This is only an Early Access review for C.R.A.W.L., so please keep in mind that everything is subject to change. Hopefully for the better, because I don't see how this game can get any worse.
In this 1 v 3 player game, there is only hero meant to save the world, until his jealous ghost friends stop him. The game fluidly changes from one human fighting off 3 ghosts who summon all manner of atrocities and thirst for his blood, to three "friends" partially wanting to help each other kill the human, but at the same time all those friends are just backstabbers.
With only a dodge roll and sword to start with, dodging traps, buying equipment, crawling through dungeons, leveling up and fighting monsters controlled by other players (unfortunately, unless you are smart enough to just play with bots), playing as the human means juggling three different, unpredictable enemies and traps controlled by jerks who hate you and your life.
It takes a certain amount of out-of-game problem solving to defeat/overcome the people pretending to be your friend: sometimes your opponents will say their strategy out loud to communicate to each other, but are they speaking in code? Are they trying to use reverse psychology on you (I mean the corner is totally a vulnerable spot right?)? Should you try to con them or will they see right through you? Are they whining about not playing as the human to trick you into losing? Can you just unplug their controllers or throw something at them? How good are you at throat punching? Should you practice throat punching more? Probably. All of these strategies take some serious pondering.
On the business end of the human's bloody sword, playing as the three ghost is intense and gratifying. You can summon and possess all manner of colorful monsters with different play styles and strengths. At the end of every level you gain sweet, sweet hero's blood in order to upgrade these various monsters from lowly skeletons and rats into demon lords, dragons, and beholders (among others and more to come). When not completely wrecking your friend the hero's day as fiendishly awesome monsters, you can ruin your friendship by obliterating them with traps and summoned blobs that auto-attack but can also be possessed.
While you are happily torturing the poor human you are becoming best friends with your other two friends who aren't a lame human: you are communicating strategies through eye blink Morse code, you are yelling out fake strategies to throw the human off, you are playing dumb to catch them off guard, you are probably even fake-choking to gain the upper hand. All is great, until you realize the human isn't your only competition. And when you realize that everyone in this house sucks at the Heimlich maneuver.
Now you know that those other two ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s are trying to take your rightful kill from you. What the hell is up with that? You were best pals just a second ago, you were like siblings, but now you deserve to be human and they aren't letting you. Now you have to try to trick the other players out of the kill by assuring them that you aren't going to unleash a fountain of fire in order to take the kill, maybe you pretend to miss all of your attacks right until that last sliver of health is begging you to take it.
Then one of two scenarios happens: you get the kill and start the cycle of 1 human v 3 ghosts all over again, or someone else gets the kill and you kick them out of your house and refuse to speak to them again.
I don't recommend playing Caustic Relationships And Wretch Losers (C.R.A.W.L.) unless you want to be alone. If you are already alone, the bots aren't so bad. At least they aren't a bunch of backstabbers. You can always count on red to be your friend....
Seriously though, Crawl, at a most basic level, is incredibly interesting. Part co-op, part competitive, and all fun. It covers a wide audience range by being finely tuned for accessibility while still remaining flexible and deep enough for more serious players to give each other a good challenge. I eagerly look forward to all of the tuning and content updates will bring.