertainment, and indeed perfect for the occasion when you have a few minutes to kill. This one kills them good. Highly recommended, and well worth the registration price.Reviewed by: Eino