Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Crazy Escape (iPhone)

What do you get when you cross incarcerated sheep, a wolf-pack of vigilant guards and two daredevil penguins in a 4x4? A fantastically addictive, incredibly fun and superbly executed path-drawing game called Crazy Escape by iOS specialist publisher, Bulky Pix.

Crazy Escape takes all the things that make a game a winner and seamlessly blend them into something that utilises the properties of the iOS perfectly, creating a game that everyone can enjoy.

Mishmash and Cutlet are the penguins behind the wheel of the hijinks that are sure to ensue as soon as you put your finger to the screen. This intrepid duo appear to have taken personal offence that the wolves have rounded up the sheep and are out to save their ovine friends. This is where you come in. With a top-down view of the stage, you must use your finger to navigate the penguins' Jeep in an attempt to collect the sheep and the gold stars situated around the place. Simply drag your finger along your desired path, gather what you came for and make your way to the exit; simple, right?

What proves to be fairly straightforward in the early stages turns out to be quite a challenge the further you progress through the 270 (wait, what? - Ed) stages. With a gradual introduction of obstacles, terrain changes and time limits, the stages get harder and harder the further you go. You'll need to avoid wolves, trees, barns and lakes as you careen around the stage while at the same time making sure you don't get caught by the wolf leader who chases after you relentlessly and forces you to pick up the pace.

Go too fast though and you might lose control and spin out, so finding the fastest route while maintaining control is the key to completing the stages. Other difficulties you'll encounter are shackled sheep who need keys to be rescued; the problem is that the Jeep only carries one key at a time so factoring that into your path should also be part of your tactical contemplation. The terrain itself can make things trickier too. For example, the Jeep creates furrows in the rocky stages which means that you won't be able to cross back over your paths or else you'll crash. Finally, if that wasn't hard enough, you get rated on how well you complete each stage. Collecting the three stars is all-important as well as trying to accomplish everything in the shortest distance possible. The longer your path, the less likely you are to get the coveted Golden Jeep Trophy at the end of the stage.

Other great features of the game include Game Center and OpenFeint integration so you can see your achievements and compare your scores to those of other players, as well as the ability to post your scores to Facebook, Twitter or even e-mail them to your friends. This makes for added rivalry amongst players as you all vie for top spot. Also, unlock enough stages and you'll receive some bonus stages to play through for your efforts.

As fantastic as Crazy Escape is, it isn't perfect. One of the most obvious downsides is the fact that your finger hides what you're doing and where you're going. This doesn't appear to be as big a problem on the iPad but on the iPhone and iPod there are definitely difficulties associated with having your finger obscuring your line of sight. Also, with 270 stages at your disposal there can sometimes be a feeling of repetitiveness which some players may find boring after a while.

Crazy Escape is a great time-killing game that works superbly on the iOS; it's quirky, a lot of fun, challenging, addictive and well worth the purchase. I definitely recommend you check this one out.

- Dom S






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