Crossroads Inn (PC) Review

By Athanasios 01.11.2019

Review for Crossroads Inn on PC

From creating an enormous city in Will Wright's classic Sim Sity, and surviving a new Ice Age in the fantastic Frostpunk, to doing something less epic, such as running a hospital, a theme park, or a zoo, sim games can be tons of fun no matter the concept behind them… if done right, of course. Case in point, Crossroads Inn by Kraken Unleashed. The idea behind it - management of a medieval inn, mixed with light RPG elements - is ripe with potential, and like all good sims, the end result succeeds in immersing you into the role, making the whole process addicting and fun while at it. Too bad this was released a year too soon…

Whether you wanted it or not, you are now the proud(?) owner of a humble inn. Your goal? Make it the most in… err, inn of the medieval realm this takes place. It's nothing that complicated. The gameplay is typical sim/theme fair. Everything begins by designing the whole building, rooms and all, buying the necessary equipment, and hiring a bunch of people to - automatically - handle the fools that will dare enter 'Busty Maid' - or whatever you choose to name your esteemed establishment to be. Those familiar with this particular flavour of the strategy genre won't be surprised to know that, while employees work on "their own," this needs plenty of micro-management.

Screenshot for Crossroads Inn on PC

Apart from the crucial task of setting up the interior design of the tavern yourself, you also need to take care of the shopping list, manage storage items, create a menu, and, more importantly alter the behaviour of your crew in order for them to focus on specific tasks, whether that's taking orders, gossiping, or cleaning up the puke on table 4 - right next to the silver candelabra. Running a medieval inn isn't just about filling a cellar with wine and sausages, though. Folks who'll enter 'Curvy Lass' (or something), need more than food and drink; they need entertainment.

From having a bard play some sweet music, to letting people smoke or punch each other senseless, an innkeeper must juggle all sorts of different things - something that requires plenty of coin, as well. To avoid analysing everything, just remember that a happy customer is one who is served tasty food on time, and likes the view. However, while an outlaw will be pleased with a few skulls nailed to the walls and a plate of Barbarian Stew, a noble will require something a bit fancier. Yes, managing 'Ye Olde Hooters' also means catering to the particular needs of each social class.

Screenshot for Crossroads Inn on PC

In terms of modes, first there's Sandbox, where you choose between four difficulty settings, and off you go to build the roadhouse of your dreams! The Campaign is definitely more restricting, with specific goals per act, and limits on what can be done, but it introduces a nice RPG element, with dialogue "challenges" that can be overcome by using skills like intimidation, wisdom, deceit, and so on, effectively letting one role-play a bit. Everything is nice and dandy? Sadly, far from it, and the reason why's so, is that, whether a child of rushed production or sheer boredom, the team who made this, let this exit Early Access a couple of months too soon.

Screenshot for Crossroads Inn on PC

Some aspects, like the visuals and the music are just underwhelming, with the first being… there, and the second having an annoying lack of extra tunes to listen to. Other, more important elements, however, are a lot harder to forgive, like controls that can't be altered, a general mess of an UI, and a difficulty in "reading" how way the game works. Sure, the available tutorials (basically the first act of the Campaign) are good in showing players the ropes, but they aren't as helpful as they could be, and since this isn't a simple action game, that's an unacceptable oversight.

The saddest part is that there's something great underneath all that. Crossroads Inn is lots of fun… but only when it works as it's supposed to. Why do employees behave erratically? Why has everyone stopped moving? Why have these three morons fused together? Why is that waitress able to pass through a solid wall? Why are quests so freaking buggy? For reasons unknown, Kraken Unleashed decided to ruin what could be a fine management sim, by simply not completing it. A shame really. Hopefully, some heavy patching will be able to fix it.

Screenshot for Crossroads Inn on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

If Crossroads Inn was an Early Access title, it would be one of the most promising ones in the management sim genre. Unfortunately, the team behind it made the wrong move, and decided to destroy months of work by releasing its product without first completing development. Due to the lack of any competitors in the 'medieval inn simulator' arena, some may find it easier to accept its many issues. Most, however, are advised to wait for some - hopefully inevitable - renovations.

Developer

Kraken Unleashed

Publisher

Klabater

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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