We should probably be close to the announcement of a new Crash Bandicootconsidering that Activision has never hidden his satisfaction with the answers they gave on the market No Sane Trilogy the first and Team Racing then; it will pass some time before you can finally get your hands on the game, still enveloped in mystery. In order to fool the waiting, and to keep alive the interest for the brand, the publisher has decided to focus on the smartphone market, with the brand new Crash Bandicoot Mobile.
We have had the opportunity to try it out and give us an idea of the potential of the game, who is yet to debut officially around the globe. This is not a final version, some features are missing and others may change from now to the time of the release. If you are curious to know how it behaves, however, we are here to satisfy your hunger for the fruits Wumpa.
Crash becomes an endless runner… no, not really
We face now the argument more acute: Crash Bandicoot Mobile has very little to do, from the point of view of the gameplay, with the securities canons of the series. We are not in front of a platform, therefore: that what we have is very close to a endless runner. Crash in fact, once you start a level, it will begin to run forward in autonomy. Our task will be to avoid obstacles, moving between the three lanes, jumping, sliding, and making him do his classic tornado spin.
If you have already played an endless runner, you understand the hint and you will find yourself immediately at home once the game starts, that is extremely immediate and intuitive. As said in the title of the paragraph, however, define Crash Bandicoot Mobile an endless runner would be a mistake. Rather than focus on the classic formula that sees a labyrinth of almost infinite, in which to count are the points collected at the end of the game, the developer is King has decided to propose an adventure divided to levels.
Each level consists of a route of medium duration, at the end of which we shall find waiting for us a mini-boss. After you have passed four levels and defeated the four corresponding mini-opponents we can finally point to the real boss – the position occupied by well-known faces in the history of the Crash. Among these, in addition to antagonists historians as N. Brio and Dingodilefind Cortex, a character from Crash of the Titans: a choice that has surprised in a positive way, because we had not expected any reference to what, by the fans, is considered to be a period of rather obscure in the history of Crash Bandicoot.
Anyway, the bosses are little more than a pretext to give the end of the level: we will just have to avoid their bullets until we reached, at that point, an animation will allow us to delete them with a single touch of the screen. Nothing that, in a nutshell, but they are always a welcome reference to the history of the franchise. The same locations fished profusely from the history of Crashes, in particular, from the location seen in the original trilogy (even though, in all likelihood, we will see other places through future updates).
Once you have finished the level we are rewarded with a gem and with the electronic components. And here we need to open another question.
It objects to save the world
The map Crash Bandicoot Mobile there has several elements with which you can interact, but few will be already usable at the beginning of our game. We have the portal to launch in the battles against the bad guys and our laboratory. The rest, however, must be unlocked. To tell the truth, to play the standard levels, it is necessary to possess certain objects, such as potions and bombs, that must be created in the laboratory. And to create, we will need materials.
These materials can be found in the so-called “collection run”. Behold, it is here that Crash Bandicoot Mobile it becomes a true endless runner: we are catapulted into a level, from the same setting of the main ones, where we could run to infinity, breaking all the crates to find materials to use to unlock the buildings on the map, or to play the main levels.
When we are tired, we will not simply quit, but we will have to wait to find a fork in the level that provides us with the opportunity to return to the map of the game. Once done and back at the hub we will be able to finally spend all of our materials – for example, in the laboratory to create objects that are used to tackle the levels. This process, however, is not immediate.
The objects require a certain time to be ready, and will have to wait before having what we need. Clearly, it is possible to reset the wait time using the crystals, that will be the microtransactions of this title. At the moment, it is still possible to buy them, therefore we can express the relationship between the quantity/price; what we can say, however, is that if things remain so, the microtransactions will not be too annoying, because the game requires almost never an excessive number of materials. Considering that this is a title that, by its nature, could become boring if played for too long, the pause of expectation doesn’t weigh too much.
A big doubt remains, however, with regard to the use of the gems. As we said, on the map there are many buildings and inaccessible places, which need to be unlocked using just the gems; currently, they can only be obtained by defeating an enemy, and are only one level. Different buildings require, however, a number really, and this could lead the player to get bored in the long run – because it can go a long time without that, you are able to unlock something new. We will be able to understand and assess better the operation of this feature in the future, when the game is finally released globally.
Removed these doubts, Crash Bandicoot Mobile it remains a very fun and intuitive, not much but that can be a good way to bridge the expectation of a new title in the main series. We’ll see if Activision wants to support it in the long term with new content – or if it will remain only a filler.