As someone who's just recently moved house, I know a thing or two about decorating. And Crimsonland HD, an overhaul of a 10-year-old decorating simulator, gets it all wrong.

Its method of splashing red stuff around by blasting away at waves of monsters with a variety of firearms is highly inefficient, particularly as it usually results in the decorator's death.

Of course, if you choose to look at Crimsonland HD as a top-down shooter (weirdo), it's pretty good fun.

Paint the ground red

Played one of the squillion or so twin-stick shooters currently available on the App Store? Of course you have. Crimsonland HD plays just like those.

Its key differentiating factor over the also-rans is the gleefully icky, squishy feedback that comes from bullet/shell/ion pulse meeting critter.

As the name suggests, every kill leaves its mark on the battlefield. Come the end of the level (or your inevitable capitulation in Survival mode), it's like someone let Jackson Pollock loose in an abattoir.

This is gore in the excessively ludicrous, tongue-in-cheek, late '90s sense.


The controls are suitably chewy. There's a sense of weight to the right analogue stick aiming system that's initially off-putting. Inaccurate, even.

But once you're attuned to the game's way of doing things, you realise that this approach is actually very well judged, rewarding those who work the arenas to find little pockets of space where you can stand still and really line up a few consecutive kills.

Many of the weapons are inherently inaccurate or slow-firing, meaning that their effective range tends to be uncomfortably close.

Still, a lack of variety to the action and environments mean that Crimsonland HD would remain fairly average if it weren't for its perk system.

Perks of the job

Other games have perk systems, of course, but here they're handled in beautifully haphazard style. In Survival mode (which really is how the game should be played), you'll be awarded the option of a new perk every now and then.

These can be fairly run of the mill, like the one that boosts your firing rate, or they can be completely out there like the one that gives you three consecutive perks options at the expense of 99 percent of your health.

It adds a welcome dose of unpredictably and vibrancy to a game that does tend to wear thin before too long.

Crimsonland HD is a rare, gristly piece of beef that leaves a mess and proves tiring to chew on, but there's no denying its intensely meaty flavour.

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