There’s a lot of good brawlers on iOS but most sport on screen controls which are always a turn off. Developers either make allowances for the on screen controls by cutting combos all together or by making them too easy to pull off, breaking the balancing. Combo Crew looks to break this tradition by offering a full touch screen arcade brawler.
The first thing Combo Crew gets right is its accessibility. The controls, like any good brawler are easy to pick up but hard to master. Tap to punch and counter, swipe to combo and hold to charge up a heavy attack. It’s as easy to grasp the controls as it sounds but things soon get complicated. With several enemies on screen and your waying up the risk of throwing down a combo or building up a charge attack all while being surrounded by a number of different type of enemies, you’ll have full confidence that any failure will be down to you and not the controls.
You may think that having an arcade brawler with touch controls might make things a bit too easy and you could get away with just swaying your fingers back and forth on the screen and watch the carnage unfold. Combo Crew lets you get away with crazy finger swaying the first few rounds but expects you to learn the depth of it’s fighting system pretty quickly and is all the better for it. The depth of the fighting system soon becomes apparent and you’ll naturally realise that random quick taps and swipes won’t build up your combos (or make you last that long for that matter!).
Combo Crew consists of two modes; King Of The Tower, which effectively acts as the single player campaign sporting around 40 levels in a few different areas and Combo Crew mode; an endless wave mode where if you die, you can invite a friend to finish off your enemy wave. If they succeed, you’re revived (with their score from the round being converted into your health). It’s a really neat multiplayer addition which I really liked; though the multiplayer login is linked to your facebook account, which is somewhat limiting (though you can still invite friends via email).
All the fighting you do gives you a nice supply of gold coins and controllers, which act as the in game currency. What was especially refreshing to see with Combo Crew is that the in game currency is very much in game – there’s no in app purchasing to boost your in game currency, everything is earnt with skill. This makes every in game purchase that little bit more rewarding, and it truly was a refreshing surprise.
The graphics are also spot on, Combo Crew’s cell-shaded visuals work fantastically and the fighting animations look brilliant in motion. The general presentation of the game is very polished and navigation feels perfectly natural. Performance wise, I suffered no slow down no matter how hectic things got on screen and only a few animation bugs during boss battles in King Of The Tower were present during my playthrough. The one thing I would like to have seen is a bit more variety to the backgrounds, with some more interactive elements to them.
I have very few complaints with Combo Crew and vastly enjoyed my time with it. Combo Crew’s simply not a game to miss, regardless to whether you’re a fighter fan or not. Combo Crew sports great controls, fantastic graphics, no in app purchases and a low price tag.
+ Fantastic controls.
+ Lots of depth.
+ Lovely graphics.
- Few minor animation glitches.
– Not quite enough variety between the different backgrounds.