It's already a bad start when I couldn't find any images referring to this game logo wise without it being tarted up for the PS4 release, but I managed. Krinkle Krusher is a game that was sent to me by the powers that be and I had the, uhm — not pleasure, more legal obligation — to play this game through for you and to review it.
The game released on Steam on the 4th August 2016 and was developed by Illusus Interactive Graphics. This is their first and only game currently available on Steam. Unlike the publishers, one of which, KISS ltd, has over 200 games currently published on Steam. That is mind boggling. On the other hand, we have the second publisher, Funbox Ltd., who's main jewel in their crown of horror is releasing a Top Trumps Turbo game for £6.99.
Stunningly enough, Krinkle Krusher is on Steam for the price of £6.99. So what did I think? Did I waste an evening that I could've spent playing a different, better game, or did I enjoy my experience? Well, read on.
Yes, I know I was the one playing the game but for the life of me I cannot remember a thing about the story. Something about a cake being so delicious it woke a dark evil thing that is trying to get in and steal the cake. This is Max Payne level of intricacy for the story. I felt truly invested in the adventures of "Unnamed Wizard" and "Glove". Yes, those are their names. I don't know their actual character-based names, the game never mentioned it, so I deem it unimportant.
There we go. I found it. Managed to take a screenshot during the cutscene. There we see the hero, a stereotypical wizard who is being paid to defend that watermelon cake. I can only assume that's a watermelon cake. It certainly looks like one. But for reasons unknown to me, I don't think I'm allowed to show you a picture of a watermelon. Look at those cold, dead eyes.
Anyway, apparently the cake is so delicious it has attracted an evil being to awaken from a hibernation lasting so long they turned to stone and now they're ready to fling themselves at the walls of a castle in the aim of giving their leader a slice of ugly looking cake. Not all heroes wear capes I suppose.
If my point wasn't clear enough, the plot is about as water-tight as the ocean. I honestly don't get what I'm supposed to be doing and my guess is that the plot was stapled onto the game before it was released for the PC market; because this is definitely a mobile game. On top of that, even if the plot wasn't a bunch of monkey bollocks it wouldn't be worth it. This is mainly the fault of the voice acting. "It can't be that bad though can it? How bad is it?" Bloody terrible, that's how bad it is. I really can't sum up voice acting in a written article, so you just have to take my word for it.
I better point out that the game has a tutorial. It's a brief tutorial, but a tutorial nonetheless. Mind you, the tutorial is where we get one of the greatest quips in video game history.
Now if you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. But that isn't the point, it just highlights the bad writing. We'll talk about that later, don't worry.
So in the game you play as the glove. I can't remember the name of the glove, nor can I be bothered to install the game again and watch the cut-scene to find out its name. Let's just call it "The Glove". We can't call it Glover, that's a Nintendo 64 game. As The Glove you defend a tower that a wizard stands on top of. It's basically tower defense without the towers, and it makes for some very boring gameplay. You'll never be overwhelmed by the amount of enemies on the screen, mainly underwhelmed if anything.
Enemies come in small groups and don't appear until all other enemies have been dealt with, giving you plenty of time to recharge your powers. Because that's the type of game this is. You get these "mana rings" from the Wizard and use them to stop the Krinkles. Are they even called Krinkles? I bloody hope so. Anyway, you use the mana rings to stop the Krinkles and get a variety of mana rings to do so. The only two I can really remember are the starting one which I'm 60% sure throws purple rocks, and then of course the fire ring which makes a tiny wall of fire. I say wall, it's more or less just an obstacle for the AI.
Considering the AI can't walk around objects and are set on one path they'll inexplicably walk into anything you set down for them. It doesn't make sense, I don't see why they can't just walk around the obstacles like the AI does in Sanctum 2, a much better and sophisticated Tower Defense game. On top of that, flash games have got better AI and plot than this; Bloons Tower Defense.
Sadly though, I did get one or two laughs out of the game during the writing. I don't know if this was because I was that sleep deprived anything could have made me laugh. A photo of George Bush could have made me laugh at that point, but to be fair it does anyway. There's a lot of references to famous movie quotes, one example being on the very first level, the game can't help itself and does a "Lord of the Rings" on us.
However these moments are few and far between, as far as I can tell. The writing is drivel, and the fact that the only thing that made me laugh was a quote from the Lord of the Rings is worrying.
