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I Usually Can’t Stand Mobile Games But Crash Bandicoot: On The Run! Nailed It

I will almost never download a mobile game onto my phone. The last mobile game I downloaded before the other day was Fire Emblem Heroes—because I am relatively obsessed with the Fire Emblem series—and it was exactly as disappointing as I figured it would be. Perhaps it’s my own fault for holding mobile games up to a ridiculous standard. It’s difficult though, because even the Fire Emblem games on the old Game Boy systems were a million times better than Fire Emblem Heroes. I don’t know what it is exactly, but every time I try to dabble in mobile games (with the exception of Pokemon Go), I end up finding them too different from the rest of the series, or the game feels too kid-like in comparison for me. Maybe I’ve just had terrible luck with the ones I’ve chosen to download.

But because I’ve loved almost every single Crash game that’s been released, I couldn’t help but download Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! The other day when it was released. Despite my instincts screaming at me that I was about to, once again, waste my time, I snagged the game and am stoked that I didn’t listen.

My favorite levels from the other Crash Bandicoot games (with Crash Bandicoot: Warped being my favorite) were always the levels in which you’d jump on the back of a bear at the beginning, and you had to run through the map to destroy boxes and get the pink crystal without hitting anything. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is basically exactly this—except Crash automatically just runs forward instead of riding on a bear once the level starts.

Whoever came up with the idea to turn this into a mobile game is a genius. None of the controls feel awkward; swiping up to jump, swiping down to slide, and tapping on the screen to do the famous Crash spin felt entirely natural. The game is perfect because they managed to make it feel exactly the same as any other Crash game, despite being limited to a phone when playing. While it’s true that they’ve come up with some seemingly random new enemies for this game, there are also plenty of old faces. The best part is that the visuals and the music both accurately capture the Crash universe that I know and love.

Admittedly, Crash: On the Run! still includes qualities that tend to turn me off from mobile games. For example, before you play any of the levels, you must craft items (and sometimes grind for the crafting material) in order to start levels, and there are times when you are tempted to drop real money on the game just to buy materials you need. This isn’t entirely limited to mobile games, but these qualities are certainly more prevalent in this realm. This game could certainly fall into the category of a “money trap.”

But in the end, Crash: On the Run! is an enjoyable enough game that I’m willing to put up with the rest of the nonsense. And going forward, this game has changed my attitude towards the news of mobile releases. Gone are the days of cringing every time I hear people getting stoked about a new mobile title coming out. I never thought I’d see this day, so hats off to you, King, for delivering us this gem.

Next: “Dying Should Always Be Fun”: We Talk To The Team Behind The New Crash Bandicoot Mobile Game

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Stephanie is an Editor at TheGamer, solidly aligned chaotic neutral. Though her favorite game is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, she vows to do everything in her power to one day see a Legend of Dragoon remake. Absolutely nothing can top her immense love for The Lord of the Rings.

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