Vince’s Video Game Review: Crashtastic

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Hello and welcome, readers.  My name is Vincent O’Connell and I am studying Computer Science.  I have also been reviewing video games on Youtube for nearly two years under the username Vok250.  Today I will be reviewing ‘Crashtastic’, an indie game for the PC that is still under development.

Modern games rarely challenge a player while remaining fun and relaxing. This week I was pleasantly surprised by a game that did just that. This game, Crashtastic, is a simple indie PC game by developer Mark Smith. Crashtastic is still in the alpha stage but is available for pre-order at www.crashtastic.com. Following popular indie trends the game is available to play when you pre-order and you get all future updates to the game.

Crashtastic is a game about building vehicles and crashing them. The point of the game is to build vehicles to help your robot test subject complete various objectives. These objectives range in difficulty from moving a certain distance forward to traversing a crude half pipe within a time limit.

This half pipe was what really got me. I spent a good four hours trying to get across it and failed horribly the whole time. Usually being stuck on a level like this leads to frustration and rage quitting, but this game had a different effect. I found myself spending the whole next day trapped in my head thinking about possible designs and I couldn’t wait to get home and try them out.

Part of what makes this game so challenging is the fact that you only have eight parts to build your contraption with. There are two types of wheels, three sizes of beams, a reinforcing plate, shock absorbers, and rockets. The only source of power currently in the game is rockets. The sources of control are wheels and as of version 0.4.5 controllable rockets. I have yet to play with the new rockets, but the concept adds a multitude of new possibilities to the game.

Crashtastic follows the same pricing scheme as the popular indie game Minecraft. Basically the game is available at a discount prices during development. As the game gets closer to its release date that discount gets smaller. I am a big fan of the pricing scheme because it lets the players give feedback and suggestions to the developer as they create the game. The game is molded by the community to deliver the best experience. I also enjoy playing all of the builds of the game and seeing it evolve into the final product.

When I first purchased Crashtastic it was $7.99 for version 0.4.4b. This version featured 18 levels and was nearly identical to the version featured by the popular YouTuber Nerd3. The current version is 0.4.6a and is priced at $9.99. This version adds four new levels, two new gameplay mechanics and an updater. The updater is a huge milestone for the game development because previously players had to download each new version from the website as it was released. The two game mechanics are controllable rockets, which can be binded to keys and checkpoints; this allows for longer levels and harder challenges. The majority of the other changes were performance tweaks.

Crashtastic also has a useful video replay menu that allows direct upload to YouTube and rendering as a .webm video file. It lets the player position the camera angle beforehand and choose the render quality. The visual quality is not the best, but due to the simplistic graphics of Crashtastic this is a nonissue. The replay feature is great for anyone who enjoys sharing gameplay videos or making video reviews.

I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys vehicle design simulators or destruction simulators. Similar games include Garry’s Mod, Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and Kerbal Space Program. The current price of $10 seems a little high for what the game contains, but if it keeps updating at this rate then I’m sure you won’t regret the purchase a month later. I suggest you check out some videos on YouTube to get a better of idea of the game.

For video footage of this game and other video reviews visit my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/Vok250.