When you think of the auto-runner genre, you usually think of the mobile market and free to play games that want you to pay up to get more energy or unlock more levels. Sometimes they do tend to come over to consoles as well and in that sense Crashbots arrived on the Nintendo Switch at the same time as all other platforms. The game doesn’t have microtransactions and gives you the complete experience from the get go, but it isn’t the greatest experience to have.
As Crashbots comes from the auto-runner genre, you sadly can’t expect to find a great story here. The game grants you 125 stages that are gated through certain difficulty and area levels. Getting to the next level requires you to collect stars that you can find and get in the stages you play and you unlock a new stage by getting to the end in the current one. There are always challenges you can complete with most also asking you to get al the stars or beating a level without getting hit, the usual tasks you come to expect from runner games.
As you complete the levels and challenges, you can earn coins to upgrade your robot, or you can also find parts in the levels to create brand new ones. There isn’t all that much replayability in the level except for completing all the challenges and getting that perfect run you so desire. You always have one mission active too, they are passive and follow you from stage to stage. These also reward you with more cash to fill your pockets with.
When you play, you will see that your robot has an energy meter that drains as you run, use your abilities or get hit. It’s game over when the meter depletes to zero and although you can refill them with energy tanks that you find on your way in the levels, some things like the movement just didn’t feel great. I mean, you can easily navigate when everything is going as planned, but when you hit a big obstacle you get kind of stuck against it and keep losing energy doing so, making you die very fast or just frustrating you and you reset the level because you know what happens if you don’t. The game sadly doesn’t clear this up in the long run and as the levels get harder, chances are you could get this problem more often later on.
Does the robot feel great other then the stiffnes when he gets hit? Yes he does, you can sprint, jump, duck and ofcourse shoot and kill or detroy obstacles. and this all feels quite fun to do as you progres through the levels to find the perfect and most suitable path to run. But some obstacles can just be a pain to avoid. Maybe it’s because of the camera angle or just because the robots feel a bit stiff when they get hit, but it really drained my enjoyment away just like it did with the energy of my robot.
If you can look past the hurdle of the damage spikes you’ll see a graphically pleasing game that can stand it’s own against other runner games in the genre. The worlds are varied enough in color pallets and scenery and the soundtrack present in this game is adequate, I would have liked a bit more variety because when you are repeating levels due to failing or completing all challenges the music can get quite boring to hear at times. If the developer could update the game so that the robots control a little better this game would be a great addition for any fan of the runner genre.
Crashbots has quite a bit of promise when you boot it up, with a fun gameplay style, nice sceneries and fun challenges to do. Yet it drains away from the amusement when you see that the bots can feel quite stiff to navigate around obstacles it quickly becomes stale, something they could fix up in future patches.