Demolition Crew (Second Chance with the Chick Review)

It’s been just over two months since I last played Demolition Crew for the Nintendo Switch, but it doesn’t take that long to patch a game these days (well, at least if don’t have a complete shit heel of a publisher). Demolition Crew showed glimpses of potential, but once I discovered a game-destroying glitch that allowed players to phantom-jump up a wall while clipping through surfaces, I threw in the towel. While the phantom jump can still be done, the aspect of it that allowed players to just go straight through the floor is apparently gone. And, while he was at it, developer Xirbx added minor gameplay tweaks and cleanups. It’s still a strange name for a game like this. One that plays much more like Ice Climber than Wrecking Crew. I mean, you’re not really demolishing anything except the occasional wall or floor. You’re just scaling to the roof of buildings to ring a bell. Of course, as the Game of Thrones final season taught us, when the bells ring, everything gets destroyed. Maybe it was prophetic.

I don’t know if these openings were just for the enemies to hit me. It seems like it wouldn’t be so, since there’s piles of snowballs I can use to fight back against them, but I couldn’t throw them through the holes. Weird.

Does Demolition Crew, a loving tribute to the Black Box Era of the NES, play better? Yes. It’s still a more idealized realization of whatever it was Ice Climber was aiming for back in 1985. Is it fun? Not a whole lot. The primary design hurdle with the original build is still there: Demolition Crew just doesn’t have enough stuff going on. It’s not particularly challenging. It’s not hard to overcome obstacles or avoid enemies. The best levels are the ones that require you to use items to clear floors, but the solutions are always self-evident and not exactly hard to pull off. It still has that “proof of concept” feel. Super easy games have a place. I could see this being a great game for children. But there’s no teeth at all here. This is like demolishing a building full of barrels of ducks.

I was caught off guard by the game’s ending. I thought I might have crashed it or something. It just ends after 32 stages and dumps back to the title screen. I’ve never seen that in my eight years at IGC.

Is it ever fun? Sometimes. Not enough to win me over, because too often making it to top floor in Demolition Crew is such a cinch that there’s nothing to get energized over. Ironically for a game about climbing, it just scales too slowly. There are good levels, but they come late into the thirty-two stage run. The patch isn’t a failure or anything. Demolition Crew is a better game. And it’s an impressive development feat. Demolition Crew was coded from the ground-up. It’s not a bad first effort. It’s just not a fun enough one either. It shows a lot of potential, which makes developer xirBX one to watch. A class act with a bright future. He can take feedback. That’s half the battle. Well, actually I imagine getting the game made is a lot more than half a battle. And then there’s actually getting the game listed. That’s a battle for a lot of developers. Fine: being able to take feedback is a fraction of a battle. BUT it’s still part of the battle.

Demolition Crew was developed by xirBX
Point of Sale: Nintendo Switch

$2 got its bell rung in the making of this review.

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