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Crazy Escape Review
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Crazy Escape, a line-drawing puzzler developed by KoolFing and published by Bulkypix, is now available from the app store. With a focus on efficiency, speed, and timing, Crazy Escape proves to be a fun challenge for all.

Crazy Escape Pros:

  • Cute cartoon graphics and fun animations
  • Nice variety of challenges and environments to keep gaming fresh
  • Simple control methos
  • Action-oriented gameplay that doesn’t focus on grinding
  • GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for leaderboards and achievements to earn

Crazy Escape Cons:

  • Road lengths vary significantly even when drawn nearly identically
  • Leaderboards are for odd things like fences smashed rather than total length of road

A pack of wolves are closing in on some innocent sheep, a potential recipe for disaster. Naturally, jeep-driving penguins are here to save the day, careening between environmental objects and through fences as they snatch the sheep out of the danger zone. There are 90 levels of increasing difficulty to play through, offering the potential to collect 3 stars on each level. These stars are spread throughout the board, among the sheep. Multiple entrance/exit points exist, allowing you to choose how you burst onto the scene and where you eventually leave. The goal is to trace a path with your finger that represents the roadway upon which the penguins will travel, passing through all sheep and stars while laying as little asphalt as possible. Bronze, silver, and gold trophies are given depending on the length of your roadway. Missed stars will penalize you by adding length to your roadway and pushing you out of contention for the most desirable hardware.

As you progress, new challenges present themselves, such as locked sheep that require you to pick up a key first before allowing them to hitch a ride. You can only collect one key at a time, so loading up on keys before passing over locked sheep won’t work. You’ll also be chased by the leader of the wolfpack, so you must make quick work of your journey lest he catch you. From time to time, the wolfpack leader will drag a sheep or two behind as he chases you, requiring you to double-back and grab them out from under his nose on your way to the exit. There are also snow drifts and mud bogs that must be travelled through slowly, and some terrain cannot be doubled back over. It’s a nice progression that never overwhelms while keeping things from getting too repetitive. While most aspects of the game work well, we did feel that the distance tracker was a bit borked, as nearly identical paths can lead to wild differences in the final length. Due to a lack of written rules or a tutorial, it’s unclear if there is another gaming element that could be impacting the length readings. It appears that something isn’t quite right, which can lead to a great deal of frustration stemming from the precision needed to collect gold.

Graphically, the game’s cute cartoon characters are well-animated within their mazelike world, which is experienced from a strictly top-down perspective. Entrances and exit have visual indicators and the number of sheep you must save are represented by tiny icons at the screen top. There is a hint system, too, that allows you to earn pieces of the optimal pathway so that you can ensure that you are following the intended solution. There is no in-game music, though a twangy little ditty plays over the menus. Ambient sounds make it feel as if you are in a natural setting while working through each level. Line-drawing mechanics make the game simple to play, and they work quite well, despite the typical issue of fingers obscuring your viewpoint from time to time.

Replay value is good, as you likely need several playthroughs of many of the levels to find more efficient pathways so that you can earn all golds. There are an additional 5 bonus levels to unlock and play, too. GameCenter and OpenFeint integration brings 5 leaderboards into the fray, though they are for odd things like fences destroyed, leaves swept, flowers collected, and more. We expected to see leaderboards for total roadway length for each of the worlds or the game as a whole, but they don’t exist. A couple dozen achievements are available to earn, as well. A universal app for $0.99, Crazy Escape is a cute and clever 4-Dimple offering.

Crazy Escape Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-10-19T23:56:29+00:00 rating 4.0 out of 5

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