Overall Score 6.5/10 | Love to Click, Click to Love - BY ERIK PILLAR
Crush Crush is a true idle-click game that offers some great moments of humor and meets my game grinding needs, but falls apart in late game and needlessly drives players toward purchasing their in-game currency with real dollars.
Plot and Character:
The protagonist of this game is what you make of it. There is no character creation, naming system, or anything at all as far as customization of who you are. What you do get though is a single horridly drawn image of a grotesque and malformed person to represent you. However, the more successful you become in the game, the more well drawn your character becomes and the more opulent their background depicts their life. While it’s a rather shallow idea in practice, becoming more attractive as you gain money and power, it was fun to be able to see a physical approximation of my game progress.
Plot wise, this game is very simple. You’re a guy or gal who randoms into crazy situations with various women – who you then choose to court to become their lovers. Some of the strange circumstances you’ll find these women in are the following: beating a gamer girl’s arcade high score to catch her attention, meeting the local bakery guru, accidentally releasing an ancient earth deity, and finding your way to love with a gal from the future to name a few.
Each heroine has their own personality and conversation options, and generally meets some specific stereotype of personality. None of the characters are at all fleshed out, and all their development is only on the most basic of levels. Overall, Crush Crush comes off very light on story and character while still managing to provide some decent humor every now and then.
Mood and Atmosphere:
Crush Crush is often self-referential and mocking in its tone. The game knows it’s a game, and knows that it’s not a game about story or plot, or amazing artwork even. No, it’s a game that’s all about the gameplay, and that’s that. Some of the characters had some rather amusing lines of conversation to follow, but the longer I played the game the less I paid attention to what any of them were saying. My experience quickly became focused on progressing through the game at all costs, and on beating it to its fullest level.
Throughout your experience with Crush Crush you will be doing four things to progress in the game: managing jobs, selecting hobbies, granting gifts and going on dates, and clicking to gain ‘hearts.’
Each woman in the game has multiple stages to complete, progressing from being an annoyance to becoming her lover. Each stage requires certain gifts given, dates taken, jobs held, hobbies progressed, and hearts clicked to move on to the next level. The women start out fairly easy to please, and as you unlock more and more women to woo their demands become more grandiose and difficult to match.
Gifts and dates cost money to do, and money is gain by managing your jobs. There is a wide range of jobs to work, and each has ten levels to progress though as well; Jobs start low and go high. You can even end up with titles like: Galactic Overlord, THE LAW, Assassin, and Franchise Owner. Hobbies are like jobs in that they need to be worked at, but they have a maximum level of 75 and provide stat bonus to hearts gained by flirting with a woman who likes that hobby. Making jobs and hobbies more difficult to manage is that you are limited to how many time slots you have, and each level of progression requires a set amount of real-world time spent on them. You can unlock more time slots as you go through the game, but it will never be enough to level everything at once – thus making a need to prioritize what you gain experience in.
Hearts are much simpler to gain. All you must do is click on the heroine you’re focusing on, and each click registers as one heart gained – or you can flirt/talk to her to gain a larger amount at a slower rate.
While jobs and hobbies start only taking seconds to level, each new stage takes longer. At the higher levels it would take days to level a single time in either jobs or hobbies. To help players along in their end game goals, and adding another layer of grinding to the game, is Crush Crush’s reset bonus system. At any time you can choose to reset your game and all of the progress you have made. Doing so will let you keep all your time slots earned, and will provide a bonus to leveling speed based on what you’ve accomplished. Essentially, you’re able to restart the game at a faster speed repeatedly until you can beat the game and its crazy end game requirements. I ended my experience with Crush Crush at 600x game speed, and it still took days to finish out my hobbies to level 75.
In addition to all the above, Crush Crush has an in-game currency you can buy with real money or earn slowly via achievements called Diamonds. You can spend Diamonds on massive speed boosts, the ability to reset your game and gain the bonus it would grant without losing any progress, and even purchase custom outfits for some of the heroines. Honestly, unless you are willing to spend a month checking in on this game and working at it, you’re going to need Diamonds to fully finish the game. The end game requirements are insane, requiring quintillions of dollars for gifts and weeks to level abilities without the boost Diamonds can provide.
Crush Crush is a nice time waster for those times when you feel like vegging out on YouTube or Netflix, but want to feel like you’re still doing something. It’s a game that requires almost no attention, but provides a strong sense of progression – and that’s not a bad thing from time to time.
Crush Crush was published and developed by Sad Panda Studios, and was released for PC in 2016.
Check this game out for free, with in-game microtransations, on Steam for PC.