Day 437: CRON

Posted: 2012/01/21 in Indie Games

“CRON”‘s “box art” boasts 80 levels of play for 80 Microsoft Points. A bargain if the game is good, but is it?

Thankfully it is. The game offers a gameplay challenge I haven’t seen elsewhere on the Xbox 360: navigating an invisible maze. To see where you’re going you must either bump into a wall to illuminate it, or use your sonar ability to briefly show the section of the maze nearest you. That, combined with the ever-classic right-hand-rule (or, if you prefer, left-hand-rule) that lets you eventually find the end of a maze if you studiously hug a wall, allows you to complete levels.

It would be simple enough if that was the end, but as you progress through the game new wrinkles are added, such as enemies (that seek to impede you) and traps (that impede your abilities). Two player offline co-op is along for the ride, with the drop-in, drop-out that was first popularised in original Xbox game “Brute Force”, and the added nicety that the second player’s abilities are different than the first’s (chiefly, player 2 can stun, which player 1 can’t). All in all, it’s an interesting game that’s not like anything else on the Xbox 360 I can point to.

Here’s what the developer (DaleCantwell) has to say about the game:

“CRON is a 2D Maze Game where the player uses a sonar to navigate through a dark maze. The aim of the game is to find the exit from each maze as fast as possible using powerups while avoiding enemies and traps. The game features a Hop In Hop out 2 player mode, a challenge system unlocked for performing in game tasks and 80 single player levels.”

  1. Hmm, the only game I’ve played that’s anything like this is BlindGirl (or, if you want to be strictly accurate, BlindGiRl). Despite its horrible presentation, it plays interestingly.

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