Back in October, Angry Mob Games released Muffin Knight. While we found it to be worth checking out, there was no denying that the developer had ripped the concept for that game right out of Vlambeer’s PC cult hit Super Crate Box. Thus, Vlambeer decided to release an iOS version of the original. Unfortunately, control problems and a lack of content compared to its imitator make it the less desirable choice.
The concept of Super Crate Box is simple: enemies drop from the top of the screen and make a path downwards to a pit. Your goal is to collect as many crates as possible without getting hit by an oncoming baddie. Each time you collect a crate your weapon is swapped for a random new one. It’s complete luck of the draw as some weapons are far more powerful than others, and getting stuck with a bad weapon can easily mean game over. Your final score is based on how many crates you collect.
Black hole sun, won’t you come.
Difficulty ramps up immediately, even on the lowest difficulty setting. This means the difficulty curve is incredibly steep. It doesn’t help that the unlock requirements for new characters, difficulty levels and so on are very high, some to a point that seems near-impossible to reach, even for the best players. The one exception is weapons, which unlock after collecting a cumulative amount of crates across all games.
The difficulty wouldn’t be so infuriating if the controls were tight but, alas, they’re far from it. The touch area for buttons is very small and often unresponsive, causing your character to miss a jump or fail to shoot his weapon. Most games we played ended due to a control issue and that’s not acceptable for a game designed around twitch reactions.
What Super Crate Box doesn’t have is also a problem when put next to Muffin Knight. Muffin Knight has better controls, online multiplayer, many more levels (there are only three in Super Crate Box), upgradable characters and a better difficulty curve. Despite being the original, Super Crate Box needs to step up its game if it wants to compete.
Until Vlambeer releases control fixes and content updates, Muffin Knight is going to get you more for your dollar. However, it’s also worth trying out the PC/Mac version of the game for free, as it plays much better and allows you to see if this style of game is right for you.