Critter Crunch is an adorable puzzler filled with quirky creatures and should be a must buy to anybody who enjoys the genre. While the gameplay itself isn’t very difficult, the strategy behind playing increases in complexity the deeper you venture within the game. Developed by Capybara Games, Critter Crunch has seen releases on mobile phones, the Apple App store and now, finally, PlayStation Network. Fortunately for PlayStation fans of the game, the console version is the superior release due to high resolution visuals and a much larger gaming platform to play on.
The idea behind Critter Crunch is simple. Explode enough critters in order for them to drop jewels so that Biggs (main character) can fill his jewel gauge. The critters drop a slot down every so often much like in other puzzlers of this type and you must race against them in order to fill the gauge. So, how do you pop critters? Well, you manage to pop the critters by feeding them critters that are smaller in size. Thus is the life of the magical food chain, correct? As critters pop, they’ll drop jewels, power-ups, coins and relics for Biggs to chew up and enjoy. The Adventure Mode is the main way to play and offers a nice change of pace by including other game modes as you travel down the linear path, however those other modes of play aren’t essential in beating the game. To be honest, there is roughly a span of seven to eight hours worth of game play in Adventure Mode alone, far exceeding the value of the $6.99 price tag.
Though this does sound like it gets tedious, the developers have included in a Puzzle mode as well as a Challenge mode that adds a significant amount of replay value to the game. In Puzzle mode, you’re given a select number of moves to eliminate all Critters from the board. While this sounds easy enough, it’s actually quite difficult at the later stages of the game. Some puzzles can be solved in less moves than provided, but you should face a lot of trial and error trying to figure some of them out.
Challenge mode provides you with different guidelines than the other modes, which in turn, makes them challenging! For instance, you may be required to not be allowed to use a Food chain kill in order to fill the Jewel Gauge. What this means is that you can’t feed a medium-sized critter a smaller critter if he sits in front of a bigger critter or they’ll end up all eating each other creating a linked combo known as a food chain. As the game progresses, these challenges increase in difficulty much like their Puzzle mode counterpart.
Those of you with families will be glad to know that Critter Crunch provides an offline multiplayer experience as well. Not only can you play cooperatively to obtain the biggest score, but you can play competitively with attack power-ups to beat your opponent down to China town! Furthering the replayability is the option to take the game online to do battle as well. These two added elements add replay value beyond description to the game because it changes the overall level of play entirely.
Frankly put, Critter Crunch is one of the best titles to hit the PlayStation Network to date. The ability to play online or offline with family and friends combined with the full length Adventure Mode provide a ridiculous amount of playability for the measly price of $6.99. Throw in the adorable visuals with equally impressive backdrops and you have yourself a title that you’ll be hard pressed to put down or truly compare to any other available. In my opinion, this is a must buy.