Any game that features one furry, cute creature projectile vomiting rainbow colored, nutrient-filled puke into another critter's mouth is pretty much awesome in our book. While managing to pull off such a bizarre twist on one of Mother Nature’s more gross-out moments in a tasteful, stylish way is definitely impressive, Critter Crunch has a lot more going for it than Furbies that barf psychedelic spew. It's also a damn fine puzzle game to boot.
The lush Island of Krunchatoa is a happening place for hungry critters. Everyone is out to eat one another, which makes for some interesting cyclical puzzle action. You get to play as Biggs, a chubby and cuddly-looking orange creature that sits atop the island's food chain. Rather than eating the other inhabitants directly, you'll instead flex your enormously long tongue to capture smaller critters that slowly travel their way down vine columns and spit them into the hungry mouths of larger critters. What's the point of feeding your prey, you might ask? To stuff them until they burst open and drop the tasty gems stored inside their guts that are your true food source. Chaining similar critters together makes them drop bigger treasures. Gorging on enough of these treats to fill your hunger meter is the only way to keep your young ones fed (that's where the vomit comes in) and complete each level.
The main adventure mode sends you roaming further inland on the island where you'll encounter new types of critters that change up the action by exploding, dropping poison, bridging chains between different creature types, and throwing other unique challenges into the gameplay. Critter Crunch’s other fun modes can be accessed directly through the main menu, but two (Puzzle and Challenge) also crop up as optional stages within the campaign. Competitively (or cooperatively) regurgitating and clearing the colorful little creatures against other opponents locally or online in multiplayer matches is equally amusing.
Critter Crunch is deceptively cute and cushy, but underneath the hood it's one of the most solid puzzle experiences you'll find on the PS3. The gorgeous cartoonish artwork is truly eye-candy and really stands out among other downloadable offerings for the system. The highly digestible, fast-paced puzzle gameplay is hard to put down.
Oct 14, 2009
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