It was at some point as I pranced around the rocky fields of an alien planet, picking bacon flowers, that I realized what a fun little game Crashlands turned out to be.
If this is your first time hearing of Crashlands, it’s a brand new open-world RPG from Butterscotch Shenanigans (who you may remember if you enjoyed their roguelike, Quadropus Rampage). While Crashlands features a full-on crafting system and the capability to base-build, the core of the game revolves around exploration and completing quests that the local aliens have for Flux, the protagonist who has crash-landed her space ship on the strange planet.
One of the neat things about the game is that players can play it on their PC, and then resume their progress on their mobile device, or vice-versa. The only caveat is that to do so, both the PC and mobile versions of the game must be purchased and players must sign up for a Butterscotch Shenanigans account so that their progress can be uploaded and stored. This review is based on the PC version, but I’ve heard that mobile gamers are having no issue with the mobile version of Crashlands.
The goal of Crashlands is to repair Flux’s almost-destroyed ship, but unfortunately, the planet is rather primitive so it will take a long time before anything useful can be put together. In the meantime, players have their work cut out for them as they will need to constantly harvest local resources to construct the items and gear they will need to progress into the game’s more difficult areas.
There is no inventory limit in Crashlands, so I was able to pick up every single resource and item that I needed regardless of how much of it I already had. This really allowed me to focus on the adventure, rather than the micro-management that most crafting games revolve around. While I enjoy games like Minecraft and Terraria, having to remember in what chests I stored a particular item in, is tiring. In Crashlands I never had to worry about that because if I picked it up, I had it with me. Easy as that.
One thing in Crashlands that felt like an oversight is that you can’t look up recipes for items when you’re out in the field. You can only see what items are needed to construct a particular item when you’re standing right at the necessary crafting station. You can “track” an item and in the upper-right of the screen it displays how much of what you’ll need to construct that item, but once you collect what you need you can’t simply switch to the next item. Traveling back to the crafting station is the only way to switch which items you’re tracking.
Fortunately, teleport platforms are aplenty, and by simply opening the map and clicking on one, Flux is instantly teleported to that location. Because there is usually a teleport platform in a few hunderd yards in any direction, getting to and from your crafting stations and back to where you were in the field is incredibly easy. You simply have to stumble upon a teleport platform to activate it, so getting around in Crashlands isn’t an issue in the slightest.
With a bottomless inventory and easy map mobility, Crashlands is always urging the player to keep going, to keep expanding their map a little bit each time they venture out. That sense of exploration is really the heart of the game, and the reason why I’ve been looking forward to playing Crashlands every chance I get.
- Huge map to explore
- Colorful and diverse array of aliens to discover
- Can play at home or on the go
- Portals and bottomless bag keep the gameplay moving forward
- Some difficulty in keeping track of recipes
- Designing a base is underwhelming, largely because the walls don’t mesh
A review copy of Crashlands was provided to IGM by the developers, for the purpose of this review.