Originally developed by 10tons Entertainment and released as Freeware/Demo version, in 2003 a commercial Shareware version with publisher Reflexive Entertainment followed. The game was re-released and self-published in the digital distribution in 2014 with updates to graphics, perks, weapons, enemies, and game modes. In 2015 it was once again released for the Xbox One.
The player is placed in the middle of the map while enemies gradually enter and make their way towards the player. The player has to eliminate the enemies before their health reaches zero. With each death of an enemy the player will gain experience points. Each level the player gains, the player can select special perks that range anywhere from faster reload times, faster shooting speed, faster movement, to status effects like radiation (creating an area of affect around the player that damages all enemies within its range), poison bullets, and many others. Randomly, when an enemy is killed they will drop a bonus that may be extra points, temporary invulnerability, fire bullets, slowing of time, and many others.
The game also offers local multiplayer of two players on the original and up to 4 on the re-release. In a multiplayer game, all players share the same experience and perks but are free to pick up any weapon or bonuses that may appear.
The game features four game modes. There is a secret bonus mode (puzzle mode), developers never said if completing the puzzle led to something.
The player has to complete 50 levels each with their own starting weapons and enemy layouts. As the player completes each quest they unlock weapons and perks.
The player tries to survive as long as they can as waves of enemies come after them. All perks and weapons that have been unlocked are available.
The player is equipped with the AK47 and has to survive as long as they can without any perks or bonuses.
The player remains stationary in the middle of the map and is equipped with a shotgun. As the enemies make their way towards the player there is a word hovering over them. In order to shoot at the specific enemy the player needs to type out the word and press Enter. The longer the player survives the longer the words that appear over the enemies.
With the re-release of Crimsonland in 2014, new game modes were added and some from the original were removed. Most notably, Typ'o'Shooter was removed.
The player has to complete 60 levels each with their own specific goals and weapons. While the main goal is to eliminate all the enemies, how that goal is accomplished is different. Many quests do not give you the option of picking up alternate weapons. Also, perk can be disabled in the games options screen to add even more difficulty. There are three levels of difficulty that the player can select from and if the player completes a quest with full health, a star will be marked on the quest in the quest selection screen. The quest mode is where the player unlocks most of the games weapons and perks.
The player has to survive as long as they can while wave after wave of enemies appear at an increasing rate. All perks, weapons, and bonuses that have been unlocked are available in this game mode.
The player is equipped with the AK47 rifle as monsters and spiders make their way towards the player from the left and right sides of the screen respectively. This mode does not have perk or bonuses.
The player does not have a weapon in this game mode. Instead, the player needs to pick up bonuses to eliminate the enemies. This mode does not have perks or any points based bonuses.
The player only has the bullets found in the weapon he picks up, there are no reloads. Weapons are randomly dropped throughout the map.
Like survival mode but everything is increased. The monster count is increased to make the play time much shorter than in Survival mode. All perks, weapons, and bonuses that have been unlocked are available in this game mode.
Gembine is a hidden game within Crimsonland. The game is very similar to the puzzle game 2048. The player is presented with a 4x4 grid and using the arrow keys, the goal is the combine the gems to create larger gems. With each combination of a gem, the player receives points. To play this game, select the credits from the main menu and type “gembine” with your keyboard (with each successfully typed character an audio cue is played).
The general reception has been fairly positive. On Steam, the user reviews have Crimsonland rated as "Very Positive" and a 4.5 out of 5 from TouchArcade. IGN gave Crimsonland a 7.5 out of 10. Meanwhile, Metacritic has Crimsonland at 68 for PC and 64 on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.