Have you ever been pushed into a crazy scheme by your friends only to have it backfire on you while making yourself look like a total fool? I'm sure we all have, but Danny gets into an even stickier situation when he agrees to test his friend's invention out. Sure, it is all fun and games until he realizes his friend's invention, which allows a person to explore his own dreams and nightmares all in the comfort of his favorite pajamas, starts to malfunction.
C.R.U.S.H — his friend's invention — seems to think it's completely fine to trap someone inside his own subconscious where he must fight to escape this mysterious world full of marbles, crushing, and giant bugs (yes, I said giant bugs) in order to find his way out of his pajamas and into some regular clothes in Crush3d for the Nintendo 3DS.
Originally released as Crush for the Sony PSP, Crush was immediately given reasonably high scores for its original gameplay. Now, Crush3d has released as a remake for the Nintendo 3DS and given even more of a spin from its 2007 counterpart. It has the same intriguing gameplay as the PSP version with the addition of 3D capabilities provided by the 3DS.
The goal is simple. Danny is trapped in his own thoughts, dreams and nightmares thanks to his friend's invention, C.R.U.S.H, that allows the user to explore his own subconscious. I don't know about you, but being trapped inside one's subconscious sounds pretty awful especially coupled with the fact you're stuck with a clothing attire thats best attribute is a stylish bathrobe.
Knowing this, it's obvious Danny doesn't want to be stuck in his mind forever. This is where you come in. You will take control of the wardrobe friendly Danny with the ultimate goal to make your way out of C.R.U.S.H. and into the real world with the possibility of punching your wily old scientist friend in the face for making you try out such a faulty invention.
Moving on, Crush3d is a puzzle game with an intriguing and original twist. In each area, the player will have to collect a certain amount of marbles scattered through the course to open the exit. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. The marbles you need aren't always going to be convenient for Danny to get to. You'll have to navigate in 2D and 3D space to get the marbles you seek. With each camera view you choose, you will be able to crush and uncrush. In simple terms, this means you can flatten the course to 2D and navigate side-scroller style or stretch the environment out in 3D.
Navigating through this 2D and 3D space is the name of the game. There are also little additions in the courses if you are looking for a more difficult challenge. Trophies and books will be scattered throughout each course often proving to be a bit more challenging to get to. Books will grab you extras such as new pajamas and a great ensemble of bathrobes and trophies will offer more time trial courses for the more dedicated Crush3d players.
Just like in 2007 with CRUSH, the gameplay is still an absolute blast. I'll be the first to tell you that puzzle games have never been my strong suit. However, this game will challenge you and test your brain power. It does a great job of introducing new elements to the gameplay to change up the monotony of just grabbing marbles. At times, players will encounter pushable objects to help you reach another area on the course or for some reason, giant bugs will show up randomly to try to block your way out. All of these small elements keep the player on his toes and add that little something extra that lets Crush3d stand out in the puzzle genre.
Not all is well with Crush3d world though. Besides the original gameplay, please don't go into this game thinking it's the next best puzzler since Tetris. Besides the core gameplay, I didn't feel that Crush3d offered anything more. The graphics were extremely bland to me as the focus seemed to be more on the course than the outside world around it. There are consistent themes throughout the game for the courses, but more effort could have been put into the overall graphics of the game to create something really special inside of C.R.U.S.H.
To add to that, the music doesn't add anything special to the game either. It would have been cool to have even just a few awesome soundtracks in there to help the atmosphere of being stuck in a subconscious with no way out. Personally, I would have also liked to see another track that gave Danny a shred of hope that his friend's invention isn't destined for an informercial on late night television. Instead, all we get is music reminiscent of an elevator ride made popular in office buildings everywhere.
With all the negatives in mind, should you take a look at Crush3d for the Nintendo 3DS? By all means, I think you should. If you can understand what you are getting yourself into and realize it's not going to be the epic visuals of a top tier game, this is a great and simple puzzle game. Although it lacks a wondrous soundtrack or graphics to make players ooh and aah, Crush3d is a remake gamers should be happy to own on their Nintendo 3DS.