Krinkle Krusher review for PS Vita, PS4, PS3

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PS3
Publisher: Ilusis Interactive Graphics
Developer: Ilusis Interactive Graphics
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

There are two key things to know about Krinkle Krusher. The first is that it’s not very good. The second is that this may not entirely be its fault.

How is that possible? Two words: cultural differences. Or, at least, that’s what I’m trying to tell myself. Because honestly, there’s no other reasonable explanation for why this game would feature such terrifyingly bad writing, dialogue and voice acting. Just from personal and professional observation — so take that for what it’s worth– it seems like there’s a much greater tolerance for cheese outside of Canada and the United States than there is here, so that may be the case for this game, too.


Then again, I doubt even the cheesiest Latin American entertainment features dialogue as poorly-written and characters as aggressively obnoxious as those featured in Krinkle Krueger, so I’m not sure that developers Ilusis Interactive Graphics have that excuse. Because seriously, this game’s wise-cracking glove, with its scratchy, high-pitched voice, seems like it has more in common with “radical” cool guy characters from the late ’80s and early ’90s than any cheesefest Brazil might have ever produced. I’m willing to concede, however, that the odd phrasing in some of the dialogue between the glove and his wizard most likely does stem from translation issues. It’s not like I’d be any better in my second languages, so it seems like it’d be petty to dock this game too much for its issues in this respect.

Of course, there’s no way cultural differences can be used to explain Krinkle Krueger’s bigger issue, which is that it’s just not very enjoyable. It’s essentially a 3D tower defense game, which means that rather than having the entire area laid out in front of you, you’re shown a narrow swath of the area leading up to your castle, and it’s up to you to scroll up and down. While this definitely sets the game apart from its 2D brethren, you quickly discover the limits of this view when you find out you have zero visibility in the area in front of your castle. Basically, don’t hope for any last minute heroics, because if the bad guys — the titular Krinkles — get anywhere near you, you’re done for.


This is only a big deal because Krinkle Krusher isn’t fond of making it easy for you to dispose of enemies. Even in the very first stages of the game, Krinkles prove to be shockingly resilient, surviving multiple hits from a multitude of weapons. And don’t think that you can just try combining powers either; near as I can tell, Krinkles get crushed (er, Krushed) by strict combinations of individual weapons. Try mixing and matching, and you’re just wasting your efforts.

In fact, you’re not just wasting your efforts, you’re wasting your powers — and Krinkle Krusher is a game that’s extremely stringent when it comes to doling those out. Use them too frequently — even if you’re zapping Krinkles left, right and centre — and you wear out your abilities and have to wait a few seconds for them to power back up. While that may add an interesting wrinkle to the game’s later stages, by making it so difficult right off the bat it means that only the most resolute players will want to tough it out.


Which raises the question, of course, of why they’d want to. The reward for spending more time with Krinkle Krueger, after all, is…well, spending more time with Krinkle Krueger. And unless you’ve got a thing for games that actively try to annoy you, I don’t get why that would be very appealing to anyone.

Grade: C-