Super Crush K.O. Aims to Be A Game Everyone Can Play
The new indie title is looking to be a fist full of fun with a beautiful art style to go with it.
Super Crush K.O. is easily one of the top upcoming indies that players should keep an eye out for. It has a delightful and charming pastel art style on top of tight satisfying gameplay. Known for Graceful Explosion Machine, Canadian studio Vertex Pop seems to have a hit a home run here and what I played was just a demo created for PAX West. It’s simplistic and stylish, yet tactical and precise. There were times where I found the game too easy, then later found myself dead for being too careless. As a sidescrolling platform brawler, Super Crush K.O. plays well and looks great; however, I want to know how much of an impact the story has in the game.
As I said before, the demo I got to play is not a part of the final product, but just made to show off what players can expect once it comes out. In Super Crush K.O. you play as Karen. She’s a young adult woman who takes the fight to an invading robot alien army after they steal her cat Chubbz. The combat is straightforward with there being only a few ways to fight. Karen can punch and shoot and has five special abilities she can use. Vertex Pop was very transparent that these tools are all that players will have access to in the full game and that it is the player’s responsibility to use them the best that they can. Originally, I thought this would quickly make the gameplay bland and boring, but in reality, each fight was different so combat felt new each time.
Her first ability is Twister Drill where she will dive through a line of enemies dealing massive damage and tossing them up into the air. The Uppercut Slice is a vertical punch that will drag grounded enemies up with her. Air Pop is a diagonal kick that directs downwards into foes. Another way to knock adversaries into the air is Ground Shake, where Karen slams her fists down to the ground. Last is what you could consider her “Ultimate” move where she releases a giant pink beam reminiscent to a Kamehameha from Dragon Ball that obliterates enemies. Her ultimate is built up through a blue bar on the upper left side of the screen.
“As a sidescrolling platform brawler, Super Crush K.O. plays well and looks great.”
Outside of her ultimate, these abilities can follow up with one another and transition seamlessly. However, players must use a portion of their “ability bar” that is split into four segments to activate these moves. If you don’t have a segment full, an ability cannot be used. This adds the strategic aspect to the gameplay, making your uses matter. The bar will rise naturally while punching enemies, so if you are constantly fighting the ability bar becomes less of an inhibiting factor.
With Karen’s gun, I could shoot enemies from afar. Just like her punches and abilities, I could switch instantly to my gun and if I was in the air I would stay there completely suspended as long as I was still shooting. The gun technically has a clip, but it does gradually recharge when it isn’t being used.
I got to speak with Vertex Pop about difficulty options because my experience at the time wasn’t much of a challenge. Their response was disappointing in a sense, but also inspiring. The developer said “I want this to be a game my niece can play,” which I can understand and appreciate. Usually, I like to play games on a difficulty that is harder than normal to engage myself more, but with something like Super Crush K.O. I’m okay with that being sacrificed for accessibility because it is still extremely fun.
Walking away I thoroughly enjoyed the little time I had with Super Crush K.O. It is shaping up to be a great arcade indie title. My only question leading up launch is how involved the story will end up being. Even then, the combat is so great that the platforming doesn’t bother me that much, I just want my hands on the complete product. Super Crush K.O. releases early next year on Nintendo Switch and Steam.