It’s about the clan in Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag. Queen Caoránach is the demon who threatens the livelihoods and breaking of peace between the people of Hibernia and the Fae Folk.
Having stolen the Crown of the Stag, the Chieftan’s family must brave it against this evil to retrieve the crown, restore the piece, and perhaps even lead the family in their father’s absence?
Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag does not disappoint when it comes to the artwork. As mentioned in the news piece, the illustrations here look like a spin-off of a Cartoon Network series. Rather than a big-budget cutscene, they are more like polished animatics.
Clan O Conall And The Crown Of The Stag (PC Review)
The characters we see, both from the clan (not that one) and the demonic army, are brilliant with such vibrancy. That usually diminishes with gameplay, but it’s ok: Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag is a fun game and consistent throughout.
There’s Kilcannon, the all-rounder, Haggish, the walking battleship that likes SMASH, and the obligatory agile character that reaches places other beers cannot, Clakshot.
They each have their strengths, and while Haggish was my favourite, Kilcannon tends to be the go-to character with swift attack moves and a gliding option to get past chasms. There’s the variety here, though, and regardless of your fav, you’ll play each one for the same amount, even though you can choose them on the fly.
It was a keyboard setup for me at first, but playing with a controller made more sense. In Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag, other than cycling through the three characters, you have an attack button, dodge and special. Even though combinations are simple – like up and attack, it feels much more fluid on a d-pad or stick.
It’s Like A Cartoon!
A focus on fluidity then as Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag is an excellent flowing platformer. The challenges are the typical setup or reaching higher plateaus or switching to the right character to slash, smash or slide their way through. More importantly, the jumping elements work well and pretty tight without any float. That said, it’s the best of both worlds as Clakshot has a much better jump and reach, whereas Kilcannon is the safest bet when descending due to the glide feature.
Parrying tends to be a focal point in so many games these days, and here is no exception. With the parry, Kilcannon will deflect a projectile automatically towards the assailant. It favours the arcade approach more, and this was a welcome addition. The only flaw is he does a backflip, and even if you connect the parry and kill your opponent, you may find yourself falling off a ledge to your death.
Perhaps the most surprising element of Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag was the scale. That’s not scale as in whether it’s an epic or not, but the size of the characters. While it has the grace of Cartoon Network circa Samurai Jack era, there’s nothing about it that feels ‘inspired by. It’s unique and not one of those titles going for the Cuphead aesthetic either.
Aside from the classic action/platform mechanics, the other incentive in Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag is the stats at the end of each level. There are a certain amount of faeries to collect, enemies to defeat and secrets to find. As can be expected, you’ll ace the first few levels, then slowly but surely, you’ll start missing the odd item here and there, then the deaths kick in.
All three characters have their respective health gauge. Health is scattered about as per an Asterisk comic with meat and apples up for grabs. Other features include the full-size runes that act as checkpoints. These are in abundance and are neither too few nor too many.
But wait – there’s more! It’s possible to level up your characters too, which is achieved with the faeries you collect along the way. Alas, you can’t share the spoils here, limited to one at a time. As mentioned earlier, you use each clan member equally, so as tempting as it is to buff one up, it might be worth stretching it across the board.
We all have our playing styles, but as a melee fighter, I’d say invest in Clakshot when you can as ranged pays off against the bosses. They aren’t ridiculously hard and have their set attack plans, but they have a tremendous amount of health, and you’d probably have a better job tickling them.
In fact, bosses are a massive spike compared to the standard enemies. While that should ring true anyway, you could almost speedrun some levels (except the flying enemies and knockbacks), but not the bosses. Without a difficulty level or the option to grind, you’re in for a bit of a challenge against these guys.
In short, Clan O Conall and the Crown of the Stag from HitGrab is an excellent action platformer, only marred by the difficulty spikes in places, as is the case with the genre. Presentation-wise, it’s brilliant, but the action packs a punch and features enjoyable mechanics between the party of three.