Critter Crunch // PSN

November 30, 2009

I’ve been playing a lot of ‘heavy’ videogames recently. I’ve been asked to eliminate terrorists in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, shoot hundreds and hundreds of people in order to recover lost treasures in Uncharted 2, blow up planes in GTA: The Ballad Of Gay Tony and slip hidden blades into the ribs of Templars in Assassin’s Creed 2. That’s a whole lotta killing. Critter Crunch, then, is the perfect tonic for my frayed nerves and battered psyche.

Boasting visuals straight out of Hayao Miyazaki’s sketchbook and sparkling sound effects to match, Critter Crunch is a perfect ‘just-one-quick-go’ game, which soon devolves into a two hour session. The premise is simple – feed a critter with two smaller critters; but the game offers surprising depth. The permutations soon become complex, especially when you throw in The Blocker, a critter that refuses to be fed or snaffled up, and is bizarrely referred to as ‘the monkey’ by my girlfriend.

Character design and animation is almost unbearably cute, and as mentioned above, would not look out of place in the Studio Ghibli pantheon. There is a real Japanese vibe about some of the power-ups obtainable as well, not least the trippy barage of squirly graphics that you can use to disorient your opponent. Surprising, considering the Canadian origins of its developer, Capy.

There is also a lot of game within this digital download; your £4.49 gets you a lengthy Adventure mode, Puzzle and Challenge modes and also a Survival mode, which I have yet to unlock. Throw in local and online co-op and competitive mulitplayer modes and you have a very impressive, well-rounded package. Not only does Critter Crunch offer up a snack-sized game session as a welcome change of pace, it also delivers a lengthy and absorbing experience should you crave an extended play. You can’t ask for much more from a PSN release, can you? Heartily recommended.

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