KRUNCH is an indie platformer from developer, LeGrudge and Rugged. In which you take control of a sentient ball creature and navigate your way through perilous trap filled hallways, one screen at a time. Instead of the standard controls found in indie platformers like Super Meat Boy and VVVVVV, in KRUNCH you are a floating ball with very slow controls and a fair amount of momentum along with them.
The controls are great. The game feels responsive and even though they are a bit floaty, it’s obvious this is how the developer intended and it works out better overall. It is clear from the beginning that the gameplay is very skill based and even the slightest mistake can send you flying into spikes or laser-beams. KRUNCH is really good about introducing new and interesting gameplay concepts after you’ve had enough time to master the last one they threw at you. And their is definitely a lot to introduce you to. There are moving walls that can crush you, multiple types of enemies, spikes, gears, teleporters, boss fights and more. The variety found here is very welcome and is at this point, synonymous with these types of indie titles.
Excellent music is another feature synonymous with great indie platformers and KRUNCH is no different. I’m always happy to see great use of pseudo 8-bit music, which KRUNCH has in spades, all of an excellent quality. It really does a great job of implanting a certain time and place for video games with the soundtrack. The sound design is also excellent. All the beeps and boops are spot-on and it all comes together to form an exciting masterclass in sound design.
But it’s not all dreamboats and petticoats. I found the boss fights to range from annoying to downright infuriating. The game already has a bit of pace to it, you need to keep up with an ever ticking down life bar, so it’s fine to be rushed. But the boss fights fire this up to an absurd level, you are racing to finish the level before the boss monster can catch up to you. But the problem here is KRUNCH’s controls don’t really adapt to well to super fast gameplay. So you’ll end up dying a whole bunch of times and it can get extremely frustrating. On the bright side, the boss fights are very few and far between, and they are at least very inventive.
The game also has a collectible in the form of Krebs. These are just for leaderboards and bragging rights purposes but they also serve as an way to inflate difficulty curve for the game. Since it would be a lot harder if you were trying to collect as many Krebs as you could. As for length, KRUNCH can take anywhere from one to two hours depending on skill level and with little replayability. After I was finished with it though, I felt I’d had a great time and that it hadn’t overstayed it’s welcome.
Overall, KRUNCH is a great platformer with very inventive level design, an excellent soundtrack and a fluid difficulty curve. The frustrating boss fights were not nearly enough to sour my enjoyment of this great game.
If you do decide to check out the game. Then be sure to give it a vote on Steam Greenlight to help get it on Steam.
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