Minimalist trichromatic falling blocks.
There are blocks moving toward the bottom of the screen and when they get there, you’re done. CRUSH! is about as singular, straightforward, and intuitive as games get. While perhaps too determined to strip every atom of superfluity and chaff away, there’s a real challenge here for the right sort of people, and a fleeting distraction for the rest of us.
CRUSH!‘s board is made up of three colors of bricks, which when tapped remove all adjacent bricks of that same color. There are two modes to choose from, dubbed “Think” and “React,” and they exist to cater to a certain type of player, rather than to give everyone variety. In Think, the board makes one big lurching movement downward each time you tap, but you can spend an eternity planning your next move. React is more standard with the swarm of blocks falling at an ever-increasing pace, its speed unaltered by how often your inputs come.
While React is more frantic, at least on the surface, you won’t survive for long in either scenario. CRUSH! is unafraid to sprinkle a little Super Hexagon in with your Tetris, and if you’re the target audience for that combination, you’ve already left this review for the App Store. CRUSH!‘s one real surprise (besides its difficulty) is that your removal taps pass from one edge of the screen to the other, greatly increasing your reach while also giving you more to take into account. You’ll also unlock several power-ups over time, which can be game-changers in a title with so little margin for error once it gets going.
CRUSH! has a few touches of TLC, like allowing the player to toggle between light and dark color schemes, the latter being much better for play in a dimly-lit room. For the most part however, CRUSH! gives its target demographic what they want, and makes little effort to bring anyone else in. There’s no story, dialogue, interesting art style, humor, characters, flash, or multiplayer to rely on as hooks. If you’re not immediately inspired to struggle for survival against the CRUSH!, then you probably aren’t going to be. Public tours available, hard hat required.