- Developer: Vertex Pop
- Publisher: Vertex Pop
- Release Date: 16/01/2020
- Price: $14.99 / £11.59
- Review code provided by Vertex Pop
Girls Just Wanna Have Felines
What would you do for love? Would you travel all over the city, looking for the one who was taken from you? Fighting increasingly terrifying robots who hold your one true love captive? What if a woman stole your love from you, and they didn’t protest; would you still fight? Sounds like a bad situation, right? Until I tell you that the kidnapped love is a cat, Chubbz, to be precise, and it was an alien girl who did the abducting. Well, that certainly changes things, doesn’t it?
Enter the world of Super Crush K.O., our protagonist, Karen, just had her lovable feline companion Chubbz stolen by an army of vicious robots lead by a strange alien girl. What is our cat-mom to do? Beat the nuts and bolts out of the robots and get her cat back, of course. With her fists of fury and an alien rifle, Karen will fight through four worlds of the robot menace to hopefully regain Chubbz. The story is presented very light-heartedly as it feels more like a teen drama than alien invasion. The game doesn’t overstay its welcome and the 20+ levels can be blown through in two or three sessions.
Like a Robot (Punched for the Very First Time)
For Super Crush K.O., the basic gameplay involves score based beat’em up action with light platforming. Karen has a decent move set available with standard attacks and a few specials that are unlocked as you progress in the game. Her rifle, which was picked up during the first cutscene, adds an extra layer to combat. It allows Karen to keep her combo going from a distance or to keep pressure on enemies if your health gets low. The combat can get a bit more challenging towards the end of the game once more and more enemy variations are introduced.
Each new level adds more enemy combinations and in larger amounts. I really enjoyed all the care that Vertex Pop put into this title. By the last level, we had quite a large gallery of robots to destroy. The last level before the final boss proved to be quite a gauntlet. To add more replay value, high score hunters can try to get S ranks on all levels and compete for first place in global leaderboards. If replaying levels for high scores isn’t your thing, there isn’t much else left to do after the credits roll.
Everybody Wants to Rule Chubbz World
Super Crush K.O. has one of the most unique art styles that I have seen in a game in such a long time. The style is very reminiscent of indie American comics. Titles such as Lumberjanes and I Kill Giants come to mind as possible inspiration. While I am not the biggest connoisseur of these titles, I can see the beauty and detail that is put into each of the characters and their personalities. The characters shine in the comic panel cutscenes and after level dialogue. I personally love the cat Chubbz and his glorious cat-ness.
The soundtrack in Super Crush K.O. is effectively an earwig. At first, it was just catchy and fun. But as I kept playing and the music became more familiar, I just wanted to hear it again. Major kudos goes to the composer Robby Duguay. It has elements of modern chill pop mixed with more upbeat Animal Crossing music. If that sounds a bit confusing, you just need to experience to it. Thankfully it is available to stream on YouTube and Spotify, so please give it a listen.
What’s Chubbz Got to Do With It
Vertex Pop has given us a truly quality game as Super Crush runs without any issues in both docked and handheld modes. No matter how many enemies and projectiles are on-screen, the game keeps a solid frame rate and doesn’t drop. The only odd thing I would point out is that the time between ending a level and going back to the level select screen hangs for a few seconds. Again, this is a very minor grievance and had zero effects on my time with the game.
Karen’s quest to reclaim her misplaced four-legged companion is a solid adventure that is marred only by its length and some repetitive encounters. The fluid combat and the infectious music are some of the highest points followed by the cute and heart felt cutscenes. At the end of the day, Super Crush K.O. offers a fascinating take on the beat’em up genre that adds some new life to an often-monotonous scene.
- Fluid Combat
- Cute Art Style
- Sometimes Repetitive
- Short Length
- Load Times
Super Crush K.O. breathes new life into the beat’em up genre with light platforming elements and a healthy dose of humor. It can suffer from brawler fatigue, but its shorter levels can alleviate the issue.