Krashlander Review

By , on February 21, 2013

Krashlander - Ski, Jump, Crash!
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5


  • Striking minimalist visuals combined with ambient sound.
  • An interesting control idea.


  • The controls are not intuitive and don't seem to work properly at times.


Novel control scheme with some striking presentation that cannot hide its unplayability.

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So apparently evil robots from another planet have destroyed our world (again), and humanity's defense in this game's case is to don a suit so you can ski down slopes, crashing into the robots, and destroying them. Their one weakness! Krashlander has you traversing hazardous mountain paths with the end goal of smacking into these robots, before moving onto the next mission. It's a physics based arcade game in bite sized levels, but there is one crucial difference here, the control scheme.

Games like Bike Baron, that deal with positional physics in relation to landing a jump usually have a left and right arrow to adjust the character in mid-air. Krashlander has a circle of directional positions that take up half the screen. You can freely move through these eight positions if you think of the center of the layout like a joystick. Opposites play a large part in jumps (using a crouch/leap system), but adjusting your landing in mid-flight is not as simple as moving left or right to compensate. Not only that, but crouching forward doesn't really increase your speed on slopes, and the whole thing is more a case of trial and error than learning the controls. The developer relates this input to learning to ride a bike, and talks about everything clicking and becoming second nature. This was not true while reviewing, and even if others have better luck, this learning curve is a high barrier to entry and will put off all but the most dedicated players.

Presentation is quite striking with flat colors combined with black and white. It creates mood while imparting game information easily, and the ambient wind noises help to sell the whole package. Stars are achieved by completing levels in a certain number of tries, though seeing that you can restart a level, once you know what you're doing, you can gain three stars without any problem at all.

Krashlander just asks too much of the player while not meeting them halfway with an adequate tutorial or first series of levels to teach this complicated control scheme. The fun factor of barreling into robots suffers as a result, and only those who wish to master the complexity for self satisfaction or bragging rights are going to persist or get anything out of what this has to offer.


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