Crashlands Review - A humorous Indie Adventure Crafting RPG

Crashlands

QUICK GLANCE:

  • Platform: PC, iOS, Android
  • Players: 1
  • Achievements: Yes
  • Steam Trading Cards: Yes
  • Controller Support: No
  • Retail Price: $14.99 PC, $4.99 Mobile

High Level Premise: Top-down Action RPG with some sandbox gathering/building dynamics

Graphics/Style: Polished yet retro styled graphics and the monsters are disgusting yet somehow cute at the same time.

Music/Soundtrack: Non-invasive themes that didn't drive me crazy over time, and some meaty sound effects for your combat.

Story: You crash landed trying to deliver something, get yourself off the planet and back to work.

Replay-ability: If you like the crafting and combat in this game you can play for a long long time.

Time Commitment: Like Minecraft, you can jump on and farm a little, or go on epic quests depending on your free time.

Value: Even by just sampling the game you can get 5 dollars worth of enjoyment. A better Mobile game than a PC game where it has a little more competition and costs 10 more dollars.

Favorite Element: The game has good humor throughout, but the dialogue was a highlight.

This game is a combination of many popular game types. You spend much of your time hunting and gathering materials to build things you need or that you enjoy aesthetically. As you progress you stop finding them on the ground and start having to cleave bigger and badder things in half to get to their bones and whatnot. The game sprinkles in some humor primarily by way of your banter with the robot assistant that follows you around, and in the naming of your items. The story is pretty basic, get off the planet, and I found the game often slid a little too close to tedium unless you were fighting. Once you could engage in some hearty combat the game really started to click. Unlike the wild open world of creation in Minecraft, or the more dour survival of a Don’t Starve, Crashlands is happier, sillier, and has greater combat depth. Getting the timing right to stun your foe with a thrown wrench so that you can beat them with dagger gloves or whatever weapon you have crafted up is good fun and made the never ending search for “stuff” more palatable. The combat is a little more reminiscent of The Binding of Isaac although you can avoid the perils of permadeath in this title, for when you die you only need to return to the scene of the crime to gather up some lost inventory.

The big surprise of this game for me is that you can transfer saves from your PC to your phone and play on the go (if you own a copy on IOS or Android). So while some controls might seem a little over-simple they make the game possible on a mobile device. And some of that simplicity makes the game better like giving you an infinite storage capacity so you are never bogged down by inventory management for example. The downside is that for a RPG there isn’t much room for diversity in play-styles and item upgrades. You can never fall in love with a weapon because the next level up weapon will inherently be better and you will need to change to it, and so on.

For a smaller development studio the game is an impressive addition to the genre and with the very reasonable pricing it is worth checking out so you can club animated beasts while you wait in line at the DMV.

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