by Bobak!


US Title: Crush Roller
Japanese Title: Crush Roller
Year: 1999
Size: 8 Megs
Pocket Link? Yes
Dreamcast Link? No
B/W Compatible? Yes
Color Compatible? Yes
Japanese Option? Yes
English Option? Yes


Crush Roller: A Crushing Review by Bobak!


A long time ago, in an amusement arcade not so far away, a game appeared whose point was to paint the road while avoiding nasty monsters. The young people played it and said, It is good. This legendary game was known as "Crush Roller." 

-Taken from the Official SNK-Japan website


...And now, 20 years later, Crush Roller can be played from the comfort of your Neo Geo Pocket Color.  For some, this will be a nice nostalgia trip to back when arcades were all the rage, the Empire Strikes Back was snubbed by the Academy, and Saddam Hussein was "America's ally in the Middle East."  For the rest of us (those under 27 years old), it'll be a journey into the variations of Pac-Man.


Just to familiarize you: You play a paintbrush who's job it is to paint the all the paths on the screen without getting getting attacked by, what can be best described, a pair of ghosts.  These ghosts can be killed by running them over with one of the paint rollers that are lying around the screen (hence the title, Crush Roller).  In addition, there are little animals that sometimes pop out and start walking on the painted areas, leaving their footsteps and requiring them to be repainted.  These animals can be collected (a la Pokemon cards) as a little bonus addition to the game. 


Screen shot of 'Crush Roller'   Screen shot of 'Crush Roller'

(Totally 80's Flashback: Crush Roller)


Graphics:  70% 

Pretty and colorful.  The programmers did a nice job of updating the game's appearance for the NGPC.  The color choice makes it easy to see where you've painted (except in certain, crucial cases which will be discussed in gameplay). 




Music/SFX:  60%

Nothing memorable; neither bad or good -it just is.

(and people say there's no philosophy in video games...)


Gamplay:  65% 

Crush Roller is fun, but suffers from two major problems.  The first is the complete miss-match between the ghosts and the paintbrush.  At first the ghosts move slower than the paintbrush, but soon than not they start moving much, much faster than you do.  Dodging or outsmarting the two becomes impossible as they can move so fast that they have time to adjust against your best maneuvers...and killing them only makes them come back stronger.  In addition, sometime you will see a totally painted screen, but no end of level because somewhere in the maze (apparently invisible to the naked eye) you have missed a spot.  It get ridiculous as you're then forced to go back and retrace the whole screen to find the spot that you missed.  Combine that with the aforementioned super-ghost problem for some serious headaches.


Where in the hell is that last spot...Damn, I died!


However, the game does have its positive points.  Collecting the different animal cards is fun and once you've completed the 25 levels you open up a time-trial mode for added replay. There's also a fun two-player mode where you can compete against another NGPC owner to see who can clear screens faster.



(Say Yes!)


Overall: 70%

Playing Crush Roller is like playing a game that could've been.  You wonder how much more fun it would've been if you didn't have to deal with invincible bad guys and invisible spots.  Without them Crush Roller could've been a contender in the action-maze category, instead Crush Roller is the game you buy if you can't find Pac-Man.  


Bobak! isn't actually a human being.  He's really the collaborative effort of a giant room full of monkeys on typewriters. Their pages are scanned and filtered through a super-computer (well, actually is a super-charged Commodore 64) and placed here on the web in the form of video game reviews.  The nation behind this experiment wishes to remain anonymous, but its name rhymes with "orange."



More Reviews of This Game:

by Kazuya_UK - Courtesy of Kazuya's


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