A review by Greg Dabkey
Game – Tokyo Crash Mobs
Version – 3DSware
ESRB Rating: ‘E ’ – Everyone
Release Date: 1/17/2013
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Nintendo
Do you just love throwing people? Have you ever dreamt of throwing someone at someone else? Well dream no further Tokyo Crash Mobs is here to scratch your throwing itch. Will this be a quality throw-in-the-basket type of title, or will you wish you could throw it away? Read on!
Gameplay & Controls
Most games when you consider throwing someone, it is typically a fighting game like Mortal Kombat or Tekken. This game is definitely not a fighting game, it is actually a quirky puzzle game. In this game you will be throwing people at people. Each person is wearing a solid color shirt, and you are throwing a person into a line of people attempting to match three or more people wearing the same color. When three are in a row, they are removed from the line. The basic puzzle has a line of people wearing 2 or more different colors (other colors get added in newer puzzles) and you have an unlimited supply of people to hurl at the line. You use the stylus to aim your throw and if you miss the person will be added to the line.
If you miss the line completely, the person just disappears. Occasionally a by stander will walk around outside the line with an item, and if you hit this person you win the item. They only walk on the screen for a limited time so if the player misses them, the item is gone forever. Also, sometimes the line will be tossing a ball object which is a bomb and when detonated, it removes the immediate people around it despite their color. As you progress, different types of puzzles are presented such as two different lines at the same time, or the line moving to step on a button to open a pit below the player’s ‘thrower’.
The object is to completely clear the line(s) of people within the time limit and most levels have a little wiggle room to finish with up to 9 people remaining when the time goes out. Before the level starts, it says be within the top 10 people in the line, with the goal to be first. The only way to be first is to completely knock out all the people waiting in the line. While this is a bit quirky gameplay, it is surprisingly difficult and fun. It’s neat to see an evolving puzzle with the line moving around or expanding, and throws in other elements like line cutters (people being added to the line) or even Konga lines where the first person can begin to walk very fast making it harder to aim.
There is a single ‘story’ mode with puzzles organized with ‘worlds’ of seven levels. The last level is more optional and also changes up the controls. The player is forced to use motion controls and going against ninjas. The ninjas will attempt to attack the thrower by rolling black boulders or sending out groups of people (typically a group of the same color). This was a nice change of pace to have alternate controls as I found the stylus controls to be difficult at times for aiming.
The graphics are part the weakest part of the game. Even though the cut scenes and menus use real models, they look like they were recorded with a 3DS and often a little blurry. Also the characters with colors are just palette swapped and not very original. However, these nitpicky items do not affect how the game is played, just if you are looking for a graphically great experience, then you may not like this title. The 3D effects are impressive though as it adds depth the line of people. The movie cut scenes seemed somewhat random, but also entertaining.
The music and sound effects are also not this games strong suit. Each level has the same track which is just a standard track with some beats. The sound effects are not that enjoyable as when a group gets hit it is just a “HHEEEYYYY!” type of sound and also various popping sounds. The game to me seemed to be better to have the sound off as it did not really add anything extra to the experience.
8.5 out of 10
While the game has unique gameplay, the games stylus controls I found to be a little difficult to use at times as it can be hard to aim. The motion controls seemed to be a better fit on the “Sunday” level of the game. While not being graphically superior or having the best music; the game is still a strong puzzler and those of you that like a challenge, than this is the game for you. If you do get stuck though, the game unlocks the next level as long as you tried it once. Each level has different perks or features, so only if you desire to 100% the game should you need to revisit some of the levels you skipped. All in all, it is a fun puzzle game and I would recommend it to anyone that likes challenging puzzle games, or if you like quirky titles where you do out of the ordinary things, you know like throwing people at other people.