‘Rush N Krush’ Review – Wacky Races
I never could have imagined that the mobile platform would house so many old school arcade experiences. Growing up I’d spend hours pumping quarters into various games, often times logging how much average playtime I’d get out of a single coin, so I could maximize my time at an arcade. I kind of do the same thing now with mobile games, especially if they offer “extra lives” or some form of energy mechanic.
Some games are just as swindle-prone as operators who jack up the difficulty on beat ’em up machines so kids will spend more money, and in many ways, Rush N Krush [Free] emulates that experience.
The game starts off innocently enough. Players are thrust into a tutorial section, which showcases the bright art style, reminiscent of classic franchises like Outrun. There’s a ton of variety on display right from the get-go, including Mario Kart style question block power-ups, and tow trucks that can carry you through the stage in an invincible state. These aren’t just throwaway abilities either, as each of them comes with their own set of animations, like the boost that sprouts giant jet turbines on both sides of your vehicle. It commits to the over-the-top cartoon feel, and doesn’t let up.
It gets even more engaging once boss fights come into the picture, allowing your cars to sprout machineguns to blast away the opposition. Getting the hang of the drifting system is also fun, as you can gain a small boost when tailing an NPC car, or a larger one if you swerve out to the side of them at the last possible moment. A dedicated jump button kind of brings it all together, as it can be used while on flat ground, or strategically pressed right before going off of a ramp to queue up an extra boost.
As a Netmarble game, we’ve basically come to expect a complete overload of UI messages, and that’s exactly what Rush has. From the very moment you boot the game up you’re bombarded with ads, bonus packages for $ 8.99, seasonal bonuses, and energy notifications. The main menu has no less than 13 options on it, which are part gameplay related, part giant ad machine. While single races are an option, there’s also a story mode with plenty of objectives to sift through, and a decent amount of stages (50 at the time of this writing). But a number of technical problems bring Rush down, unfortunately, despite its fun arcadey nature.
There’s three currencies afoot — trophies (cars), gold (upgrades and items), and tires (energy). The former funnels into the latter two, which can be purchased in increments of $ 2.99 up to $ 99.99. A lot of gameplay is also gated, including multiplayer, which can only be accessed after multiple hours of play on top of navigating the energy mechanic. Netmarble also recommends that you link to Facebook to prevent the loss of any purchases. At what point is enough enough? I submit that the time is now.
If it wasn’t so convoluted and weighed down by the storefront, Rush N Krush would be a must-download for arcade racing fans. Right now though you’ll have to brave the cavalcade of menus and micro-currencies to make sense of anything. I sincerely wish more publishers allowed players a way to just purchase a game outright as a premium product, but of course, there’s less money to be made that way.