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Nailed It: A Look At ‘Super Crate Box’ iOS

Some of you are unfamiliar with Vlambeer‘s Super Crate Box. Let’s fix that real quick — and for the pleasant price of $0. Hit up this web site, download the client, give it a few minutes, and then come back to us. We’ll wait. We’re patient.

We on level, yet? If you were playing along with us, you’ve discovered that SCB is a quirky 2D side-scroller that has all the action of a Mario plus the fury of a frenetic shooter. Enemies spew from the top of an instance-based level, and it’s your job to evade or kill them while also collecting devilish crates that dispense weapons. The play is blazingly fast and chaotic, and the rewards — all the new guns, new levels, and new characters — come at a satisfyingly awesome drip. It’s hard to put down, to say the least.

We’ve asked for so much of your time up-front because what you saw is what you’re going to get in the upcoming iOS version — Vlambeer and co-developer Halfbot nailed it; this seems like nothing short of a great port, based on our hands-on with a final build.

Functionally, some things have changed. Touch controls — two buttons and two movement arrows — have replaced the keyboard inputs. I also think the action has seen the slightest dip in speed, perhaps to make up for users’ natural lag-time with the virtual controls.

Don’t take this the wrong way; the action is still oh-my-god fast in comparison and somehow, someway, the development duo managed to make it all feel good on iPad and iPhone. Your delightful little avatar, which is always random, responds sweetly to your nudges and frantic pulls. The shooting part of the equation, also feels pretty satisfying with the button.

It might take users a few minutes to get accustomed, but the buttons translate. The game’s formula also seems to, too. Got a few seconds? Great, because 90-percent of the time you won’t last that long anyway if you come across a disc launcher. Have some minutes? Play a ton of sessions, and unlock some new stuff to play around with the next time you’re able to pick up your device and give it a go.

Probably the biggest challenge SCB on iOS faces as it sees a release is the usual one: grabbing the attention of the casual base. The look is easy on the eyes, but its remorseless play is definitely geared towards the core crowd. It doesn’t seem to have an answer for players who want a little less chaos… or disc launcher.

This isn’t a problem with us, though, so whatever. We dig the arcade vibe. Super Crate Box will see a release on January 5th as a Universal app. We’ll have a full review around then, so stay tuned.