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PiraCrash! Review

Piracrash is a colorful head-to-head style arcade game. The characters are oversized and the playing fields are limited in size, similar to a classic arcade game. The graphics use very bright colors with maximum saturation, indeed Piracrash has the look of a professionally made game. However, Piracrash has the feel of a very underdeveloped game with very important presentation and delivery faults. Piracrash is designed to be played with a controller, although keyboard usage is an option in the game.

Piracrash has the usual sound and graphics options, although the graphics resolution options are limited to only a few resolutions for some odd reason. The biggest miss for Piracrash options is the lack of control remapping, or even an explanation for how to use the keyboard in the game. The typical right-handed WASD works for movement, but as there is no guide anywhere, figuring out what other keys are needed is left to the player to discover through random pecking of the keys. In short, the developers assume everyone knows how they programmed the keyboard controls. For some strange reason, launching Piracrash causes Steam VR to load, even though the game apparently doesn’t support VR play. If Steam VR is closed, the game shuts down, so it is required for some reason.

Piracrash has a few modes of play; it is intended to be a head-to-head game with two live players, but it does have a sort of campaign where a solo player plays against AI. In this solo mode, no explanation for what the player’s goal is or how to play is given. On the first level the player is dropped into a level with water and pair of giant rubber ducks attack the player at high speed. There is an indication of lives in the upper left which will rapidly dwindle from five hearts to dead. Another indicator is something called “Special” in the lower left corner; what it means is a complete mystery. There is a timer in the upper right, but there doesn’t appear to be any time limit for completing a level. Random mashing of keys to try and do something other than moving resulted in the game speed slowing to about 25% of normal. It appears to be the “C” key. The “J” key was eventually discovered to fire some sort of projectile, which shows little in the way of a discernable effect, other than “Special” will begin to climb.

Piracrash looks and sounds good, but it desperately needs attention to control options, a tutorial, some message in the beginning of a level about what the player is supposed to do. There seem to be goals to complete, but what they are is simply missing and it defies logic that the developers would think that players will just know inherently. Until such time when the developers see fit to improve the controls and presentation Piracrash is not recommended, however it does look like it could be made into a good game with some work.

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Jacmac is an ancient gamer that loves open world, strategy, FPS, and tactical sims, but will play almost anything.

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