Crossy Road: So Simple Amazons Can Do It
This is a first for me. I'm reviewing a game played on my Amazon Fire TV Stick instead of my other mobile devices or a console. Gary Busey would be proud. I'm sure I won't be the first, and with the expanding media options out there, I'm also sure that soon it will be a fairly common way to review a game.
Amazon of the Flame
We purchased the Amazon Fire TV Stick at Christmas time when they offered it to Amazon Prime members. As a household that had already cut the cable, having Netflix, Hulu, etc. with a voice remote was an easy choice to make.
To my surprise, a number of gaming apps are offered right off Amazon's main menu screen. You can even buy a console style game controller, as well.
Flipping through the newest games, my son pointed and said 'Crossy Road!' and that was that.
Developer Hipster Whale is out to answer to that age-old question...
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
'So I can earn enough credits to win a Pewtiepie Pug!'
The bright and colorful images have an 8-bit look that will have some harking back to the early days of Activision (Google River Raid and Pitfall).
You can pretty much sum up Crossy Road as Frogger that never ends. There's no home base to reach, no limited number of lives, and no time limit. In the vein of Flappy Bird, this game keeps you resetting and starting over after each frustratingly comical death.
The goal really is just to see how far you can go, hopping across roads, rivers, fields and train tracks without drowning or getting squished. And adding to your roster of Road Crossers.
Why Did Everyone Cross the Road?
Each successful move forward is a point. You can also go out of your way to pick up coins along the way. But, you have to keep moving forward or a friendly vulture will swoop in and take you to lunch. His lunch.
The coins you gather, combined with occasionally won prizes and your scores, will allow you to buy substitute jumpers for your original chicken.
None of these Road Crossers will really improve your chances. Some actually make the game even more challenging, but they add variety as they hop about or die in unique fashions.
You can take your chances on winning them or spend a couple of bucks to buy the more odd and rare.
It's easy to see how this four-color arcade-style game could rack up the downloads in a hurry. There's no real learning curve. In fact, the game's first level shows you how to move and then turns you loose.
There's your chicken. Move him. Don't die. - Crossy Road 101
Even the Fire TV Stick's simple mini remote was enough to get him hopping around. On tablets and phones, it's a matter of swiping for movement and tapping for jumping forward.
Each section you cross is randomly generated and mixed so there's no memorization. The dangers come at different speeds as well.
Amazon Finds No Joy
Bottom line: Crossy Road is a cute distraction but not much more, really. I know others are doting on it and you may be one of them. Sometimes a little distraction is all we're looking for.
Bottom line: Crossy Road is a cute distraction but not much more, really.
The lack of checkpoints or definitive long-term goal may be reminiscent of the throwback Atari and Nintendo eras, but that was one of the reasons so many old school games were frustrating or left you feeling accomplished. Some players like the idea of a tangible goal.
Don't get me wrong, it may become a trusty standard in your app folder when you're waiting at the dentist office or needing to keep kids quiet in the car. You can have a quick go then just as quickly put it away.
And one easily can find themselves saying, "Okay, just ONE more try!" again and again before putting it down.
I personally could never justify paying even just a few bucks for the rare characters. Luckily, you can play it completely free with minimal disruption. I won't judge you. After all, everyone has their own idea of what fun is.