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3DS  header logo

Crystal Adventure

For: 3DS   Also on: DSi

A-puzzling we go

Product: Crystal Adventure | Publisher: CIRCLE Entertainment | Format: 3DS | Genre: Puzzle, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Crystal Adventure 3DS, thumbnail 1
First impressions are not Crystal Adventure's strong point. After ten minutes I was stuck thanks to a silly auto-save system, and forced to start over from the beginning.

But once you really begin to get what this Circle Entertainment-developed title is about there's actually a great little puzzler / RPG hybrid to be found.

It could have done with a bit of a sprucing up, but for the DSiWare asking price this is well worth a look.

Crystal clear

At first glance, there isn't a lot to Crystal Adventure. It seems like an automatic-turn-based battler with a really cruddy universe to explore.

But look closer and the game quickly reveals itself to be a puzzle game, rather than an RPG. As it turns out, this is a far better prospect.

Bump into an enemy and a battle will automatically start. The idea is to kill enemies and clear a path to the exit, while constantly watching how much energy you have left.

Attack enemies that are too powerful and you'll die quickly - however, pick and choose the weaker enemies and you'll level-up, allowing you to then clear the bigger enemies out of the way.

It's incredibly tactical, as you continually move back and forth between floors, noting the levels of the enemies and remembering where to find them. This backtracking turns out to be brilliant fun.


There are some issues, mainly relating to the presentation rather than the gameplay.

Visually it's pretty awful, with dull tiled graphics that stretch all over the place, and character animation that barely even gives the impression that he's walking properly. It doesn't hurt the game as such, but it definitely makes it more difficult to recommend.

The menu system is unwieldy - you can't actually pause during a game, nor quit out to the main menu. Rather, the game automatically saves whenever you enter a new floor.

This in itself is harrowing: if you accidentally enter a new floor while you have barely any HP left, you can technically get stuck as a result, and be forced to restart the entire game.

Still, there's plenty to like here, and perhaps Circle will build on the base title and provide a sequel that ticks even more of our boxes.
Crystal Adventure
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 25 January 2013
Give Crystal Adventure a chance, and you'll find some great gameplay behind its lacklustre aesthetic
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