Krinkle Krusher Review

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Title: Krinkle Krusher
Developer: Ilusis Interactive
Game Type: PlayStation Vita
Download: 301 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download

EU Availability: Digital Download
PSTV Support: No

There are a lot of genres that I’m planning on diving more into in reviews this year.  I’ve gone into a few of them already, and have more on the way.  My reviews have taken me to the deep customization of RPGs to the funky beats of rhythm games.  Even after 207 reviews, though, there are still genres out there that I have not touched in my reviews.  This year I plan to knock a lot of those genres out as more games become available.

Smaller indie games help break those barriers.  Some small games that are ported from PC or other systems go into various genres.  La Mulana EX, for example, went into Metroidvania-style games and Rollers of the Realm into pinball games.  Aside from some of these, though, some indies are made specifically for PlayStation platforms.

Among the games for PlayStation platforms, there is a new game this week that dives into a new genre.  The Castle Defense genre is something that is big on Mobile and some other systems, but not as big on the Vita.  As of this week, though, there is a new Castle Defense game available to PlayStation owners.  Cross-Buy with the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita, here is my official review of Krinkle Krusher.

Story

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The story of Krinkle Krusher is that your kingdom has baked a cake for a celebration and the smell of this food has reached every inch of the kingdom.  Because of this, the creature known as the Krinkle desires the cake and sends an army of henchmen to invade the castle town and steal it and all of its yummy goodness.

With an invasion imminent, it is up to the local wizard and his magical glove to cast spells and ward off all of the invaders with magical rings and anything else that is at their disposal.

The story of Krinkle Krusher is little more than a setting to showcase how and why you’re doing what you’re doing.  There is some witty dialogue in various stages.  All in all, though, it’s just a setting for what you do in this castle defense game.

Gameplay

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As we said above, this is a Castle Defense game.  It is like a tower defense game, but the end gate that you’re defending castle walls from the invading Krinkles.  You will be able to move yourself up a long road to the opening where the Krinkles are invading and place spells around the environment to damage and eventually defeat them to be able to get high scores and pass each stage.

The game goes through various stages and each stage has a specific number of enemies and types of enemies to it.  First you’ll just be fighting minions.  Then, stronger enemies come in and enemies that take different paths, etc.  You will also learn and unlock new spells as you play through more of the game, which you can use in previous stages you’ve already beaten until you’ve gone through all stages and won the game.

The goal of each stage will be to eliminate as many enemies as you can without losing all of the wall defenses.  If an enemy gets through without being defeated, you will take damage.  Take so much damage and you’ll fail the stage and have to try it again.  You will have to use your spells to the best of your abilities based on what each spell does, like setting lightning traps and walls of fire, among other elemental effects.

The biggest thing to know is that this game is far from a casual, easy defense game.  Krinkle Krusher challenges you from start to finish.  I began having issues and using the retry button even from the first few stages.  You really have to think and react quickly to pass many stages, let alone get perfect scores to unlock special content.  Part of the challenge is how quick enemies move and another is that you can only use each spell so much and it has to recharge.  Use too many fire spells and the ring will break and you’ll have to wait for it to re-activate.  The big key is to react quickly and go back and forth between spells to ensure you always have something to dish out.

Not only do you need to react quickly, but spell placement and strategy are a big key here.  The enemies move quickly and the game is very fast-paced, so you need to work as quickly as possible to be able to pass each stage.  There aren’t settings to change difficulty, so you’ll need to keep trying stages until you can get the gist of how it works and what you need to do.  Aside from just spells, there are other items you can use to help, like food carts to attract enemies among other things.

Among the game’s 60 stages, the game can take a long time or a short time.  If you never have to do retries, you could clear all 60 stages in less than an hour.  Given the high difficulty of the game, though, I would wager you’ll spend at least 3-5 hours playing from stage 1 to 60, and more if you are a perfectionist and want to unlock perfect scores on each level.

Controls

The way you control the game is very unique and a big reason why the game is not playable on the PlayStation TV.  When you play Krinkle Krusher, you will be using a mixture of the touch screen and the buttons.  You cannot use only one, but must use both.  The controls also cannot be modified or customized, so you must make do with what the game gives you.

Navigating the menu can be used with both styles.  You can tap on the touch screen to choose options, or you can use the D-Pad and face buttons to navigate and choose options.  However, when you go into a stage, you lose the luxury of choice.  In stages, you’ll be using a mix of the front touch screen, analog sticks, and face buttons.

You will be using your analog sticks to move up and down the road to see what enemies are on the way and the face buttons to use special items like food carts that you can pick up.  What you will be using the touch screen for are the spells/traps.  Each spell uses different gestures, like tapping the screen for a lightning bolt trap or swiping your finger horizontally for setting a fire wall.

All in all, the controls are easy to get used to and they are explained to you very well.  There are tutorials when anything new is introduced, so you won’t have to race against the clock to figure out what your new spell does as a horde of enemies is marching down the street.

Presentation

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As far as the visual presentation is concerned, the game looks good.  Everything is set in 3D, and the environments look absolutely flawless in how they are rendered.  The enemy and spell renders do have a few small jagged edges that appear here and there, but it’s nothing major.  Unless you’re looking for them, you won’t be able to see them at all.

One of the downsides of the presentation is the load times built into the game.  When you’re trying to load a selection of stages from the map area, it can take anywhere between 12 and 20 seconds to load.  The stages, themselves, take about 8-10 seconds to load, which are not nearly as bad, but if you’re not a patient gamer, these load times can certainly become frustrating.

The game doesn’t lag very much in gameplay, though switching between scenery in the menu does show off a little big of waiting time.  When you go from one set of stages to the next, you’ll be stuck with your screen frozen for a couple seconds and not realize it until the scenery changes.  This probably would have done better as a loading sequence than looking like the menu was the same and thinking it had frozen up.

Summary

Krinkle Krusher is the newest castle defense game in the PlayStation family.  On the downside, the game has a large learning curve with its difficulty and has some issues with load times and menu sequences.  Outside of this is a hard defense game that challenge seekers will get a lot of enjoyment out of. 

8/10

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