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3.6/5 (49 votes)

Crystal Runner

Crystal Runner, the new action game release from Lionwood Studios, has quite the classic arcade sensibility. In it, you run around "Crystal World" collecting coins, rescuing people, rotating rooms, and dropping bombs in order to avoid being fried by malevolent black holes, all while racing the clock... I think Kevin Flynn was playing something like that back in 1982. However, while its inspirations are clearly old-school, its visuals and gameplay make for a nice modern remix.

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5 Comments

Kevin Flynn AND Billy Mitchell in one article?! Too much 1337 for one review, Tricky.

I can't load the game at all.

Working on a Mac, latest OS version, no matter if I try with FF, Safari or Google Chrome, the game window doesn't even load at all.

I guess I'll try on my PC later when I get home.

[I'm also on a Mac and it's loading just fine in all the browsers listed above. Please update your Flash Player and disable browser extensions (like ad blockers) as these free Flash games are ad supported. Thank you. :) -Jay]

I've seen this game on other sites - with an odd description. It bills itself as a 'non-trivial' game. What do they mean by that? It seems like a weird descriptor.

Anyhow, I had fun playing through. Some levels the time limit made for intense close-calls.

[Non-trivial meaning there's some depth to it. Trvial means something of little value or importance, so non-trivial means something more significant. -Jay]

I really wanted to like this game, but I don't.

At its heart, the gameplay is Pac-Man, plus some user-controlled intersections in the maze, plus bombs. That's a fairly elegant concept, with a lot of potential. Sadly, everything else in the game, more than anything else, just seems to get in the way.

First, the gameplay itself. The grid squares are overly large, which makes it hard to turn corners quickly with anything less than pixel-perfect precision--this makes timed levels far harder than they really need to be (see Level 16 for an example). The concept that "the bridges between grid squares disappear when you don't need them" does nothing to contribute to the game, and this in fact makes the effective size of the grid squares even smaller when you need to dodge projectiles (see Level 19).

Second, the theming seems all wrong for a game with this sort of gameplay. Why do we begin in a castle? Why do we end in a boat? It feels like a much more minimalist approach would have complemented the gameplay better.

Third...well, if they put so much effort into the graphics for everything else, why are the enemies...plain ol' black circles? Given everything else they'd presented, I would've expected big lumbering demons or something...

I beat the game with every trophy except two, "Unlock 10 trofies" and "Unlock 15 trofies" but somehow--unbeknown to me--I managed to achieve "Unlock 5 trofies"...what exactly is it that i did to get that, and how do i get the other two??

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