Jun 27, 2011

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Review: Kona’s Crate

Kona’s Crate is one of those puzzle games that frustrates me to death, but I can’t seem to put it down. Seemingly inspired by Lunar Lander, Kona’s Crate, developed by Darkwind Media, tasks you with flying a wooden box around various obstacles to deliver it to a trial chief. With 60 distinct levels and the three-star reward system, Kona’s Crate is incredibly addicting; however, touchy controls might ruin the experience for some.

In Kona’s Crate, you control a platform with a wooden box sitting atop of it. You can move the platform using jets that are located on the left and right side. The jets are powered by touching either the left or right side of the screen. The longer you press down, the faster the platform will go. Your goal is to get the box to the tribal leader. The controls seem to work fine, but can be very sensitive. This means that playing this in a car might not be the best idea.

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The box that sits atop the platform will move, so you can’t just go as fast as you can in one direction. The box will often fall off, so you want to try to balance the box on the platform as best you can while still maintaining a good speed towards your goal. Only the box needs to land in the goal area, which means there are some levels where you may fail miserably, but the box will still roll to the feet of the tribal chief and you’ll pass the level. As I mentioned earlier, the controls can be very sensitive; one accidental touch and there goes the level. However, unlike Lunar Lander, you don’t have to worry about fuel, so you can go as slow as you want to ensure you beat the level. This kind of solves the control issue, but again, as a mobile game, having to be so accurate kind of defeats the purpose.

Just like Angry Birds and so many other puzzle games, you get graded/rewarded based on a three-star system. Every level has three tiers of time limits; the lower the time, the higher the star count. Before every map, you’ll see what the time you have to hit is in order to reach the coveted three-star rating. My only issue with this system is that the box has to come to a complete rest before the timer stops, so there are a few times where I got the box to the goal well within the time limit, but because it was tittering back and forth, the timer didn’t stop and I missed the three-stars by a matter of milliseconds. Those who don’t care about their score can easily pass most levels by going slowly.

The levels are pretty diverse and offer a good amount of variety in terms of the obstacles you will face. There are a good amount of levels where you will have to fly your platform up and down in a snake-like pattern, but for the most part you will come across a variety of challenges, such as moving objects that will knock the box off the platform and TNT that will explode upon contact, to name a few. The level design will challenge you, but the developers did a great job at gradually increasing the difficulty.

The simple gameplay and good level design is an example of how so many mobile developers have been able to take a classic game and make it a brand-new experience. It’s definitely not a game you can play for long periods at a time, and I recommend turning off the sound since the music and sound effects are overwhelming. With a good amount of achievements, 60 levels, leaderboards, and Openfeint support, there is enough here to keep you entertained. Kona’s Crate is a fun puzzler that will frustrate you, but will also give you the strange satisfaction that comes with getting three-stars on a level. The controls are really sensitive and you have to be incredibly accurate, so this game isn’t for everyone, but if you stick with it, you’ll find out how addictive this game can be.

Kona's Crate
Platform: Android (Reviewed HTC G2), iPhone, iPad
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 06/23/11
Developer: Darkwind Media
Publisher: IndiePub
ESRB Rating: 4+
MSRP: $0.99


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About Eric Galaviz

Currently learning how to play League of Legends and recovering from E3. You can follow me on twitter @theherp80 that's also my Xbox Live and PSN Name if you want to hit me up on there feel free.