Crazy Escape in Review – Penguins and Sheep? Apparently…
I think Crazy Escape is an extremely appropriate name for this latest puzzle game from Bulkypix. Thankfully, crazy isn’t always a bad thing. Your quest to help two penguins rescue a bunch of sheep will take you through some pretty zany shenanigans, and I wouldn’t expect you to get through the game without chuckling a time or two at least. It’s nice to know that the line drawing technique can be used for things besides simple war games and millions of Harbor Master clones.
Yep, I brought up Harbor Master, but only to point out that this game is nothing like Harbor Master or any one of its legion of followers. Crazy Escape has you helping two penguins that have taken up the cause of freeing defenseless sheep from the clutches of ruthless wolves. To do this you’ll have to show the penguins the best path to take from point A to point B while making sure to pick up all the sheep along the way. That’s where the line drawing mechanic comes in, as you simply drag your finger across the screen to draw a road for the penguins to follow. You must be sure to avoid the wolves, but it also helps if you don’t run into things like barns or big trees. Thankfully small trees and fences are not such formidable barriers.
There are plenty of sheep to free, some of which require keys to rescue. While there may be multiple locked sheep on a level, you can only carry one key at a time. After a few levels you will be introduced to the wolf leader, who gives you a slight head start and then comes chasing after you. If the leader catches you the level is over. Additionally, the wolf leader might have one or more sheep tagging along in front of or behind him. These sheep must be rescued as well, and getting to them is usually a lot trickier than the stationary sheep due to timing issues. As you progress through the levels you’ll start running into more obstacles like mud which makes sharp turns hazardous and terrain that leaves buildup so that you can’t cross over a road you’ve already made.
Besides the sheep there are three stars to collect on each level. You must free all sheep to pass a level, but you don’t need all the stars. However, without all the stars the highest medal you can get is bronze, the basic medal. Assuming you get all the stars, your medal (bronze, silver or gold) will be based on how much road you use to achieve your goal. As you reach certain star collecting milestones you’ll unlock bonus levels, but I really haven’t found a point to them yet, and they honestly aren’t all that fun. Thankfully the main levels are sufficiently entertaining that the bonus levels don’t matter much to me.
The levels are fun and challenging, but the atmosphere puts this game over the top. The visuals are nicely detailed and there are little effects everywhere like fish jumping in the lake and smoke coming from the chimneys of buildings. Where the visuals really shine, however, is in the overlays. If you sit for too long a little box will pop up showing one of the sheep or wolves doing something, or possibly even displaying the penguins looking at a map. When a bad event occurs there’s a nice little overlaid animation to go with it as well. For some reason it all reminds me of the Whammies from the old game show Press Your Luck.
The sound effects are a nice compliment to the visuals. The world is filled with ambient noise, and the penguins make funny little sounds when they successfully complete a level or get into an accident of some sort. The one thing that seems a bit out of place (though still quite amusing) is when the wolf leader catches you. The brawl sounds more like a bar fight than a wolf and penguins rumbling. There’s some great music playing when the game first loads and through the main menu, but sadly all goes silent on that front when you get to the actual game.
While I have nothing against games like Harbor Master, there are other genres where the line drawing mechanic could certainly be used to add a fresh spin on game play, and Crazy Escape does an ample job of proving that point. Of course, the wacky atmosphere, slick visuals and funny noises don’t hurt anything either. If you’re looking for a simple to play, tough to master line drawing game that doesn’t require you to keep vehicles from running into each other, Crazy Escape is a great choice for you.
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.2.2|