Combo Crew takes inspiration from arcade-style beat’em up titles, like Double Dragon and Final Fight. The arcade influence of the title is apparent from the start, with the shallow music most users will quickly forget. Combo Crew has a ton of potential in its presentation and gameplay. There are a handful of character that can fight their way through a ton of levels. Each character has his or her own set of quirks and maneuvers, and the amount of customization is enough to leave the most serious of players satisfied for a long time. The one thing holding Combo Crew back is that the gameplay isn’t very fun.
When players first hop into Combo Crew, there’s one game mode available, King of the Tower. The first few stages of King of the Tower work as the game’s tutorial. Each level starts off with the selected character surrounded by enemies, and the player must swipe the screen where they want the character to attack. Typically, the faster players swipe, the faster characters attack, but there’s a limit on speed. Players can also swipe and hold the screen to perform a power attack, capable of hitting a guarding enemy. When a player has an opening, they can also unleash a combo attack by swiping with two fingers. Finally, if players can land enough hits in a short amount of time, they can use a super attack, potentially hitting all enemies on screen. The simplicity to fighting could be the game’s biggest asset, but it turns into its biggest issue. Many fights turn into swiping the screen furiously, and countering enemy attacks when necessary, removing the sense of fun and challenge from the gameplay.
Players who can put up with the gameplay will find a ton of extra content. King of the Tower mode has bunch of levels that will keep most players going for a long time. Players who want more of an arcade experience can check out Combo Crew mode, a single level that won’t end until the player loses. There’s a ton of customization present, as well. As users complete levels, they’ll earn various coins and points, which can be used to purchase in-game features. Coins can buy boosters and perks, which give temporary and permanent boosts to characters. Points are harder to come by, but can be used to unlock new characters and new moves. Neither of these currencies can be purchased with real money, so players need to play deep into the game to unlock all the content.
Combo Crew has a ton free content for a sub-two dollar game. Most of that content needs to be earned by playing the game, but the lack of in-app purchases will be extra appealing to many users. The arcade feel to the game is another added bonus that many players will appreciate. It’s unfortunate that such a great idea can be bogged down by gameplay that results in frantically swiping and tapping the screen. This is one of those cases where the game shows a lot of potential, but is held back by its own design choices. Some players will find exactly what they’re looking for, but most will just quickly get bored.
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A ton of charm and features can’t save Combo Crew from it’s boring gameplay.