Don’t get crushed by the ever moving blocks in Radiangames’ new iOS game, Crush! This is the same company that brought us the 2012 iOS game of the year, Slydris. Will Crush! be 2013’s Game of the Year? Or will it, too, get crushed?
Crush! is another puzzle block game wherein the player tries to keep the blocks from reaching the bottom of the screen. How do you clear out the blocks? One simple touch will remove one block and any other similarly-colored block that it’s also touching. There’s only a few colors of blocks to deal with, and everything’s all very effortless. The controls are very reactive -- there’s no lag time or unresponsiveness, which is very nice. However, you can’t move blocks around or do anything other than touch blocks to make them disappear, which may make you ask where the, “game” is in this game.
There is a small stipulation that gives Crush! a little more depth. Each touch of the screen boosts the rows of blocks. If the player goes around picking blocks that aren’t touching any same colored blocks, only one block is removed but several rows are added. So, it’s in the best interest of the player to look around a tad before choosing which blocks to touch. You want to make sure more are disappearing than appearing with each turn. This adds a bit of strategy, but it doesn’t add a bit of fun. There just seems to be an ineffable spark missing that other, more enjoyable games seem to have.
There are tons of puzzle games out there involving blocks and Crush! isn’t really breaking any new ground. There are three modes to choose from -- Think, React, and Crush. The first allows more time to look for the best combo, the second requires quick decisions to survive as long as possible, and the third is a mix of the two. Six power-ups are available to unlock as you progress.
The graphics are clean, but not at all catchy, and the lettering is a little hard to read. Plus the color scheme is a bit bland, though it does provide the option to change the background from black, tan, or white, (which is still bland), but at least it’s a bland choice. All in all, it’s a pretty minimalist game.
Don’t confuse minimalist with easy, though. Crush! will put up a strong fight despite the ease of playing. The game developers warn buyers that the game is very hard, saying, “If you survive for two minutes, you are doing really well.” And they’re right. The blocks stack up quickly without the player even realizing it and each touch may get rid of some, but also brings on a lot more.
If you’re looking for a basic game without a lot of bells and whistles and a high difficulty, Crush! might be right for you. However, if you want something that’s a bit flashier, more skill-based, and more fun, look elsewhere.