Crush 3D Review (3DS)

Crush 3D for 3DS is a remake of the old puzzle platformer game Crush for PSP. It’s developed by Zoe Mode, and for Crush 3D, SEGA. This game will challenge your understanding of perspective and force you to shift it all around between two-dimensions and three-dimensions to get to your goal. The first couple levels you get introduced to the mechanic through very simple levels, but the difficulty soon ramps up and you have to start really thinking things through.

You play as Danny, a teenager who agrees to help test the Doc’s new ‘Cognitive Regression Utilizing pSychiatric Heuristics’ machine, a machine for dealing with worries and fears with a programmed female persona. Once Danny completes a few trials for the test, he’s ready to get out, but C.R.U.S.H won’t let him out. The only way he can leave the machine is if he completes all the obstacles before him and finds an exit.

The puzzles come in the form of nonsensical 3D environments and the ability to ‘crush’ the environment into a 2D perspective to reach impossible places. These puzzles are innovative and tricky to solve, and rely entirely on the perspective of the camera which the player controls. You can toggle the camera around Danny and the environment and also change the camera to a top down view. You can crush the environment into a 2D state and similarly uncrush it back into a 3D state at almost any time. You soon learn that particular blocks have particular properties, such Danny falling through block during a crushed state (Ghost Blocks) and brick patterned blocks you are unable to crush into a 2D state if you are standing in front of them.

Keeping all these mechanics in mind, you control Danny, crushing and uncrushing the environment to navigate it and to collect all the ‘marbles’ to open up the exit. That’s it. The objective is simple, but to get to the objective you have a really kind of confusing, but clever, dimensional puzzle to navigate. Oh is that too easy for you? Okay, well eventually you will encounter obstacles like objects you have to push out of the way, timers, enemies, bonus collectables in each round which only appear in one perspective and you have to find it.

As you can imagine, things get mind boggling awfully fast. There’s no time limit to the levels, but you do get a score out of five for them – five stars you get when you finish it all in one go, collect all the marbles and find and collect the optional collectables. There’s a hint system if you get stuck though, so that’s okay. I guess the developers knew some of us would just get frustrated and maybe give up without some help.

Compared to it’s predecessor Crush, Crush 3D has a much more light-hearted tone to it, but it has more serious underlying tones to it if you over analyse what the game is really about. The original was a lot darker and was all about finding out why Danny was an isomniac and where all his fears and problems originated from, etc. Even it’s artstyle was more serious and mature. Crush 3D is much less serious and more accessible to people of all ages, the colour palettes are bright and easily contrast each other (which helps in figuring out the environment sometimes). You could complain that everything is way too bland, but to be honest, the levels are hard enough to figure out visually, do you really need super high quality textures, or props, or too many special effects to clutter it up? Your mind could be confused further with the non-essential details tacked onto the essential ones.

Since this game is on the 3DS,there’s also a Streetpass feature where you can exchange gifts with another person passing by – assuming they have a 3DS and they have Crush 3D. I’m not sure how likely this is, but hey it could happen!

Crush 3D requires you to really think about how everything works before figuring out a path to your destination. I know in a market where face-paced games are favoured, this might turn a lot of people off. You have to take your time with it, but once you figure the puzzles out and finish them 100%, you get a real feeling of satisfaction since it was so difficult to get to that point. This game has surprised me in many ways, and I’d recommend it to people with a 3DS who are looking for something relatively fresh and different from what’s available for all platforms now.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

About the Author

I'm just your regular gamer! Currently working in the game industry as an artist. I love all manner of things cute, colourful and crazy. I also love lemons quite a lot. c: