Krinkle Krusher

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Krinkle Krusher Game Poster Image
Tricky controls, high difficulty mar unique defense game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Constant warfare, battle eliminates chances for positive messages.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters mostly focused on destroying invading Krinkles. The Glove character is sarcastic, occasionally rude.

Ease of Play

Controls not always responsive, easy to cast the wrong spell by accident. Frustrating to get speed, accuracy you need to win. High learning curve.

Violence

Focus is on destroying Krinkles, which are cartoon characters. There's no blood, but Krinkles are shown being electrocuted (classic black/white skeleton animation), set on fire, frozen. They dissolve when killed.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Krinkle Krusher is a downloadable strategy game where your goal is to defend your castle from an onslaught of hungry Krinkles. It falls somewhere between a tower defense game and a castle defense game. There's a high learning curve, and the first 10 levels may end up being the most challenging of the lot (with 60 levels total). A lot of kids may be turned off by the difficulty before they even get into the game; it requires a lot of fine motor control, as each spell cast requires a different type of swipe, tap, or controller commands. The character you play, the Glove, has a sarcastic tone and often makes snarky remarks to the kingdom's Wizard. Though Krinkles are electrocuted, frozen, or set on fire, they dissolve when killed.

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What's it about?

KRINKLE KRUSHER tells the tale of a kingdom holding a party to celebrate an ancient magical tree. They have baked a cake from its fruit for everyone to enjoy. The Krinkles smell the cake and lay siege on the castle so they can have a taste. The kingdom's Wizard creates a set of spell rings to help defend against the Krinkles, and players deploy the spells as a smart-talking Glove. Each spell represents an element and only has a certain amount of mana available to use before it needs to recharge. Use too much mana and the ring will break, requiring time before it's repaired. The Krinkles also are tied to the elements, so spells must be chosen carefully to keep them from growing stronger. Defense of your castle is worth up to three stars in each level. If you earn three stars, you'll earn a gem, which can be used to upgrade spells and the castle. You'll need to make it through 60 levels, including three bosses, to save the kingdom from the Krinkles.

Is it any good?

Krinkle Krusher brings a little something different to the tower defense/castle defense genre, with a colorful and fun set of animations. But the high difficulty early on is extremely frustrating and a major turnoff. The controls, which work best on the PS Vita, can be challenging and may hinder your progress; in fact, it's way too easy to accidentally cast the wrong spell, potentially enhancing Krinkles when you're trying your best to eliminate them. On top of these gameplay issues, the dialogue is cheesy, and the Glove constantly yells things such as "Krinkletastic!" and "Krinkemania!" as you destroy enemies. If you can work past these problems, the strategy becomes more complex and interesting, giving you a chance to upgrade your spells to handle the variety of Krinkles that come your way. Krinkle Krusher has a decent premise and some engaging strategy, but its serious implementation issues ruin the experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about problem solving. What are some other solutions the people might use to keep the Krinkles from destroying the castle? Can you find at least one that doesn't involve violence?

  • If you were going to make a magical ring to defend a kingdom, what would it do?

  • What do you think the Krinkles are like when they aren't on a mission to get cake? Where do they live? What do they eat? How do they communicate with one another?

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For kids who love strategy

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