So bless the Japanese for finding a sense of humour in queues. Or perhaps the guys that made Tokyo Crash Mobs had been driven insane by standing in so many queues. Either way, Tokyo Crash Mobs is an utterly insane game that, weirdly enough, makes sense in Japan. It's a game that, not so subtly, pokes fun at just how frustrating lining up for mundane tasks is.
It's just a pity that the game itself isn't all that much fun.
There's a bit of strategy involved in maximising those combos, but the reason this was originally a Popcap megahit is because it's a very accessible formula that almost anyone can get into. Because this game features some of the weirdest cut-scenes I've ever seen in a game, features real human actors (and very bad actors at that), and replaced the "objects" that in Zuma are pleasantly coloured balls with weirdly animated human figures, this games' presentation makes it anything but accessible. In fact unless you're the kind of person that can stomach the weirdest of Japanese games, I would avoid this one on presentation alone. It's impossible to describe, but it's insane enough that it's off-putting.
Namco Bandai's Duck Duck Quack! on the iPad.
In fact, there are some serious problems that hamper this game beyond just the too-weird presentation. The viewing angle of the play field is way, way too small for the pace in which the game moves. With Zuma and Duck Duck Quack, the skill in the game is in planning shots three or four "turns" in advance. That's not possible with Crash Mobs, and instead you'll be playing a reflex reaction game too much too often, and that's just not as engaging.
There's also a fraction of the content that should be in a game like this. No online leaderboards kills the replay value, and the "story" mode (which makes no sense whatsoever) is over in less than a hour.
So it's an inferior game to the better games in the genre, even if it is more distinctive. I can't rightly recommend Tokyo Crash Mobs, and that's a pity because it comes to us from Mitchell, one of the better developers on the DSiWare platform. This is not a good start to its 3DS campaign.
- Matt S
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