As soon as I started playing The Crackpet Show, I thought of the game Smash TV because it’s a very similar premise, you’re running from room to room as part of a game show where you have to run and kill enemies to earn money and fame. A more recent and relevant comparison would be The Binding of Isaac as not only does it have a similar setup to Smash TV but there are also some roguelike elements which The Crackpet Show also has so instead of comparisons let’s talk about how the game actually plays and what it is.
It is one to four players which is nice, a lot of roguelikes tend to only be single player or maybe two-player co-op at best so I thought this was a nice feature. Right off the bat there are four different characters that you can pick from which are different animals so that you can each play as something different but it is only cosmetic at least at this point in time and does not affect the gameplay in any way. Once everybody has picked their preferred character then they will have to pick which class that they’re going to be which really only determines which weapon and special ability that you start with, now with your characters all set up the game show theme continues as you pick which episode that you’re going to play, episodes determine what type of enemies you’re going to run into what types of levels you may find and ultimately which boss you’re going to fight at the end as you go through an episode and you complete a room, it will then sometimes give you a choice of where to go next it’s not always there as the early levels tend to only have one way but as you progress more you’ll be able to choose things like if the next room is gonna give you a new weapon, a new perk or maybe even some bonus fame.
Fame is essentially the in-game currency and it’s what you use to buy new weapons and items whenever you find a shop. Any perks, weapons or items that you find in any run will only be for that particular playthrough and as with many roguelikes you’re going to start all over again, each time you do that you also collect fame and it’s used to buy more permanent upgrades that make things stronger.
I was actually really excited to be able to take a look at this game and be able to tell you all about it but unfortunately i quickly found out that the shooting mechanics were just not at all fun for me to play. Instead of opting for actual control over your aiming you’re just gonna hold the a button and it’s gonna automatically lock on and shoot your nearest enemy instead of having any type of control over the aiming of your character, this oversimplifies everything and makes some parts way too easy because it does everything for you or way too difficult because there’s no way to give a lead in shot for the enemy to move into. With the game still being in early access i’m hoping that this is something that can change in the future and that maybe they’ll just keep it as an easy mode but later on add some manual targeting that gives you extra bonuses or something.
The graphics are eye pleasing, the character designs and animations are well done and everything has just got a cool look to it. The music feels a bit placeholder when you’re playing the levels but in between has kind of a groovy little vibe to it. Unfortunately in the end everything can be great but if it’s just not fun to play then who cares, so hopefully they can make some changes with this early access title and be able to make it more fun for people to enjoy.