Krinkle Krusher Review
Krinkle Krusher, much like Plants Vs. Zombies, promises to innovate the Tower Defense genre with its simple but addicting gameplay. It tells the story of a kingdom which, for a long time, lived peaceful days until the moment when the Ancient Tree released its fruits, something that hadn’t happened in centuries. The kingdom decided to celebrate such event by making the best cake ever, which had such a marvelous scent that it attracted the most horrible living beings that existence has ever known: The Krinkles. Now, you, an accidentally annoying magic glove, and you’re fellow partner, The Wizard, must defeat all the Krinkles and restore peace to the entire kingdom once again.
It might sound like the generic medieval premise, but knowing that Plants Vs. Zombies tells the story of a lonely man with a fetish for plants, I think we can all agree that the only thing that really matters in this sort of games, is the gameplay. And boy oh boy, does this game have some interesting features. As a glove that shoots stuff from its extensions, you must beat all the levels by using several powers, which you’ll earn by progressing through the story. Take note that I’m not joking by saying that this game will be giving you more and more stuff to learn until the third chapter, which is the last one, meaning there is no comfort zone with it.
In total, there are five different powers, each power giving you a different ability. There is, for instance, the lighting one, a.k.a. the one everyone uses for 90% of the time, which lets you singularly hit enemies with the most powerful attack from your arsenal, while the fire barrier confronts multiple Krinkles at a time. While it does lesser damage, you really must decide which one to use depending on the situation. However, all that is thrown away in the moment you’re given to know the Elementary Krinkles, a type of Krinkle that resists a determined power, and there is an elementary one for each ability, making for some really challenging fights as you must quickly choose the correct combo in cases where there are multiple — and different — Elementary Krinkles at the same time. If you don’t choose wisely, the Elementary Krinkles will absorb your power and become stronger beings, which will take more hits to be taken down.
It definitely is an interesting concept, but in my six-hour-long playthrough of the game, I noticed that the levels I had the most difficulty in were the initial ones, where I only had one or two powers, which definitely increased the difficulty of defeating multiple enemies at a time. This made me retry each level quite a few times just so I could pass them, while in the 40 final levels from the last two chapters, the ones where I had everything I needed and upgraded, all the items were usable and the enemies known. I only had to repeat one mission, and that was because I wanted the three stars in it, as the games ranks your performance with a three star progress, which depends on the amount of points you gather on the field. But, as I was saying, the levels and their difficulties are really badly distributed, as the hardest chapter in the game is definitely the first one, despite explaining and teaching you every single item or ability quite well.
As mentioned, the game grants you a three stars ranking at the end of each level, but unlike most games that share that same system, Krinkle Krusher rewards you for getting the maximum score by giving you a gem, which can be later used to upgrade the castle’s wall and the rings that hold the abilities you can use. This is a system that I really like as it obligates you to return to old levels, so you can get the gem and upgrade whatever you need to in order to proceed though the story. It kind of resembles the good old times when games actually made you look at them with a bigger perspective.
Each chapter has its own environment and boss, and each boss, though they look the exact same but with different textures, approach you in different ways, but the thing I really didn’t like about the final one, a.k.a. The King of All Krinkles, is that it isn’t hard at all, at least once you understand what to do. Additionally, the ending felt really anti-climatic, especially because of the numerous number of plot-holes the game left us with, such us: “Who are the Krinkles?”; “If they’re so kind, why didn’t the kingdom people just offered them some cake?”; “If he expelled all of the Krinkles from the kingdom, and then proceeded to go to their own home/nest, just to exterminate them, doesn’t that mean that the wizard is the actual villain?”
Yet, Krinkle Krusher does definitely approach its kids-friendly rating quite well, the enemies aren’t that hard (if you ignore the first chapter of course), all the bosses, even the last one, are quite easily beatable, and all the adults references are sublimely disguised as blank jokes.
Plants Vs. Zombies is a great example for what I think that Krinkle Krusher might turn out to be, a successful Tower Defense game that delivers what it promises, has a deep enough plot to satisfy its target audience and, above all, is highly addictive, even if substantially considered a small game. Krinkle Krusher is a must buy, especially if you’re a fan of Tower Defense games and/or have a kid at home who enjoys a challenging game.