Many Gamezebo readers will remember the old “parking puzzle” games, such as Car Jam, where the goal is for your car to reach the exit by first moving objects around vertically or horizontally. This concept now gets a fantasy twist in Reflexive’s Crumb, a story about searching for the Forest Mother through an enchanted world during four seasons.
Collecting magical “crumbs” over these 50 levels will give you new pages to the story to read and access to the next stages (including an ice land and an autumn world), but the core game-play remains the same for each level: move around the top-down 2-D world using the four arrow keys (recommended) or by mouse-clicking in the direction you want to go.
If you think of this world like a grid, you can only move up and down and side to side. The goal is to collect these magical “crumbs” and you’ll see your status and how many you must find in the top-left corner of the screen (e.g. 3/5). Collect all the crumbs and the small house found on each level open its door and you can walk through and start the next level.
But getting those crumbs won’t be easy. You need to see what objects you can use in the environment – such as rocks to push into water to create a bridge – but if you push one of these rocks into a corner you won’t be able to pull it out since you must be able to push in a given direction. Therefore, expect to click the “Undo” button a few times (or tap the “U” key) to reverse your steps if you made a mistake) or restart the level from scratch if you paint yourself into a corner, so to speak.
Objects you’ll avoid include enemies that roam the level, such as bees that fly in a given pattern, and you’ll begin to use other items such as portals that zap you to other parts of the level, keys and locked doors, maze-like fences, and more.
While not an original concept, Crumb is a refreshing change from most other casual game downloads today – namely the Match-three, hidden-object and time management games. While it’s fun and challenging, it’s far from perfect.
For one, there are various technical glitches in the game. Sometimes the roaming enemies turn into black boxes. Or if you push a rock into one of them, the enemy turns into a flying boulder! Another glitch involves the speed of the game. The default walking speed of your hero or heroine is quite slow but you can make them walk faster in the Options menu – but when you click the “undo” button a couple of times the game reverts back to the original slow speed.
And speaking of the “undo” move, you can only “undo” a few moves – and every step on the board counts as one of those – so you’re better off restarting the entire level from scratch.
Crumb is a family-friendly puzzle game that guarantees many hours of play (despite having only one mode), but its technical glitches and faulty “undo” system can frustrate the player just as they’re just about to start having fun (for me, the game got much better after level 12, called ‘Five Traps”). Perhaps if the developers spent more time testing this game for bugs and tweaking the game features it would be a lot more appealing of a casual game.