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Crystal Soul Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on February 15, 2011


Crystal Soul
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • RPG-themed variant of the Bloody Fun Day gameplay.
  • Challenging objectives; added complexity from the turn-based gameplay.
  • Simple, effective visual theme.

CONS

  • Poor camera controls; constantly snaps back to a useless angle.
  • Minimal gameplay explanation; trial and error required.

VERDICT

Crystal Soul was presented with an opportunity to fill the shoes left by its inspirational title, but poor gameplay explanations and gimmicky gameplay makes this a hard game to love.


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It was only a matter of time before someone else decided to emulate the gameplay of Bloody Fun Day by Urban Squall, but the dismal conversion to the App Store left the doors wide open for someone else to exploit. Crystal Soul by HuaXu Culture Creative is a new take on this turn-based puzzler concept, though those unfamiliar with its source material may find themselves out of their depth.

Each of the 20 currently available levels presents players with a set of objectives to complete before they're able to escape the level. To complete these tasks players must move around the hexagonal grid, defeating the monsters in their path or collecting power crystals. If more than one monster is grouped together they will all be defeated, awarding the player with bonus points, however tiny stones are left in their wake and after a set period of turns a new random assortment of creatures will be generated in their place.

There are three classes to choose from, each with a distinct set of skills that benefit from the souls collected from defeated creatures. Abilities range from being able to teleport, switch creatures, dash long distances or perform grid-wide damage, though these often feel gimmicky as they're so rarely used thanks to the slow accumulation of souls. Regrettably, there's no tutorial to help players understand the complex mechanics at play, though a basic help screen and trial and error can be enough if you're patient.

Other small problems like a stubborn automatic camera add frustration where none should exist and what could have been a fun RPG-themed version of Bloody Fun Day is otherwise rendered bland. Crystal Soul is a formidable puzzler and one that can be a lot of fun, but it's a prickly beast to approach without a large reserve of patience.

Screenshots

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