Day 36: Crystal Crush

Posted: 2010/12/15 in Indie Games
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I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and no longer appear in the top 50 downloads. Today is day #36, and today’s game is “Crystal Crush”.

Crystal Crush did something really right for me: it’s a puzzle game with a plethora of options, aside from the typical match 3 style of gameplay. It also throws in some new twists that I hadn’t seen before.

In Crystal Crush gems are propelled into the game board from three directions (from the bottom, and from the upper right and left hand corners). You can never be sure from which direction the next gem will come, and as the difficulty ramps up you’ll sometimes have gems coming from multiple directions at once nearly simultaneously. Rather than moving gems around inside a grid, you spin the entire playfield to find the optimal place for each gem to drop in. In the normal mode of play, match 3 or more gems of a single colour and they disappear. The special gems you expect to see in a game like this are here too to spice things up further. But the game modes offer a lot more variety than that, including modes where you have to create a path of a given colour from one side of the grid to another, modes where you’re trying to prevent certain colours from reaching the centre, and more besides.

For an 80 Microsoft Point game, there are a lot of different ways to play, and the unpredictability of which directions gems will be coming at the playfield from combines with that variety to keep the gameplay fresh and forces you to react quickly to changes. Recommended for anyone who has even the slightest hankering for a gem-matching puzzle game, especially for someone who’s looking for something new out of one.

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