CreatorCrate (PC) Review
Shuffling circular space station with stunning interior layout
Lots and lots of tinkering
Switch your mind between stop-and-think and react-and improvise modes
Neither controller nor keyboard + mouse option is best suited
Physics needs to be tuned in some cases
A slapstick physics-based 2D platformer with a fast-paced playstyle at its heart, CreatorCrate approaches the platformer genre in a ridiculously chaotic way. As wild as it is, the most appealing thing about this game is the amount of creative freedom that goes beyond the scope of typical platformers.
You are literally a technologically advanced crate created aboard some kind of high-tech space station by a bunch of scientists. To be specific, you are a prototype of highly capable 3D printers. And that’s where the name comes from, CreatorCrate. A box that can create anything. The beef between you and the scientists is that you don’t want to be a lab subject and want to be free as you’ve gained sentience. The whole game revolves around the crate’s attempt at escaping the always-spinning giant space station.
This is one of those platformers that prefer mouse and keyboard combo over controller which is a blessing and curse. While it has the advantage of aiming with the mouse, I personally want to have my movements controlled with a joystick on the controller. On the other hand, if you decide to roll with the controller, you will be sacrificing a huge chunk of aim accuracy which is unarguably a more important function in this game. You need your aim to do many things around the station that range from gunning down the guards, throwing objects and acid bombs to grabbing things and absorbing their matter.
Absorbing the matter of the objects, which is a primary gameplay system, is one thing you will be doing consistently. Matter is simply the energy source of everything you do. Need to print out a gun, a table, or even a human body? It costs a certain amount of matter depending on the item type. Printout items can be used for multipurpose and have several ways of using them. The catch is there are only three item slots available for numerous objects, so you have to pick what you want to incorporate into your playstyle. The required amount of matter to print varies from object to object, but surprisingly the thing that takes the most amount of matter isn’t an object. To repair the damage sustained, the most substantial portion of the matter bar must be consumed just to refill one out of three health points.
It’s hard to pinpoint the best thing about Creator Crate when singing its praise. The industrial design with roguelike elements and massive freedom to come up with ways to overcome obstacles, traps, human and robotic enemies in a gigantic space station with a side of techno music is a perfect combination. It got some noticeably sick beats that really hoist up the feel of overall aesthetics. The most integral part of it is the maze-like interconnected structural layout of the space station. You will be switching on and off the map key on your keyboard every few minutes just for navigation purposes. Instead of traditional level/stage segmentation, what you get here is a dangerously fast-paced gameplay experience in a continuous manner. What it means is that there is no display message telling you what stage you are at in the game, and you won’t probably get the satisfaction of completing a level because of it. But it takes your mind off of how it gets progressively harder because the whole gameplay is completed in one setting with a few boss fights along the way.
The controls aren’t easy to pick up and it’s hard to tell what items do what on the station because of the way things are designed to create a sense of chaos on board. Still, it’s a justifiable sacrifice for the betterment of overall gameplay.