Crashlands is one of those games that can be a little overwhelming to begin with. It’s huge, full of a myriad of things to do, and while it pokes you in the right direction, it doesn’t hold your hand.
It’s not the most original concept either – there are shades of Minecraft, Don’t Starve, and plenty of other survival games here – but Crashlands isn’t afraid to stalk out in its own directions either.
And that makes for a compelling experience. It ditches the loneliness of other games and replaces it with the same silly sense of humour that resonates throughout all of Butterscotch Shenanigan’s work.
So what’s it all about?
Well the game starts with you crash landing on an unexplored planet. You’re an intergalactic delivery driver, and from the wreckage of your craft and the indigenous materials you need to find a way to deliver your packages.
But it’s a massive process. First you need to build a base, then armour to protect yourself from the monsters stomping about your new home. And it keeps branching and adding new story threads and ideas. This is a game that keeps growing.
And it grows in interesting directions. There’s no limit to your inventory though, and while the world you’re stumbling around is a cruel one, the mechanics feel a little more just than most other games of this ilk.
That gives you a little more freedom, especially to begin with. You’re always a bit worried about what the world is going to throw at you, but if you play smart you’re not going to end up butchered by a squid or trampled by a mono-pod rhino.
Running away is pretty easy as well. Monster attacks flash up red, so you know roughly where they’re going to land and you can get out of the way.
That’s not to say you’re not a flimsy loner at the mercy of a cruel world, but you get a sword pretty quickly, and building armour gives you some protection too.
So it’s like a more casual Don’t Starve?
Not exactly. It’s definitely more welcoming, but everything is still in place to make this a deep and entertaining adventure.
In fact, in a way, it feels more like an adventure. You’re not as vulnerable, so you push out to see more of the world. And hit it in the face.
In a way the game is the culmination of several ideas we’ve seen in other Butterscotch games, and it brings them all together in a brilliant, stunning looking way. And on top of all of that it’s a stupid amount of fun.
If you’re looking for a mobile game to lose yourself in, in more ways than one, then Crashlands is pretty much the perfect place.