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Crossroad OS Review

Crossroad OS Review

One of the things that I love about videogames is the ability to make a story out of something that would probably be awful in any other medium. A movie version of Papers, Please would be unlikely to work, and a book of Baba is You wouldn’t have the same impact. Crossroad OS, a collaboration between Daisy Games and Guy, is one of those kinds of titles. It’s somewhere between a Sokoban-style puzzler and a maze game, but all wrapped up in the guise of a glitch caused by an error during the installation of your new Operating System. It’s a seriously weird piece of art that tries as hard as possible to defy explanation, but just trust me on the above description being the best that I could come up with!

You start off on the install screen, which fails and requires a little manual intervention, but when the installation is complete, everything seems to work, and you can busy yourself with playing the built-in puzzle game and playing around with the maze screensaver (which just so happens to look like the one that came with Windows 95). As you play, though, things start to get just a little weird, and you realise that there are sentient viruses in the system who have kidnapped the friend of an anthropomorphised paperclip who isn’t named, but I shall call Clipsy in order to avoid getting sued by Microsoft.


As you progress through the levels in the screensaver-styled maze, you find more of the block-pushing puzzles, and these are your key to progression. With new mechanics added throughout, you get a good variety of methods. There are a few in the later game that are a bit on the obtuse side, though, with mechanics that are sort of, but not entirely like chess. These took a bit of trial and error to solve but were eventually solvable with a bit of brute force. Given that the whole point of the game is to feel familiar but unfamiliar simultaneously, that’s not entirely unexpected.

There are no jump scares or overtly obvious horror, but an overall sense of things being a bit creepy abounds throughout. This is backed up by a really ethereal soundtrack that keeps you just slightly on edge from start to finish. Sadly, that start-to-finish isn’t really all that long, with a complete playthrough taking less than two hours. I managed to get a full 100% on Steam in three hours, and that was playing relatively slowly in order to try and see everything I could for this review and make sure I had a good selection of screenshots. In contrast, however, the game is priced very low to account for this. It’s not going to keep you occupied as long as a AAA title would, but it costs about 10 percent of one, so the balance feels about right to me. 


When you do finally save Clipsy’s friend, you’re treated to a post-game cutscene that you may miss half of because the window minimises itself for many people, me included. Fortunately, you can reload the game, and it usually plays normally when you do this. It’s a bit of an odd bug, and it’s a shame where it comes. I note that it’s been reported to the developer on Steam, so hopefully, a fix will arrive soon. Thankfully, this was the only issue that I found during my playthrough, which was otherwise smooth.

I really would have liked to see a bit more gameplay in Crossroad OS; it’s a really great concept and executed well in the main, but even at such a low price, it still feels like it deserved a bit more content. The ending, in particular, felt quite on the abrupt side. But nonetheless, for the short time I spent with it, I did enjoy myself. Perhaps in terms of pounds per hour of enjoyment, it’s not exactly the best bargain that you will ever see, but it lasts longer than a cup of coffee and costs about the same, so I still think it’s worth picking up if you want a quick game of something a bit different.


7.00/10 7

Crossroad OS (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

A fairly unique title with a bit less in it than I would like. It’s fun and relatively low-priced, however, so it’s probably worth taking a risk on a cheap 90 minutes of something that’s unlike most other games.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review

Gary "Dombalurina" Sheppard

Staff Writer

Gary maintains his belief that the Amstrad CPC is the greatest system ever and patiently awaits the sequel to "Rockstar ate my Hamster"

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