Crash Fever is a free to play Gatcha (yes that dreaded word) mobile game by WonderPlanet Inc. Basic in premise, this game lives beyond its mechanics with a colourful and strikingly lively design. It screams of a game that you would have yearned for if you were younger. And if you’ve seen the anime movie Summer Wars by Mamoru Hasoda, you might have dropped your jaw in surprise and shouted “Koi-koi!?”. No... Just me?
If you’ve heard of the games Tsum-Tsum or Cooking Mama Let’s Cook Puzzle then you have a solid grasp of the core system so skip to the following paragraph. But for the uninitiated, the core concept is that icons drop down and you have to match them together by clicking on them, bigger chains will lead to bigger bonuses. Strategy is a thing in this, planning where each icon will fall in your head can lead to huge payouts with larger icons that give bonus effects based on the character in front. As you play each match a meter will fill up, once filled it engages Fever Mode, which will drop groups of similar icons together as you spam the screen to break as many of them as you can before the timer runs out to dish out the damage and recover in the hopes of winning and surviving the boss.
A slight difference compared to the two mobile games of similar mechanics is the combat and party system, which creates additional complexities to the system, needed to beat the more dangerous dungeons. Ranked from: Easy, Normal, Hard, Expert, Legendary, Wizard, and Ultimate, with Legendary and above requiring preparation to win (most of the time). The opening sections of the game are somewhat easy to beat, but milage will vary as you begin climbing the level ladder initially to get enough energy in your bar to compete in the more difficult aspects of the game. Again, milage will vary depending on your initial rolls, as per usual from Gatchas.
In terms of game balance, the initial part is balanced for really weak units. Which counters the potential Gacha luck that can lead to low rarity units to be given, instead of high ones. But to delve into the mid to late game more, the core principles of the combat system revolves around a element wheel of Green, Yellow, Blue, and Red. Cycling between effectiveness in that order, where Red beats Green. The game has a vast library of units that each have their own tribes and types, each having their own Skill and Crash Skill as well as abilities that can lead to devastating combos that are often required for endgame content. Being quite complex in nature, a review wouldn’t cut it to explain these aspects of the game to a discernible level that is easy to understand whilst making a vast amount of information accessible easily. Thus for the remainder of the review, I’ll delve into the game’s functions and its ability to feed its player base.
Gameplay-wise, it’s solid, meeting the expectation of responsiveness and impact. It feeds into a core gameplay loop that is refined as the player invests more time (or money) into. Whilst not exactly the most egregious pay-to-win Gatcha system on the market, it’d be remiss to not mention certain units being incredibly powerful in certain situations. But for the most part, the meta (the best units) has many units that aren’t locked by a Gatcha. With several of the past events having solid rankings, as per noted by the very active Reddit and Dischord community that is lively and filled with genuinely nice people.
Often the game will give you units or a steady flow of Polygons (premium in-game currency) that will enable you to roll every now and again for top tier units in the Fever Festivals and Ranking Hatchers. But as said, team and unit composition is king to beating certain mechanics/gimmicks. However, there are several permanent units that almost everyone will get are always a safe bet due to the mechanics allowing you to perform board control and ensuring you have a steady flow of damage or healing given the situation. An example being Rapunzel who’s skill converts blues to yellows and increases spawn rate of yellows. This is can be further enhanced with Mordred whose skill stops hearts from spawning and converts them to blue, increases attack values and counters enemy attacks.
And in terms of WonderPlanet’s ability to continue pumping out content, units and special events are often flooding into the game. Often to the the points it’s almost too much for someone to easily jump in and not a get flooded with notifications and rewards. But honestly this is good thing to complain about, content drought periods often see a game drop in numbers. Pokémon GO being the prime example of a game that suffers content droughts as they fix the game of bugs. But sometimes, overwhelming the player with too much can lead to them getting lost and wondering if they can keep playing. Which is a dilemma I’m sure many mid-term players face before their either quit or stay for the long haul.
But one thing that bears mentioning is the ability to progress in the game, whilst playing the main campaign can be considered a benchmark of progress. Most games struggle with this, Puzzles and Dragons is a game I dropped because of it. In here there isn’t a benchmark to measure your progress, outside of maxing out units for the purposes of speeding up the grind to maxing out other units. Even then, the only PvP-like system is the Ranked Quests that run every so often. The main campaign doesn’t provide a solid story or characters that you can effectively glue yourself onto without outright saying this is my waifu/husbando. Whether or not the game will implement actual story is yet to be seen, but if they ever do (or I drop this game) a follow up article will come.
At time of writing, Crash Fever Global, the version for Westerners will be entering its first Anniversary. The game itself is two years old now and continues to grow strong. So for those even remotely interested, joining now would be recommended to cash in on the potential event.
Crash Fever (Reviewed on Android)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Short burst gameplay with the usual Gatcha elements. This is one of the best mobile games I’ve picked up in a long while that’s made me sit down for long periods of time to play its events. And unlike other games, the online requirement makes sense from its ability to co-op run quests and isn’t just a theme. Highly recommended - Perfectly OK Wife Vigilant Scissor Rapunzel.