There’s 3D, and then there is 3D
A game that has both 2D and 3D elements would seem the perfect fit for Nintendo’s latest handheld device, the 3DS. The original Crush, a PSP title from 2007, had just that. It was a puzzle game which required the use of 2D and pseudo 3D to solve the conundrums set by the game. With the 3DS console showing its’ 3D wares, the team behind the original Crush Zoe Mode, set about transforming their original idea into CRUSH3D for the 3DS.
CRUSH3D, like the original PSP version, is the story of a boy named Danny. The story itself takes place inside Danny’s head after his friend, Professor Ruben, invents a machine known as C.R.U.S.H and Danny volunteers to be the test subject. The machine traps Danny in his dreams and it is up to you to help Danny escape from the machine and its attempts to keep Danny in dreamland.
To escape each of the levels you, as Danny must work your way to the exit by collecting a number of various coloured marbles, each with a different point value. Once half the points for the level are collected, the exit opens up for Danny to make his way out. Most of the game takes place in a 3D world (which can be viewed in 3D with the 3DS capability) where Danny moves about. But at times, he will be unable to make his way to the exit via the conventional methods of running jumping and crouching. This is where the Crush mechanic comes into play. Using the Crush mechanic allows Danny to enter 2D mode, which depending on how it is utilised, places Danny in either a top-down view or a side-scrolling platform view. Doing so then allows Danny access to areas previously he couldn’t reach. Activating the Crush button again then brings Danny back into 3D mode.
As levels progress, new obstacles are placed in Danny’s path. Items such as giant balls, switches, moving platforms, the occasional enemy creature, and even a Crush-disabling mechanism hinder Danny’s progress to the exit. Each is gradually introduced into the game so that it doesn’t become too daunting for gamers. Also, along the way, Danny is introduced to special items (trophies, memory book) he can collect as well as the coloured marbles. These items give Danny special bonuses upon the completion of the level.
Puzzles take a fair bit of thinking for a 100% completion and with over 40 levels to play; gamers will be racking their brains for hours.
Audio is somewhat disappointing. The Crush sound effect becomes annoying after a short while.