Game Reviews


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| Krashlander
| Krashlander

Having come of age in the days of Atari, we grew up thinking that jumping in a video game required nothing more than a simple press of a button.

But jumping in real-life is a far more complicated affair, involving countless infinitesimal motions and adjustments and calculations.

Krashlander is one man's attempt to bring the intricacies of jumping into the world of video games, and the end result is a minimalist physics-puzzler that will make the most courageous of snowboarders cringe.

Black and blue

Taking a cue from the early days of NES gaming, Krashlander establishes its story with spartan text on a splashscreen. The gist is that evil robots have destroyed your world, and you're out for revenge.

Grabbing a handy krashsuit, you set out to enact this revenge by hurling yourself down a mountain at said robots and slamming bodily into them.

It's not a Shakespearean revenge plot, but it does score points for its directness.

Lean on me

Like an object sliding down a hill, the gameplay in Krashlander starts slowly before building to a satisfying conclusion.

There are no virtual buttons to push or items to collect - instead, you simply focus on your character's posture as you crouch forward, lean backwards, and stand tall in your quest to build momentum.

While this provides an interesting study in the proper physics behind a jump, the overall experience in Krashlander is a bit stilted as you adjust your character's posture with flicks and hope that it's enough to clear jumps, duck under obstacles, or slam into robots.

Coming in for a landing

Once you manage to get airborne, you'll need to focus on leaning forwards or backwards to make sure that your board comes down flush with the angle of the slope.

Otherwise, you'll wind up flat on your belly doing a feeble inchworm impression as you try desperately to right yourself.

While this is an intriguing control mechanic, Krashlander ultimately feels like an ambitious but unfinished experiment in game physics.

It's passable enough, but the slow momentum building at the beginning of each stage makes replaying each level an exercise in patience.

In time, and with some updates, Krashlander might turn into a quick and fun physics puzzler, but for now you can file it in the drawer marked 'undercooked'.

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Killing evil robots with a snowboard has never felt so routine. Krashlander's physics puzzling is challenging, but it needs work in other areas