For some odd reason the game is score-based. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of score based games and such. So long as they serve a purpose then that's fine, but this game has one just for the sake of having one. Or maybe it's just because this game is actually a mobile port. The scoring system does literally nothing for the game, and it also has a star based system too? I don't really know the point of it.
But don't worry, there is little-to-no challenge in the game. The enemies are so under-powered that the aspect of losing a level is next to impossible. However to add a bit of balance to the universe not only are the enemies weak, but your powers are weak and so is the castle. Your castles health is about as flimsy as a sword made out of tin foil and glue. Four or five enemies ramming their face into the castle is enough to break the wall down.
To top it all off there isn't even any real depth or challenge to what you're doing. Why am I killing a load of creature things that have been frozen for hundreds and hundreds of years? To protect a cake. A childish plot with a game that physically cannot appeal to children is a recipe for disaster, much like that cake.
Graphics and sound
When you first load the game you'll be greeted with two different graphical options. High and Good. I genuinely don't know the difference between High and Good. Both are from different graphical option levels and both are at basically the same level. I was genuinely baffled and didn't know what to pick. I picked good the first time round and the game looked like horrific. So I picked high and the game still looked horrible so I don't know what to do.
I'm not surprised the game looks pretty bad to be honest, it was made with Unity Personal Edition. Now I don't have a problem with Unity or the games people create with it. Some of the best games I've played in a while have been made with Unity, and there seems to be a large amount of fun games made on there too. Rust is one of those games. But this isn't anything like Rust as evident by this review.
One thing I noticed about the starting menu screen thing is that the music sounded very much like Plants vs. Zombies. I can't confirm or deny that point, but I swear I've heard that music before. I'm not recommending you buy this game whatsoever, but please someone find out where this damned music is from before I start tearing Steam to pieces, game by game.
Of course, if you want to re-watch any of the videos in the game again then you can. For some reason there's a video gallery. A lot of mobile games do that, so I guess that's a thing.
Musically the game is about as fun to listen to as a twelve hour loop of any Justin Bieber song ever. Honestly the music would be fine if it didn't loop every five seconds, a lot of other mobile ports do this, one example being Frozen: Freefall Adventure for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. A five or so second loop of music is fine so long as nobody notices it. What this game fails to do is make it unnoticeable. I can hear the music stopping and starting and it gets so aggravatingly horrible to listen to.
On top of the horrible music, is horrible sound effects. Now there isn't anything more important than what a game sounds like. It's immersion-breaking to hear broken sound effects or just in general things that don't fit into the game. Well, don't worry, sound effects seemed to be nowhere in the thought process of the game developers and the game sounds horrible. Especially the fireworks at the end of a level. Good God I have never been graced with such bad sound effects. It's literally just a three second loop of fireworks that often plays over and over without the first effect finishing. It's a catastrophe. Or should I say, a Krinkalamity.
I promise never to do that again. For the sake of my writing career. Never again.
Oh you may be wondering why I haven't talked about the options yet. It's probably because there aren't any. Much like all mobile ports, you can turn the game music and game sound up or down. That's it. Nothing else. I didn't try the gamepad support but apparently it's there, judging by this game though I wouldn't go as far to say it works. Especially when playing with a keyboard and mouse is as comfortable as it gets when playing this. A controller improves nearly all games, this is not one of them.
I play a lot of bad games. A Hell of a lot of those bad games have been on Steam. The Slaughtering Grounds, Chernobyl Commando and Summer Sale are only scratching the surface of awful. But the thing about those games is that they're stupendously awful. So awful I've actually sank hours into these games. I've played these games because they're fascinatingly bad. This game is just, plain and simply, bad.
A review is arguably better if you're talking about a game that you either loved or hated. But what is there to say about this? It was bad, no doubt about it, but nothing stood out to make it bad. Overall it's a boring mobile port that barely holds itself together as a "game". But it's not at the tier of The Slaughtering Grounds bad wherein it's just bloody unplayable.
While the game does muster up enough courage to look fairly okay, it falls completely flat and leaves in its wake a boring mess. There isn't anything original to be found in the game, it's more or less a shell of every other tower defense-looking game out there. And not any of the good ones either.
|+ A fairly good first try at making a game||– Boring, unimpressive gameplay|
|– Definitely a mobile port|
|– Music and sound effects are dreadful|
|– Graphically underwhelming|