Release Date: 04/25/2013
It makes sense that puzzle games are in abundance on Nintendo’s 3DS eShop. They’re shorter games with typically good replay value that are perfect for playing on a portable system, especially as a diversion when traveling. So when our website received a review copy of this game before I was about to take a trip to Chicago I asked for it. If it was good, then I’d have a fun way of killing time at the airport. If it was bad, well at least it couldn’t be worse than getting groped by a TSA agent.
What is Crazy Construction? It’s a puzzle game that’s based around the Haruno Construction Company, a company with the goal to make a tower that will reach the moon, aka the Sky High Construction Project. There’s a rival firm called the Crash Construction Company however that’s looking to derail the project. The game is light on story, and what is there is told through simple speech bubbles from cartoon characters. The story provides some basic context for the game and adds a little personality to the mix but it’s like parsley on a dinner plate, it’s there to dress up the game a little and serves very little purpose otherwise.
The game plays through different chapters which contains a series of levels and challenges within them, with a boss level at the end of a chapter represented by one of the members of the Crash Construction Company. The game itself is a mix of Jenga and a little bit of Tetris. In the game junk falls from the top screen to the bottom, the junk is an odd mix of things like Easter Island heads, motorcycles, boxes, refrigerators, and more. The items aren’t realistically scaled, a traffic cone isn’t much smaller than the motorcycle for example, and each has a different shape and weight that are important to figure out and learn.
It’s important to learn that because the game revolved around stacking these random objects on top of each other into one large garbage pile on a platform. Once that pile has grown up to a line that is near the top of the bottom screen, the game will begin a countdown from 3. If the pile stays above that line for three seconds, then you’ve passed the level and move onto the next one.
Most of what you do in the game is rotating the objects so that they will stack on top of each other in a way that, hopefully, will not fall apart as you continue to stack. There is a number value placed on items that drop down, and you have to have to reach a specific numerical goal of objects stacked. There are further goals which require stacking items even higher in order to obtain a higher ranking for that level and chapter.
As you progress in the game there are different challenges the game throws at the player, from changing the shape of the platform that the items rest on, to obstacles that affect the items that are being dropped, to the boss battles with antagonists that can change the rules of the game itself, like preventing you from rotating the items. There is a decent difficulty arc within the game, at first it is really easy to pass the levels and get the highest score possible, but as you go on it becomes harder to meet the higher rank goals, and eventually the game gets so difficult that just passing the level feels like an accomplishment. A meter off to the right side of the screen fills for every object that falls off of the platform, filling the meter means failure, and the meter carries over from stage to stage within a chapter. The meter will drain a little depending on how well a player does within a stage, but because the meter that determines failure carries over from stage to stage it also means that if you do fail, you begin that chapter all the way from the beginning.
That’s the entire game in a nutshell. When you complete a stage then the construction crew comes in and magically turns the pile of junk into the next level of a skyscraper. Depending on performance the game will rank you at the end of a chapter and also award different Titles that you can view from the Extras menu. Chapters can be replayed to get a higher score.
I enjoyed the game, it may be a one trick pony, but it does that trick really well. There may not be many bells, whistles, additional modes or a ton of content, but the low cost of entry ($4.99) is perfect for this sort of game. Crazy Construction takes a simple concept, squeezes as much as it can out of it, and wraps it up with a quirky presentation. It may not be a game you’ll be glued to for hours at a time, but it is great for when you need a quick, easy to play, portable distraction from whatever you are doing.
Short Attention Span Summary: A good puzzle game that provides a fair amount of content for the price.