Indie Review: Crumpled
Crumpled is a flash game with unique and enjoyable puzzle-platforming mechanics that go way beyond its free price tag.
- Worth The Time?Certainly
- Things LovedUnique cross puzzle platforming gameplay, crumpled paper and scribbled aesthetics suit the game brilliantly, it's free.
- Things HatedBlob's movement can be a little sluggish at the rarest of occasions.
- RecommendationFor the discerning indie fan, Crumpled is for you, and that's the end of it.
- Name: Crumpled
- Genre: Indie, Puzzle, Platformer
- Players: 1
- Multiplayer: Nope
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Armor Games
- Publisher: Newgrounds
- Price: Free to Play
- Reviewed On: PC
In keeping with Adam’s recent review of the flash game Arcane Arena, I thought it appropriate to introduce you to one of the best free flash games I’ve ever played, and I’ve play a lot. Crumpled takes the standard platforming puzzle mechanic and adds more than enough creativity to make it thoroughly enjoyable. Instead of simply manoeuvring through a level populated with obstacles, requiring some sort of pre-thought and careful action; Crumpled adds… well it adds a blob. This blob plays an important role and you’ll want to grasp its usefulness fairly quickly if you want any chance of completing the more difficult levels. As the player, and through using the WASD keys, you control a little stick figure capable of using parkour like jumps and climbs in order to overcome the obstacles between you and the end of the level. The difference being, you are also given control of a shape shifting blob (through the mouse) that when given specific colour coded powers is capable of shifting into a number of shapes like a rectangle and square. In order to succeed in Crumpled, and as I’m sure you might’ve guessed, you need to control both stick man and blob in combination; using the blob to bridge gaps, break falls and activate buttons for the stick man.
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The controls are, at times, a bit tricky and controlling both the stick man as well as blob will require a bit of finesse if you’re to have any hopes of accomplishing the more difficult levels. There also seems to be quite a bit of thought involved before each leap as there are numerous ways of approaching each obstacle, some more dangerous, risky or fool hardy than others. Failing a manoeuvre could mean falling to your death, touching poison or a couple other stick man crippling obstacles. What’s more is there are combo points that are allocated to those players capable of pulling off pre-determined combos throughout many of the levels and doing so, or completing a level in a quick time, will result in a medal for your hardship. The final interesting twist is the inclusion of a slow-mo power that when used slows down your stick man so that you can provide safe landing and move your blob to the next landing point before your stick man falls to his demise. It’s well executed, refined and very responsive (expect for the very occasional blob slow down); all in all a very polished mechanic and heaps (or should I say leaps) of fun.
The aesthetics of Crumpled is even better and provides a very believable doodled drawing look to the game. The audio is populated with laughter, talking and all the noises you’d expect of a classroom and makes for a great presentation; it feels as though you’re playing a game on your exam pad, and looks like it too. The music has a French violin and guitar track and works almost perfectly with the game. I know there are many indie games that have taken this scribbled approach to their visuals but trust me when I say Crumpled is one of the best.
There’s not much more to Crumpled. It’s a great game that makes use of some thoroughly enjoyable mechanics that I would’ve happily paid to experience. If you have flash installed on your PC, well of course you do, then go to this link and play it now.