Release Date: November 8th, 2018 (Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, PC)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Role-Playing
Publisher: Butterscotch Shenanigans
Developer: Butterscotch Shenanigans
ESRB: Teen (Blood, Violence)
Remember when Don’t Starve was the hot Steam game that everyone raved about? It, of course, spawned a multitude of similar games from developers looking to strike the iron while it was hot. Among those was Butterscotch Shenanigans’, I am NOT going to comment on that name, Crashlands that was originally released in 2016. After two and a half years of only being on PC and mobile services, the game now sees its first console release. Of course the first console release would be the Nintendo Switch. Crashlands is a crafting game that is full of adventure and battles while also seemingly being for most age groups. Will the game crush sales records or is it headed for a crash landing?
When playing the game on the Nintendo Switch, the controller layout was kept very…very simple. The A button is used for attacking, crafting, and dialogue while the left joystick is used to move the player’s character, these simple controls can get annoying quickly. With that said, the rest of the game is well designed while having nice and bright animated graphics. It is also appreciated that the game has multiple gameplay modes such as story mode and adventure. There are some criticisms though, such as the design of Flux looking like she was cosplaying as Iron Man at her local Comic-Con. It really comes off as lazy and unoriginal when the main character looks like a Marvel superhero.
Her look aside, the story the player experiences alongside her is well down. It beings as Flux was working her shift as a galactic delivery truck driver. Her ship is then destroyed by a megalomaniac alien named Hewgodooko (again I am NOT going to comment on that name), whom is equipped with advanced technology. This includes the usage of moves such as Laser Sweep, Repair Bot, and Gravity Drive to attack their opponent. After the crash landing, the player gets packages delivered from the Bureau of Shipping while having to fight, tame, craft, and quest to survive on the plant of Woanope. Luckily, the player has a sidekick in the form of Juicebox that not only gives advice and crafting recipes, but is also a source to have unlimited storage of stick, sawgrass, logs, and more.
While Juicebox is essential to the game, the player also has to break down the resources if they have any hope of crafting and surviving. Luckily, the player can make their own tools to help with anything they need to do, including encounters with all types of critters and alien races. Some of these critters and aliens may even be tamed as pets! Then there are of course battles, including big boss battles. The player will find that when in battles, it is better to focus on skill and memorizing the combat patterns than speed. This adds a bit of complexity to a game that one may not even consider would include such complexity.
In the end, Crashlands having all types of critters and alien races keeps the player wanting to stay with the game and discover more of what it has to offer. It helps that the game is great while being well made, even with the annoying and limited controller layout. Not to mention that the character designs should have been thought out more while straying away from seeming like ripoffs of more famous fictional characters. Ultimately, while the game may not instantly click with the gamer, and the controls can be a bit of a negative based on the player, the game excelling elsewhere makes it one to check out if there is any interest in it at all. (Kelly Holt; Game Reviewer)
Review copy provided by Butterscotch Shenanigans.