Genre: Action, Platform,
Developer|Publisher: Jori Ryan | CreatorCrate Games
Age Rating: TBC
Price: UK £7.71| US $ 9.96 | EU € 8,29
Release Date: August 11th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Plan of Attack Biz
A Different Hero
Just when you think they have come up with every protagonist possible in gaming, there’s always an indie developer out there to surprise you. CreatorCrate is a 2D platformer where you play as a little robot prototype that is able to 3D print various appliances. But much like most robots in films and games, this robot has no interest in serving its human masters. Instead, it wants to be free. It’s up to you to make your way through an enormous circular space station and find a way out. On the surface, this looks like quite a bizarre-looking platformer. But there are many aspects of CreatorCrate that make it stand out from the crowd. Let’s explore further.
CreatorCrate is set in a massive circular space station. Regularly through your playthrough, you will see the game map zoom out so you can see the entire space station which looks enormous. The unique feature of the game is each time you die and resume from a checkpoint the level layout is altered giving you a somewhat different level from what you played prior whilst maintaining similar hazards, enemies and themes.
It’s an interesting way of keeping the design fresh and different whilst possibly preventing frustration from the player having to repeat the same area over if they get stuck. But if you prefer the experience to be extra spicy and risky you can unlock a permadeath mode.
Multiple Tools at Your Disposal
The other unique feature is 3D printing. This is not a typical run and jump platformer. There are multiple ways to solve solutions as you make your way through the space station. You can use furniture to avoid lasers or electrical floors. Acid vials to melt walls and enemies. You can use knives to cut security wires or stick to walls. You can even grab guns off the security and turn the weapon on them or if you prefer grab the human and either absorb them or kinda keep them for protection
The choice is yours provided you have the right items on hand. It certainly adds to the unique gameplay allowing plenty of experimentation and giggles to some of the solutions. With the random generation and the experimental gameplay, this does feel like a winning formula. Unfortunately, CreatorCrate is let down by its fiddly controls.
For starters, this is a PC game that actually recommends you play with a keyboard and mouse. Something I have rarely come across these days. But don’t panic, you can play this game with a controller. This ended up being my preference after attempting to persevere with the mouse and keyboard controls. If you go with the recommended layout you move with the WASD keys, jump with the spacebar and use the mouse to control your arm. Your arm can be used to swing off objects but can also be used to grab objects like tables, humans and weapons and convert them into matter. By doing this you build up a bar and if you convert enough matter you can heal your robots health.
You also have three blueprint slots so when you convert an item you can later reprint it provided you have enough matter stored. This is very useful for items and weapons which can help you navigate through the world. A nice feature here is that if you find a blueprint you’re fond of you can lock it in a designated slot so you don’t accidentally overwrite it with another item later. There are a lot of items to find in this game and three slots is not enough so you need to choose carefully.
The controls are where I found things to be a bit messy. I didn’t feel I had full control of my robot when navigating around the world. Jumping and swinging around and trying to use items like the knife to stick to walls didn’t feel as smooth as they could be. Later into the game the gravity changes so your character can run on the ceiling and down walls making the controls feel even more confusing.
It felt like I was kinda fighting with the controls to go in the desired direction. Whether attempting a controller or mouse and keyboard, I often struggled to move my robot in the desired direction. This became even messier when it came to a particular boss fight where you need to move out of the way at just the right time to avoid capture. A rare moment in the game where the random generation couldn’t get me out of a difficult pickle.
The graphics are pretty simple 3D models. In a way, one would argue the models in this game kinda look like simple plastic 3D models. The game doesn’t particularly push the boat out with its graphical style. Opting to keep things quite simple with comical humans running around a very simple spaceship design.
Considering this was made mostly by a solo developer this is pretty good. I did like the small touch of random birds flying around the space station. Why they were doing this I don’t know but it looked pretty cute.
Conclusion – Crates of Fun
CreatorCrate has some very unique ideas with its procedurally generated levels and general wacky but entertaining gameplay. While its controls do hold it back I can’t deny that this game made me laugh and held my attention. I was also intrigued to see what randomness would present itself next. If you love your platformers CreatorCrate is worth your time. A unique idea that has not been tried before that will likely win the hearts of gamers that give this cute little robot a chance.
If you want to try it first. There is a free demo on steam to try before you buy.
Final Verdict: I Like it