In Crush, Crumble and Chomp!, you can play one of six featured monsters (or one of your own home-grown creatures) to attack the city of your choice: San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York City or Tokyo Harbor. With your fiery breath you can burn entire cities or smash them underfoot. You can block roads with your webs and escape underground where tanks dare not tread. Your monster can tear apart bridges with its tentacles, emit an ultrasonic scream as you grab the populace and fly over a city of smoking ruin.
Of course, being a monster isn't easy. You're always hungry. A good rule is: if it moves, it's edible. And the city, played by your friendly computer, has an arsenal of police cars, tanks, artillery, helicopters, National Guard and your indomitable mad scientist.
You control the monster with a variety of keyboard commands. All monsters have a basic command structure that controls general direction, head position and movement. Some monsters can burrow, another can fly. All can crumble buildings or grab individuals fleeing in the crowds. Each has its specialty, like (A)tomize or (U)ltrasonic Scream, (B)reathe Fire, (W)eb (weave obstructing web) or (Z)ap flying units with ray gun. Control is rather sluggish. This is because you're taking turns with the computer and it's not ready for your next command. Be patient, the computer has to update the screen and attack before you can make the next move. Unfortunately, by the time it allows you to enter the next command, your prey has moved away. Also, you can't change your mind once you type a command and must wait for your next turn to correct your error.
You can monitor the game on a map as you move around sections of the city. Your monster's health, his hunger status, head position and general direction are all displayed on the right side of the screen. The head position is displayed in all its living facial monster horror. It keeps you aware of who or what you are.
Yes, this game is for real and it actually can be fun to play once you get used to the keyboard controls. It is certainly a way of releasing your aggressions and no different than those shoot'em up games where you play the good guy and kill the aliens.
The graphics are a little disappointing. The display map and animation are done with animated character set graphics but the display update is slow and cumbersome. As a translated Apple game, it does not take advantage of the Atari's fine scrolling capabilities. Instead, this game laboriously draws a new map once the monster goes off the edge of the screen. In a game that essentially runs in real time, this is somewhat distracting. Despite the game's rather slow play, it offers a lot of creativity, is challenging and is well documented in a lengthy but humorous vein.
|Overall rating : ||B+ ||Controllability:||B||Error handling:||N/A|
|Game concept :||A-||Skill involved: ||B+||Documentation:||B+|
|Creativity:||A-||Challenge:||A-||Holds interest ?:||B+|
|Game depth :||B+||Graphics:||C||Value for money:||B|