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Crumble Zone Review

By Dave Flodine, on December 27, 2012


Crumble Zone
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Immaculate sound design.
  • You can get into a playing groove pretty easily.

CONS

  • Controls could have been mapped better.

VERDICT

An arcade game that is very satisfying to play thanks to its colors and crunchy sound effects.


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If you stop to think about your favorite games, I bet that most of you will love these titles partially for their music, and this is an example of how important sound design can be in a game. Now this intro is a little misleading. Crumble Zone has decent music, but that's not why it made such an impact upon playing. Instead we need to have a look at music's brother, the sound effect, in which this game delivers up in such a satisfyingly crunchy way, that the joy of the gameplay is inextricably tied into it.

The game is about protecting your little central planetoid from the incoming bombardment of asteroids of varying sizes. The large ones break into small ones, and all can do irrevocable damage to your home. You protect this floating orb by firing projectiles at the incoming masses, breaking them down till either they are obliterated, or you make it over a threshold to a new level, clearing the surroundings of debris. Movement around the planet is accomplished with the left and right arrows down on the bottom left of the screen, while shooting is taken care of by tapping the target button. Rather then fire in a straight line, your character randomly lobs his weapon in an arc to the right or left, sometimes leaving the decision between a close call and a game over to the hands of fate. (Editor's Note: The arc of the shot is determined by the direction you've just moved in - keeping your eyes on the creature's antenna helps!) After breaking part enough large asteroids, you gain a special fire attack that zooms around the planet, and can pick off all the little pieces that are left, and it's this constant cycle as the incoming attacks get more and more frequent that keeps you replaying over and over again.

Now seeing that the introduction was gushing over the sound effects, let's take a closer look. Each successful attack of an asteroid triggers a meaty, crunchy sound that can perhaps best be described as someone with pop rocks in their mouth stepping on gravel. It's a joyous sound, and is usually followed by the trickle of gems as they rain down on your planet, ripe for collection (which are of course used to unlock new items at certain collection milestones). All of this takes place on a background of moody blues or threatening greens, and does its best to elevate the simple gameplay mechanics to a more addictive and immersive experience.

Of course it's not perfect. The placement of the buttons are odd, and the buttons themselves are a little small, and it does take more than a few plays for the game to click. Still, we also should mention that there is a multiplayer mode (available on the same device no less), and as high score arcade games go, a lot of effort has gone into the idea and the presentation. Definitely a recommend for high score chasers and those that like their games crunchy.

Screenshots

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