Super Crate Box is gold. That is all you need to know. Go buy it now if you don’t have it. You will not regret it. Unless, of course, you hate games that give a challenge. Otherwise, if you are a true iOS gamer, get it now. Actually, come to think of it, Super Crate Box is much more than gold. It’s closer to, say, a house made out of gem quality diamonds. Yea, it’s that good. Almost. Well, I’d rather have the house. But Super Crate Box is just SO MUCH FUN.
Now that that’s out, on to the actual review. Super Crate Box is an extremely addicting, but difficult platforming game that has recently been ported from the PC to iOS by Vlambeer and with the help of Halfbot. There’s some controversy surrounding the game, relating to the, as some call it, “clone” called Muffin Knight. It is actually more accurately, “heavily inspired” by Super Crate Box, as it still does have its own flair. After being delayed a few times, it has finally made it to iOS. This isn’t a shoddy port either. Instead, this is a near perfect port, tailored perfectly to iOS.
First, you must understand the gameplay of this game. It’s a single screen platformer, with 3 different maps, a bunch of characters, 3 difficulty modes for each level, and quite a few diverse weapons that are quickly unlocked. It may seem like there is very little content, but Vlambeer is adding new content, and has already updated the game. Plus, it will take forever to unlock everything. That’s not because you need to grind forever for each unlock, but because the game is extremely difficult. It requires amazing precision, quick reaction times, and even quite a bit of strategizing. Chances are, there is a lot of content that you won’t be able to unlock.
Enemies come from the top of the screen, following 1 of 2 paths in each map. There are regular ones, which are easily killed, big ones, which take more than twice as much damage to kill, and white, floating ones, which will kill you if you are staying in a spot the others can’t reach, as these float around the screen only following a loose path. The point of the game isn’t to kill these, as you get no points. Still, if you don’t, you will die, because they fall into a fire pit at the bottom of the screen. Instead of dying, they come back red and faster than ever. These are a major pain to kill, as they go much, much faster than a regular enemy does.
The main goal of the game, however, is to collect crates that appear randomly across the screen. They give you a random weapon to work with, such as a rocket launcher, disc gun (this one can kill you), dual pistols, and a ton more. You unlock all of these within about 30 minutes of starting, without a problem. Now, you’re thinking, well that’s easy, especially because it’s single screen. However, the enemies come in swarms, and fast. Plus, one mistake and you’re probably dead.
Now, that isn’t to say this game is impossibly hard. I have unlocked SMFT (which requires 40 crates), and that’s coming from somebody that had trouble with the tutorial on PC. It is true that the difficulty has dropped a noticeable amount from the PC version to the supposedly inferior controls. However, another reason I was able to do so much better was because the controls really are spot on. I prefer them to the PC counterpart, even though many won’t. It is true that shooting while jumping is harder than on PC, but it isn’t a problem with a tiny bit of practice. And that’s to be expected from all games. You can’t say, for example, that Call of Duty for PC has bad controls because you suck with them the first time you play the game. A little practice goes a long way, in every case. The controls on Super Crate Box are perfect, from sensitivity to placement. It’s true that they could have offered custom placement, but the controls are so good that it didn’t bother me at all. The only gripe I have with the controls is that when the crate appears in the bottom right or bottom left corner, the controls and my thumbs will cover the box, however, it is easy to figure out where it is by looking at the rest of the screen. This barely influences anything, and the controls truly are still perfect.
Back on the topic of difficulty, this game is much easier than the PC counterpart, like stated before. It will be a challenge for the average gamer, but in such a way that is fun and will cause you to play tens of games at one time without noticing. The game is not frustrating; it’s addicting. You die a lot, but dying isn’t long and drawn out, and you’re back in the game in about two seconds. I do consider this a more hardcore game if you want to be remotely competitive for highscores. It’s still fun for a average gamer though, and with a tiny bit of practice, you will unlock all three levels and maybe even some characters. If you find the game too hard for you, to the point of frustration, then I find it truly difficult to be able to call you a gamer. I would suggest going back to your Angry Birds and your Doodle Jump. The good stuff on iOS clearly isn’t for you. Because this truly is as good as it gets.
With the already-on-their-way content updates and the pureness of the game, I truly give this game my highest recommendation. Yes, the game is truly the purest experience you will find. It’s addicting arcade/platformer goodness, with highscores as your objective. This is easily my favorite of all time, more so than even two of my favorite games of 2011; League of Evil and Mos Speedrun. I can’t stop playing this game. With my hectic schedule, I’ve put in almost all of my iOS gaming time into this game.
I realize that there have been comparisons between Muffin Knight and Super Crate Box. Yes, I’ve played both, and yes, they are definitely to be compared. I refrained from doing that in my review, or else I would have dragged on more and more about both games before even getting into comparisons. You would have been looking at a college thesis. I’ll do a post on that in the next 2 days or so, so be on the look out for that. In the meantime, get it, play it, and love it.
Rating: 10/10 and I definitely don’t give these out like Goofy does ;)