Crashlands iOS Game is addictive and enjoyable.
One of my all time favorite game genres is the Adventure RPG or Action RPG. Personally, the game that made this so exciting for me was Borderlands. I have been a fan of games in general since the 1980’s and have grown further in love with them. I have found multiple genres, that appeal to my inner child, with enjoyable aspects belonging to each style. I am incredibly lucky to be able to share this love with my children. My 7 year old son is starting to see the light, the amazement and wonder of electronics and games. He plays games regularly on my iPad, Nintendo 3DS XL and Xbox One. So far his favorite game has been building and exploring in the world of Minecraft or breaking blocks and collecting Lego pieces in the Lego games. I really like that companies are now starting to blend style genres, as it helps to reduce some of the redundancy and increases the replay value of the games.
I have been given the opportunity to review a game that combines aspects of action, crafting, city/fort building, pet raising, and exploration. I have had the pleasure of playing Crashlands, and finding that I absolutely am addicted to this game. The game has been 2 years in the making. It is brought to you by 3 brothers, Adam, Seth and Sam Coster from team Butterscotch Shenanigans. The game is available on Steam, iOS and Google Play released on 1/21/16. I never thought that I would appreciate the word Shenanigans. However, when you have put the time into this game, you soon appreciate the intro and the jovial introduction to the company. We at macsources.com have been patiently awaiting the release of Crashlands, having written an early informational review 07/14/15 by Robyn and another this past December by Nicholas Calderone. It was their reviews that introduced to me to this game, to the fun that I patiently awaited 01/21/2016.
The protagonist, (main character) Flux Dabes, is a galactic delivery truck driver. While making a shipment of 3 parcels, Flux and his trusty computer “Juicebox” are set upon by an evil alien “HEWGODOOKO.” The large headed one is looking for tech, a Quantum Electrodongle. Unfortunately you only have one, and it is an integral part of your ship, the B.S. S.S. ASSESS. HEWGODOOKO does not care and takes the electrodongle, blowing up your ship in his wake. The initial game experience is narrative style between Flux and Juicebox and HEWGODOOKO. Then in a metroidesque side scroller, you need to get to the escape pod and abandon the ship. This is actually part of the tutorial, teaching you valuable lessons/game mechanics before leaving the ship. First, you learn that tapping the screen results in movement to that spot. If you touch and hold the screen, you can continually move in a given direction. This mechanic is golden and works incredibly well. Second, it teaches you to avoid the red circles (this is the damage zone). You are also given your first tool, the space wrench, which becomes integrated into your suit. This will remain an important tool throughout the game. Thus, even the intro sequence is important to your game. This is a well thought out system. Grab your wrench, break the damage generating traps, grab some space duck pies (health). With the shipment interrupted, the ship in pieces, you are left crash-landed on an alien world Woanope.
You awaken to nothing but you and your trusty Juicebox. Through some funny quips/narrative, the setting is drawn and the path is set before you. You are crash landed and Juicebox wants you to build items to enact your own rescue. Build/find parts for an Advanced Comm Device, find a lantern, build a saw, build a pick axe. You start out with nothing but that space wrench you found on the ship, those space duck pies and Juicebox. You are instructed to collect some sawgrass, make floors for a base. Tap on natural formations, break them and collect the drops. Is there anything more exciting for a gamer, than drops?
The quips between Juicebox and Flux are quite refreshing and the story is actually fun. As you explore the world, you are introduced to characters that provide quests. These may be a kill quest or a find/craft something quest. These are a refreshing change from the explore, kill, collect craft system and adds further depth to the game. As you interact, as you progress you build stronger items, need to kill stronger mobs, collect more resources. I love that you can hop in, explore, grab a few items, kill a few creatures, add on to your base and return to your real life. These types of games get played and get played a lot, as they are meant for 5 minutes to 5 hours. You really are only limited by the free time and power of your device. It really is well done and seamless to get into the game and out of the game. I love that you can play as a guest (save is only local), sign up for their program (perks for other games) and have access to cloud save and play on every device you own.
One of the aspects of explore/craft games is they typically limit you in some way. They either limit the number of slots you have or the number of caps you can carry. In this game the inventory is essentially unlimited. There is no apparent cap to the amount of collectibles that you can carry. There is an inventory, you can break gear to regain crafting components, but storage room is not a limiting factor in this game. This is refreshing as it does get old having to make long trips to and from the collecting source. Collect, explore, craft, adventure. Search the world and find crafting recipes. Tired of crafting? Explore, kill or complete quests. Another aspect of these types of games is usually you have a long walk back to the trader or sales person.
In this game you can choose to walk to your destination or you can use the teleport option. I really like that you can touch the map icon and teleport to your home base, whenever not in combat. This is one of the biggest complaints I have with Minecraft (until you build a compass or a beacon) it is really easy to get lost and lose all that you have built/collected. In Crashlands, you can wander around the world and find new portals. These allow you to quickly teleport between them. You can set any of these as your home if you wish, although I had no reason to do that. In the bottom left of the screen you have a picture of the female character (yes just like the metroidesque statement above, we have a female lead), a hammer, a book and a map. Each will take you to the “menu” screen represented. Hammer=build. Character=inventory, Book=quests.
Construction advances steadily, starting with the ability to make just a few things. Part of the tech of your ship survived the crash, the “Bureau of Shipping survival station.” This site allows you to make more workstations, thatched walls, thatched grass floor, a saw, carpenter bench, dirt pile. Set one of the items as a “track” feature, and then search the environment for the needed items. Set goals and see which ingredients you need to find. Start out searching for sawgrass blades, build some floor planks for your home. Use the hammer icon in the bottom left to build (reminds me of a cross between minecraft and Animal Crossing) structures for your base.
As you progress you will get a saw, a wrench for attacking and you will start to find and unlock new gear. Nearly everything is breakable or killable. Make progress and explore. The further you get from your base, the difficulty of the mobs increases. Also, you may not have strong enough gear to harvest the environmental loot. It becomes a song and dance of find this, build that, explore and earn new craftables for your home. It really is impressive how deep this game goes. I have put in about 10 hours now and the game itself promises about 60 hours of story data. I did not even mention that you get pets in this game too. They have beds you can build, you can upgrade them, build gear for them.
The real beauty of this game is in the details. It would have been just fine to have Flux stand there if you had to do something. This was not enough for the game creators. If you want to see some funny dancing, don’t touch the screen and flux will start waving her arms land jumping around. These are the details I look for when playing a game. The brothers Coster have a winner of a title here, with aspects that will likely suite just about everyone. The banter between antagonist/protagonist, the female lead/trusty computer, the NPC, the looting, the crafting, the fort building. You name it and it appears to be Part of this game. This feels like more than one game and for the price you as the consumer are getting a steal. Buy this once and it is yours, no in app purchases are necessary. There has already been update to the game, improving a few features that made it better, without extra costs. There are different game modes to suite the casual to the hardcore. Deaths in the lower difficulty levels (I played adventure), resulted in loss of some gear, a tombstone placed into the world until I could return and loot my gravestone.
This game is a must have, the graphics are cartoony/gamey, yet refreshing, the story is numerous and enjoyable. I rate this at 5/5 stars and I will continue to play this one as I want to make my base ever better and I strive for better armor (yes as you craft its attributes do change). You will not be disappointed in this game, enjoy.
DOWNLOAD – Crashlands – $4.99 – iOS