Do you like challenging games that keep asking for ‘just one more try’ every time you fail and you keep coming back for more? Well, if so, let me introduce you to Crashbots, the new action title from Neonchimp Games. What? Does this name ring a bell to you? Well, it should: this is the Dutch one-man studio responsible for the great Spiral Splatter! Previously available for PCs and mobile platforms, the Russian studio Sometimes You now brings to your favorite console this challenging mix of shoot’em up and runner!
In this game, you’re in control of armed robots and must put them to test running across levels full of traps and perils in a race against the clock while collecting stars in more than one hundred levels distributed in five different worlds. But trust me: this is not going to be an easy task! Now let’s check if you got what it takes to reach the end of each world and complete all given tasks in this title without throwing your controller against the wall. Because boy… you are gonna want to. Shall we?
- Visuals: The graphics in Crashbots are simple but very charming. Neonchimp opted for a more simplistic atmosphere and characters with a low level of detail, what managed to give the game cool looking visuals with a cartoon approach. And I liked it a lot!
- Different worlds: The levels you will venture through are separated into 5 different worlds. The first one is the factory where you start your adventure, a factory that looks like an assembling line – let’s suppose this is where the robots were assembled. By gathering enough stars, you will get access to new worlds that include an evergreen forest, a haunted mansion, the wild west and a neon world. Each one of them comes with more than 20 different levels that will test your reflexes (and patience!) to the limit and a boss battle at the last stage!
- Game modes: Crashbots comes with 2 different modes: World, where you must complete level after level while gathering stars, and Endless, a much (much) longer run in which you must withstand all enemies and traps. It’s an endurance run worthy being used in American Ninja Warrior show (well… except for the lasers being shot. But who knows?).
- Upgrading your arsenal: You can find scattered in some levels parts of new robots. After collecting all parts for a robot, it will be available for you. Robots differ from each other from the combination of three status: speed, damage and armor. As you progress through the worlds and levels, you will collect coins that can be used to upgrade your robot’s status, making things a little more bearable. But just a little bit, don’t get too excited. Try to pick as much as possible.
- Sound: Each world has a different electronic track, but that’s all. The repetition will end up driving you tired of it pretty quickly. Not that the music is bad, but they seem to be playing on an infinite loop. Or maybe I was listening to them in an infinite loop because I was dying too much… You never know. The sound effects also don’t impress, unfortunately.
- Camera: Differently from other runner games, the camera is positioned in a “Diablo” position instead of behind the character, as we are used to. It makes things a little more difficult when trying to identify the position of coins in the air. Always try to remember to pay attention to the shadows on the floor.
- Gameplay: The gameplay in Crashbots could and should be something good. Should be something to sell the game by itself. Every level is a three lanes course where you conduct your ever-racing bot by tapping left or right to change the lane (like in the million runner games available out there). But your robot can also use a boost to run faster, fly using a jetpack, slide, shoot its weapon or using a special attack. And doing it all while keeping attention to your energy levels: always try to pick batteries scattered in stages. ‘And what’s wrong about that?’ do you ask me? Well, the unresponsive, laggy and sluggish controls that ruin the experience, I’m afraid. In a game where you must quickly respond to whatever the stage throws at you, I cannot accept your character don’t go left or right when needed.
- Bugs: While reviewing the game, I run into some annoying bugs: sometimes my character got stuck in obstacles. In others, he became invisible. There was a funny one as well: after hitting an obstacle right at the beginning of the level, my robot got pushed back waaaay before the start of the level and then restarted running above the floor, avoiding all obstacles and enemies. Unfortunately, he ran out of energy and I was unable to finish the level. Man… I should have recorded that.
Crashbots is an interesting title that, unfortunately, failed to live to its expectations. It missed some polishing to its controls, the main aspect in a game like this. But not everything is lost: some well-addressed patches shall be enough to correct. This is a title that reminds me of a gender of games I haven’t played for a long time, the ones I use to call ‘rage games’. that kind of game that you hate to fail at, but want to try again – over and over again. And one with potential. But I recommend you wait for some (well deserved) corrections before buying this one. Otherwise, it will be hard to keep our anger under control while playing it.
Developer: Neonchimp Games Publisher: Sometimes You
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PC, PS4, Switch and mobiles
Time to beat: Guessing around 20 hours if you can get all stars without dying to much
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: Tough. You will need to get all those stars
Perfect for: taking that smile out of your face
Xbox Game Store link: Click here
With a history of gaming that goes from his old man’s Atari 2600 to his Xbox One, Rafael or RAF687, our Brazilian editor, has a love for games as old as he can remember. He has already spent countless hours in many consoles (Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega Saturn, PS1, PS2 and Xbox 360) and is always ready for more (as long as his wife is asleep). Raf has been writing for LifeisXbox since 2017, with a passion for games of almost all genres – though we know he has a special place in his heart for RPGs, racing games and anything that includes pixel art. Writing about games has always been a childhood dream to Raf, dream that he has fulfilled reviewing games for you here. You can drop him a message at Twitter, Facebook or Xbox Live at any time.