Concept Destruction review for PS4, Xbox One, Switch

Platform: PS4
Also on: PC, Xbox One, Switch
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Thinice Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No

I’m a huge fan of destruction in games. Whether it’s buildings or vehicles or whatever, there’s nothing quite so fun as causing things to explode, shatter, or do whatever else they need to do in order to wind up in a pile of rubble.

As such, there are some aspects of Concept Destruction that very much appeal to me. I mean, it’s a game that’s all about destroying other cars. There’s literally nothing else the game asks of you: you have a championship mode, where you have to battle other cars until you’re the last one standing in a series of events; you have a tourist mode, where you can be an indestructible car in a sea of very destructible cars; and you have survival and single event modes, both of which are pretty self-explanatory.

On top of that, the destruction is fairly satisfying. The cars all lose bits and pieces at the slightest nudge, which means the whole track is littered with car parts very early on. What’s more, you can watch as cars get more and more crumpled, which is always neat. You can also knock around some parts of the world around you, which is a huge plus in my book. It’s a little annoying that the amount of destruction you can take and deal seems a little random, but all things considered, I didn’t mind that too much (plus you can go into the options and fix that, if you want).

To round it all out — on the non-destructive side — the whole game has a pretty delightful handmade papercraft aesthetic. The cards look like real cardboard, and you can see batteries just peeking out from inside their interiors. The world around them is a combination of cardboard environments and obstacles made from desktop items like highlighters and rulers. You can tell just from looking at Concept Destruction that a lot of love went into it.

Unfortunately, there’s a “But…” at the end of all this. As delightful as Concept Destruction is, there’s not very much to do here. Once you’ve finished the championship mode, there’s no reason to go back to it. Likewise, you can play the Survival and Tourist modes once or twice, but they don’t provide hours of fun, and there are only three types of playable cars, so it’s not like you need to keep playing the game to unlock more. You can play around with the options to change the amount of destruction you and the other cars can deal, and you can change the number of starting cars, but given that the game starts you out at the maximum number of cars, it seems silly to lower them. Even the trophies are all unlockable pretty quickly.

In other words, Concept Destruction feels more like a really great demo or a proof of concept than a full-fledged must-play game. What’s here is good, but with a few big tweaks and additions this could have been great. As it stands, this is a fun way to spend an hour or so, but if you want more than that, you’ll just have to wait for the developers to flesh this out a little (or rather, a lot) more.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Concept Destruction PS4 code for review purposes.

Grade: B-