By Kayleigh Partleton
I didn't even have to search through Google Play to find my pick this week.
To be honest, I have known since February 2020 that the second this game hit mobile devices, it would be my Mobile Game of the Week.
King has finally released Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!, a charming runner that uses the famous IP.
I think we can all agree that it is about time Crash spun his way onto mobile in the form of a runner. The franchise is perfect for it, especially when you look at levels dating back to 1996. Boulder Dash, I'm looking at you.
Even back in the day, the loveable marsupial was running for his life. Be it running away from boulders, riding a polar bear, surfing. Well, you get the point.
Crash Bandicoot has been training for this day for nearly 25 years. So kick back, don't relax, and jump on in.
As is expected with a game in the runner genre, the controls are quick and simple. Slide left and right to change lanes, swipe up and down to jump and duck.
Equally as simple are the game mechanics, Crash must reach the end of a level by dodging obstacles, smashing crates and spinning through enemies.
Upon completing a level, the marsupial will be rewarded with gems – as if it could be anything else – which are needed to upgrade various parts of Wumpa Island later.
Sounds simple, and it is. Fortunately, King really thought about quintessential Crash, and many of its signature moves are present throughout the game – jumping, sliding, spinning, and breaking creates.
Oh, and words cannot describe my immense happiness at witnessing Crash's signature dance upon defeating a boss. You know the one, he ends it by spinning around with a silly face and jazz hands.
Visually, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is stunning. It certainly captures the cartoonish essence that fans have come to know and love. King has done a good job of paying homage to a popular franchise whilst also adapting it to mobile devices.
Longtime fans will be pleased to see many familiar faces, besides Crash and his little sister, Coco. Moreover, there are a number of skins for players to unlock.
Personally, I have enjoyed running around as a Blue Hyena. A skin that fans will recognise from Crash Team Racing. However, there are many costumes, such as Biker Crash, that many will instantly remember.
The game is filled to the brim with bosses, some of which are very familiar. Of course, the mastermind of the whole thing is Neo Cortex because beating the dude four or five times is not enough.
As for the levels themselves, longtime fans may just recognise their surroundings. Given how many lives I lost to the Lost City in my childhood, I would know the life-sapping level anywhere.
Other such locations include Temple Ruins, which also made its debut in the 1996 game.
Okay, so I think I have established that there is a lot to love in Crash's latest adventure. However, there is one hiccup that I take issue with. It is too easy. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly like the change of pace, given Crash 4 took my sanity and destroyed my soul.
But, On the Run is just too easy. I haven't hit a single obstacle, I haven't died once and frankly, this makes me feel uneasy. Since when were Crash Bandicoot games a walk in the park?
Crash games should at least feature the odd level that makes you question every decision in your life. Road to Nowhere is so rage-inducing, yet the feeling of beating that blasted bridge is like no other.
Moreover, there is very little to differentiate between an average level and a boss round. You run to the end in both, and to be honest, defeating advanced enemies is incredibly easy.
There is so much time to dodge what is coming your way that bosses pose little to no threat.
Yet, despite the game's easiness, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is a great experience for any fan of the series.
We now come to the portion where I discuss microtransactions because, of course, the game is full of them. However, at no point are they essential. You do not have to spend a penny to experience the game.
Players can buy crystals, which in turn can be used to purchase skins and speed up the crafting process when waiting for an item to continue the journey.
Purchases can start at a small $1.99 and reach up to $99.99. If players find themselves low on crystals but don't want to part with their hard-earned cash, then they could always complete some challenge runs instead.
Overall, the marsupial's latest adventure Is a great mobile experience, one that all players should give a chance. Although, the lack of difficulty may be a turn-off for some. I mean, who plays Crash Bandicoot to relax?
Honestly, Crash Bandicoot: On The Run! Has lived rent-free in my mind for more than a year, and the game will now live rent-free on my phone for some time to come.