Now, what is the best way to describe the background concept of this game? Yeah, that’s it! Ever seen those houses beside main roads and wondered how the people who live in them cope with the constant flow of traffic driving by their home on a daily basis? Well, this is the life that married couple Henry and Florence have recently been introduced to and lets just say they are far from happy with the recent disruption to their once harmonious lifestyle. However, they have concocted a plan to defend their tranquil home from the terror which comes with the chaotic new highway and what they have in store is rather interesting to say the least. Developed by Ratalaika Games S.L. and published by Thinice Games, CrossKrush is an entertaining and simplistic puzzle game which will have you finding the most efficient way to rid the gridlock of vehicles on your doorstep so you can both return to dancing around your wonderful home to your heart’s content. The game also comes with a local co-op mode should you have friends or family you would like to play with which allows you to take both characters to the highway and cause some chaos. All I’m going to say is I will never underestimate the power of a cane ever again after playing this.
What we liked!
- Replayability with modes and levels – With each of the ten levels comes ten waves for you to complete. There is the option during levels to restart the current wave which is useful if you’re happy with how the rest of the level has gone and you’re on a later wave, wanting to keep your streak going. Replayability comes from trying to get the best score possible on each level which you can view from the level select screen. Not only is there this element but there are six game modes for you to try out as well should you want more or less of a challenge. These include normal, delicate, fast, broken and last will. All have unique elements such as quicker gameplay, one hit death, broken roads which can be explored and experimented with if you fancy something a little different.
- Basic controls – You can’t really go wrong with the controls for this game as they are very straightforward to use. You can move around the road with either the analog stick or directional pad, stand on the tile you want to blow up and press A to place your explosive or detonate any green areas and then use Y to batter vehicles with your handy cane should you want them to feel the full wrath of you and your husband/wife. I mean, who doesn’t want to use a cane?
- Finding the best plan of action – The way the scoring system works for CrossKrush means you have to find the most efficient way to clear the waves by using equal or less amounts of turns than the game sets out for you in the top right hand corner. If you manage to do it in less, you are awarded an extra 500 points, if you complete it equal you gain 250 points and if you use more then you don’t receive any additional points. With this also comes the combos for multiple vehicles being destroyed in a row. You should be considerate of the ambulances though as destroying any will not only deduct points but will cause all the other traffic to automatically progress past the zebra crossing which will also cause you to lose multiple points for each vehicle you let get away.
- Fairly short title – From my previous experience with other Ratalaika titles, I know their games can tend to be somewhat short from time to time. It can be completed in as little as an hour or two. Yes, you can replay the levels but I reckon it would not have been overly difficult to add some more variety to the levels like more vehicle types or additional challenges to the current game just to create that bit more of an impact and to expand on the already chaotic gameplay there already is.
- Gradual increase in difficulty – The more levels you complete, the harder the levels become. With this comes three to six lanes, new vehicle types and more of them with less time to work on your efficient plan. Personally I would have liked the difficulty to gradually increase a little quicker as I found the first maybe eighty percent relatively easy to get my head around and then there was a sudden spike in the last few levels which threw me off slightly. I just feel this could have perhaps been balanced out more in places.
What we disliked
- Sound is lacklustre – Although the jazz theme of music was probably chosen to compliment the character models, I feel like it was a little misplaced with the destructive gameplay. Also, I can’t be the only one who relishes good sound effects when it comes to blowing stuff up in video games! I want to hear the explosions and experience the turmoil that comes with it. CrossKrush did disappoint with their sounds being dull and bare which ruined the potential atmosphere the game could have had.
- Graphics are outdated – These days, graphics are a pretty big element when it comes to games of any genre so when I started playing through this game, I was not best impressed with what I was seeing. The only variation of appearance I really noticed was the day and night cycle you got every other level. The colour scheme was bland and there was not a huge amount of attention to detail that I could see which if improved could have made a big difference in my opinion.
Although CrossKrush is a relatively simple concept for a puzzle game, I found it to be rather enjoyable with trying to beat my high scores, trying out other modes and if I’m honest, just blowing cars up because they disturbed my peace and quiet which managed to put a smile on my face. I mean, how dare they disturb my wonderful home environment. It could have done with some more attention to detail regarding the sounds and graphics which let the game down for me but overall, another solid game from Ratalaika which I’m sure many will find amusement in playing through.
Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!