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Crazy Escape

 

Crazy Escape

Category: Action Games, Puzzle
 
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7.5
 

Features

Game Center Achievements
Game Center Leaderboards
OpenFeint Achievements
OpenFeint Leaderboards

Crazy Escape, provided to me by Bulkypix and KoolFing, is a fun new action and puzzle game for iOS. It's also a path drawing game, although that honestly didn't even enter my mind until I sat down to write this review. It features an odd story too; you control penguins driving an off-road vehicle. (Of course. What else would they drive?) Your goal is to drive around, rescuing sheep from wolves. Why are penguins even involved? Who cares!

Graphics and Sound

The graphics are definitely cute. Animations are smooth, and there's a nice variety to the level design (grass, dirt, mud, snow, etc.). The sound effects are good, but there isn't any music. I'm not sure why, but it isn't very detrimental. I enjoyed the little Easter egg animations, such as tapping things in the level to see their reactions.

Gameplay

Levels consist of multiple pieces of road along the edge of the stage. These are possible start and end-points for the road. As such, there are at least two in every level, but there can be more. Every level contains sheep as well. The goal of each stage is to get all these sheep and reach an exit. Each level also contains three stars that can be collected as well as wolves that need to be avoided.

There are four goals per level. First, you have to collect all the sheep. This must be done to beat the level and unlock the next. You'll also have to reach an exit, of course. As a secondary goal, the three stars can be collected. This doesn't have to be done, but I enjoyed it. Lastly, you're rewarded for completing the level with as little road as possible.

As you trace a path with your finger from a start-point, a road appears. The vehicle will drive down this road as you draw it. If you go too fast, the vehicle and lose control and crash, forcing you to try again. There are also many obstacles in each level. While you can run over fences, touching a wolf, hitting a tree, or falling in the water will all cause you to have to retry the level. Don't worry about fences though. You can handle those!

As I mentioned, you'll want to avoid wolves. They play a large role in the level design because they are sometimes stationary but quite often mobile, following set paths. This makes timing very important. Adding to this, many levels feature a wolf who runs out after you along the same path. This sets the pace, because you'll have to keep moving. He'll often have sheep with him, forcing you to loop around and grab them without touching the wolf.

Some levels feature mud or snow. Driving on these surfaces will kick it up along the sides of the roads, creating a barrier that you're unable to cross. This adds an additional challenge to the levels because you'll have to be much more careful about the path you create. The last aspect of the level design is locks. Some sheep will be locked, and you'll need to collect a key before you can unlock them. One key will unlock only one sheep. You can hold only one key at a time, but luckily any key can unlock any sheep. Crazy Escape features a huge amount of levels - 90 primary levels and 5 bonus levels. And they're all fun!

Conclusion

There are a few vital aspects of mobile games that Crazy Escape does extremely well. Mobile games should be able to be played in short periods of time. In Crazy Escape, levels take 30 seconds at most. You might not beat it in 30 seconds, but you'll either finish or fail. Of course, you can easily spend much longer if you want to keep playing. The difficulty level is also great, and it's really cool that it almost feels dynamic. If I'm struggling on a level, I might decide I don't care about collecting stars or doing it with a short road. On the other hand, if a level is easy (or if I want a challenge), I can try to do it better. The game is as difficult as you want it to be. (Well, unless you just can't do it even while disregarding everything extra!)

The only problem with Crazy Escape is that, on the iPhone at least, your finger can obscure too much of the level at times. This really only becomes an issue on the final levels, but it's an issue nevertheless. I don't know if it would prove a problem on the iPad, but I suspect it wouldn't. Still, there's a lot to praise as I've made evident. The level design itself is great, with many different types of levels providing different challenges. I finished every level, collected 264 of 270 stars (grrrr, so close), and enjoyed it all. Crazy Escape is only $0.99 on the App Store, so if you feel like helping those penguins save the sheep, get on it!








 
 

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