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Krinkle Krusher Review – Learn to Play, Scrub
Most gamers have had their palates cleansed recently with the butt-whooping that was Bloodborne. From Software, being the primary deliverer of metaphorical smacks upside the head, can be held responsible for having me feel slightly badass for completing their most recent installment, and furthermore responsible for how much of an idiot I felt when I experienced my first “learn to play” issue in literally years at the hands of Krinkle Krusher.
Brought to life by Ilusis Interactive Graphics, a Brazilian-based games developer, Krinkle Krusher is a castle defense game where you play as an anthropomorphic wizard’s glove casting magic spells to slaughter wave after wave of “Krinkle” (essentially, the basic Krinkles anyway, are best described as voracious Yoshis without eyes).
The story is quite basic as the game feels like something that belongs on a mobile platform, but functions fine on console. What I gathered through the cutsie limerick form narrative, although exposition is lost on me if it only shows up every 20- some levels, is that the kingdom you reside in is celebrating – something – and the excess food and the aromas therein waft through the air into the nose of King Krinkle. Without any reason besides “that smells nice” he declares all-out war on the kingdom sending hordes of Krinkes to devour whatever stands in their way.
A wizard, and you, the glove, are enlisted by the kingdom to protect it by whatever means necessary. You are granted by the wizard magical rings as you progress through the levels, each granting you a different power for each of your fingers and your thumb.
The levels are set up in Angry Birds (or any game of the like) fashion with stars that are granted based on the amount of points you acquire through the levels. Every 3-starred mission grants you gems which can eventually be used to upgrade your castle and rings, which I might add was a very welcome feature once I discovered it.
Although there are five powers, and I will attempt not to spoil them because they are actually pretty cool, only four of them are actually viable. I was a tad disappointed to realize that the Ice Ring would be something I used so rarely that I figured the glove’s finger would shrivel and break off from misuse. During one boss fight and one panic situation I forced – blood? – back into that ring finger and literally never used it again.
In addition to the aforementioned useless ring, the game also provides you with a few interesting in theory/irrelevant practically power ups that I only found myself needing in the early levels of the game.
Up top I mentioned this being the first game for me to experience the “learn to play, scrub” mentality in a very long time. When I first sat down to play Krinkle Krusher I got about 8 levels deep and was stuck for, and I kid you not, an entire hour and then an additional sitting of another half hour desperately trying to figure out what to do. I was smacked violently off of my Bloodborne victory high horse and was cursing this game out until my friend jokingly suggested that I “learn to play.”
For some context, as you use your rings, they consume magical energy that acts like an “overheat” bar. If you spam a button too much the ring shatters and takes about 10-15 seconds to reform and fill up. Being accustomed to overheat bars screwing me in the past, I had been using the rings sparingly trying to avoid any situations where I wouldn’t have energy. In my last ditch effort before I nearly jumped ship on this game I just resorted to mashing buttons every time a Krinkle came on screen and, to my surprise, I absolutely decimated the level, earning my first 3-star rating. This was, of course, followed by hysterical laughter and tears.
Once I surpassed my apparent idiocy I started breezing through the game scoring 3-star after 3-star until I got to a point where I never missed a beat. Unfortunately, once I figured out how to play the game it became almost patronizingly easy. The game is a lot of fun, but once you master the “I don’t know how to play fighting games therefore I will proceed to violently abuse the controller” approach you have ultimately mastered the game. With ease, at least as I found it, even the bosses (regardless of how cool they actually were) will take a maximum of two or three attempts to 3-star.
In terms of sound design, I’ve generally never been one to put my own music on when playing new games, but this and Tower of Guns left me disappointed with repetitive, droning music (although in Krinkle Krusher’s case, feeling like a mobile game, I wasn’t really too bothered) and I spent most of the time using Hollywood Undead to drown it out.
The idea for Krinkle Krusher is quite basic, and the control scheme follows suit. Buttons are assigned for each ring and power up, and I found everything to operate pleasant and smoothly, proving to me that the concept could feel at home on a console.
When I was first playing the game, past my “learn to play” experience, I was excited to see more of the game as I progressed. Fortunately, like “Breaking Bad,” as I reached the end of the game I realized it had stayed for the appropriate length; nothing more, nothing less.
If you are looking for a casual game to fill some time, or are quite invested in games like this one, the $10 price tag isn’t an overstatement of value. As long as you remember that you can beat this the same way your girlfriend beats you at Mortal Kombat, you’ll be fine.