A fun and frenetic endless platformer (of sorts), Super Crate Box is “GAME ON” from the get go as you use the on-screen left, right, fire and jump buttons to dodge, shoot, knife and flambe the baddies and pick up as many crates as possible before you meet your temporary (and frequent) demise.
And die you will my friends, because this game is tough! Not only will you have to run head-long into some baddies to grab the crates, but each time you do manage to get a crate, your armaments instantly swap out to another of your unlocked weapons. From flamethrowers to Katana, revolvers to the shockingly powerful mini-gun (my favorite), each weapon has its own characteristics, firepower and degree of recoil.
Super Crate Box offers up three distinct levels which will have you jumping between platforms and over fiery pits to grab the randomly appearing crates. You’ve got to think and act quick to stay alive, though as you learn the levels, you will discover certain areas that can offer a temporary respite, but don’t delay too long, or soon you’ll be faced with a whole level full of monsters rapidly bouncing around all over the place. Some are big some are tiny, some are fast and some are slow, some follow set movement patterns, but all are lethal and don’t want you to get the crates. You’ve only got one life, one hit and it’s game over. At which point you’ll feel the compulsion to immediately start another round of addictive, chaotic and masochistic crate-collecting funfest.
As you play through the game collecting streaks of boxes (without dying) and overall collected box counts, will help you will unlock additional weapons (and characters) which are thrown into the random rotation. Ten boxes in a row in any level, unlocks the next level. A 40 box streak unlocks ‘SFMT’ mode which has three times the enemies & three times the intensity. Somewhere I read that ‘SFMT’ stood for “Super Fother Mucking Tricky”, but when asked for confirmation, Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail simply said, “We have no comment with regards to what SFMT means :)”.
Finally, for a 20 crate streak in SFMT mode, you can unlock ‘Ambush’ mode which Ismail says “is a joke mode in which enemies spawn randomly around the level – it’s slightly unfair, but we didn’t expect many to actually unlock Ambush. However, we’ve seen players master Ambush mode, too, so we decided to keep it!”
Currently at a special launch price, Super Crate Box will only set you back 99¢, but that price will go up after a short while. As soon as 5 million crates have been collected worldwide (there is a counter on the title screen) Vlambeer plans on releasing its first update to the game with “some nice gifts and iOS exclusive content and features”.
Not being much of a PC gamer myself, I must (shamefully) admit that I had never played (or seen Super Crate Box) before playing Muffin Knight. So I was blissfully unaware of just how much that game was “inspired” by Super Crate Box. Though, unlike the whole Ninja Fishing vs Ridiculous Fishing fiasco, the situation here was a little different. However, that’s a story for another post, so I’m not going to go into detail about this, but I do need make some comparisons between Muffin Knight and Super Crate Box, because from a consumer’s point of view, you are going to want to know which one to buy…or if you should buy both.
Angry Mob Games borrowed the game play and layout of Super Crate Box and added a nice leveling point system, whereby players can upgrade individual characters (each with a unique weapon) to make them more powerful. While this has been huge part in keeping me engaged in the game, I definitely find Super Crate Box to be a faster and more difficult game. Muffin Knight also offers three times as many levels as Super Crate Box and a multi-player mode to boot. Graphics-wise Muffin Knight offers gamers a colorful and vibrant world, while Super Crate Box has opted for its cool retro 8-bit style graphics and fantastic chiptunes soundtrack.
Honestly, there is a lot to love about each of these games, but having played Muffin Knight first, I couldn’t help but feel like some features (particularly multiplayer and customizable control positioning) were missing from Super Crate Box. Seeing as this is just the first release of Super Crate Box, I’m sure there will be additional content and updates on the way. I am excited to see what direction Vlambeer (and co-developer Halfbot) take the game in the future and how they further distinguish it from Muffin Knight. I have multiple endless runners, multiple puzzle games, multiple games on my device in just about any genre you can think of, so needless to say, both titles will be sticking around on my iDevices indefinitely.
Super Crate Box offers a satisfying adrenaline rush to arcade gamers. Its fast-paced action, awesomely retro graphics and chiptunes soundtrack offer up some really addictive and challenging gameplay. Vlambeer and Halfbot have proven without a doubt, that there is plenty of room for “two” Super Crate Boxes on the App Store.