Krinkle Krusher is the first console release for Brazilian publisher Ilusis Interactive Graphics, available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita. You’re thrust into the magic glove of a mage tasked with protecting his kingdom from invading Krinkles. What is a Krinkle you might ask? Krinkles are creatures of various ability all with similar physiology, namely a large, round, usually eyeless head, a small body, and a giant mouth with sharp, pointy teeth. Do these Krinkles deserve to be Krushed? Keep reading our Krinkle Krusher review to find out.
Krinkle Krusher starts as most all good stories do – with cake. A long-dormant tree in the courtyard of your castle has suddenly started bearing fruit. The kingdom did what any rational group of people would do: threw a huge party and made a giant cake using their newfound bounty. The smell of the delicious cake also woke the long-dormant Krinkle King, who created an army of hungry minions to get at that cake. OK, so that’s not the greatest setup in the world, but this isn’t the sort of game that really needs an overarching story. Krinkles are trying to break into your castle, it’s your duty as the castle’s mage (and his magic glove) to Krush them. Anything else is just icing on the cake, which the Krinkles would also want to eat.
Krinkle Krusher is a sort of Tower Defense/Castle Defense hybrid. Think of games like Plants Vs. Zombies, or Orcs Must Die for some idea of the developer’s inspiration for the game. Your castle sits at the bottom of the screen, and you face wave after wave of Krinkles set on breaching your walls to devour all of your delicious cake.
In the beginning you’ll face the most basic of Krinkles. They simply appear at the top of the screen and walk in a straight line towards the bottom. You’ll also have only your most basic form of defense, an Energy Ring that calls down a bolt of magical lightning. You’re given only the most rudimentary set of instruction before taking on your first wave of Krinkles, but some of the other elements of gameplay including combos and multipliers can be figured out pretty easily. A little bit of hand-holding in some of the earlier levels might be nice, but through a few rounds of trial and error the best ways of dispatching the marauding Krinkles becomes clear.
When you finish each level, you can be awarded up to three stars for your performance. When you earn three stars on a level, a treasure chest is unlocked granting you a gem. I’ll talk more about gems in just a bit, but suffice to say you want as many of them as you can get. There is no obvious way to tell how many stars you are in line to earn as you are playing through each level though, and the only way to see how you did is to wait through an animation at the conclusion of each stage. It would be very nice if you could see how you’re doing in the middle of the level simply to have a better grasp of what you might need to do better in order to earn three stars.
Gems are very important to your progress in the game. The first 10 gems that you earn will go towards unlocking your Wizard Room, which allows you to improve your rings and castle walls using more gems. Your rings aren’t very powerful to start off, so gems are crucial to progressing in the game. You may find yourself replaying missions a few times in order to get all three stars and unlock the gem, since gems aren’t transferred between levels – two stars on one level and one on another will not yield a gem. It’ll be hard to pass later missions without those upgrades. Good news though, gems can be rearranged in your items. If you find your current setup isn’t working, you can remove gems from one item and add them to another.
You’ll visit a total of sixty levels spread across three zones – the castle, the swamp, and the forest. Each area introduces some different gameplay elements – a creek and bridge in the swamp, for example – that will affect the way that the Krinkles approach your walls and how you can attack them. Each area also has a boss battle at the end and as with the regular Krinkles there are good and bad ways to approach the boss attacks.
The graphics on Krinkle Krusher are cartoonish and vibrant. Story elements are delivered via mostly static art, while gameplay is smooth. There are a few elements of gameplay – mainly the animation when the treasure chest unlocks when you’e earned a gem – that seem rough and stand out as just slightly less than the otherwise fluid animation.
The music for Krinkle Krusher is very fitting for the game. It’s catchy without being TOO catchy, and the best way I can describe the overall vibe of the music is “mischievous.” That’s definitely not a bad thing, the Krinkles are absolutely mischievous in their attempts to get at your cake, so it stands to reason that the soundtrack should follow suit.
The mage and magic glove are voiced appropriately. The mage has a scholarly tone while the magic glove has more of a wise guy inflection. They’ll banter back and forth during cutscenes, tutorials, and occasionally during gameplay, weaving pop-culture references into their dialog without being obnoxious about it.
Throughout each stage, you’ll receive encouragement when you are doing well, with a voiceover from the magic glove using various words interspersed with “Krinkle,” such as “Krinkletastic,” “Krinkalamity” and others. These aren’t distracting and fit in well with the music. Some of the other sound effects – bite sounds with Krinkles eating, for example – aren’t mixed in quite as well and are a bit louder than they maybe should be.
Krinkle Krusher is a fun take on the Castle/Tower Defense genrea. While not without its issues, for $9.99 there is definitely fun to be had. Krinkle Krusher is available now for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita