Crashlands, by the awesomely named Butterscotch Shenanigans, defies general gaming classification. It is a mix of a whole lot of things gamers will find readily familiar, but rarely are found blended together. It is an action-adventure game with fast-paced, real-time combat. It is a role-playing game with a storyline full of quests to complete, pets to meet, and gear to collect. It is a crafting game with an ever-evolving technology tree. Crashlands is part Minecraft, part Don’t Starve, part tactical-RPG, and part Diablo 3.
In Crashlands you play Flux Dabes, who is essentially an inter-galactic UPS driver. She’s diligently working, in close collaboration with JuiceBox, her right-hand robot, when her ship encounters the creepy disembodied head of an alien named Hewgodooko. In a search for new and sweet tech the alien tears Flux’s ship to pieces to get at one piece of it. Yeah, dude’s a jerk.
The ship promptly crash lands on a planet called Woanope where the first order of business is survival. The second order of business is, well, business. You need to get a comm device working to send a message to the Bureau of Shipping to come and get you. Actually they’ll come to get the packages so they can be properly delivered, but you’ll probably be given a ride off of Woanope too.
Lucky for you surviving isn’t so hard, thanks to JuiceBox’s analytic engine that spits out crafting recipes like Pez candies. All you have to do is gather the raw materials—plants, sticks, sawgrass, and so on—and you can make all kinds of weapons, armor, tools, equipment, housing materials, and more.
As you walk about Woanope in search of things you’ll encounter all manner of critters. Often these encounters will result in bloodshed. Probably yours at first. Once you have weapons and armor however, creatures flip to become things to be harvested rather than fled from. You’ll figure out their attack patterns when they get all up in your face and a little practice and reasonable dexterity will allow you to survive these encounters and make use of your kills in the appropriately named Skinnery. Remember crashlanders: use every part of the Wompit!
Some creatures can be tamed and make good pets. They’ll even walk around with you and attack things that are mean to you. There are nineteen different possible pets in Crashlands and you can collect them all! This basically makes you the crazy-cat lady of Woanope though.
The depth of play and amount of content in Crashlands is quite simply off the charts, especially for a mobile title. You can play for hours and hours and pretty much pick your path. You can play it like a role-playing game and follow the main storyline, crafting what you need to survive—maybe even thrive—and get off the planet. Or you can dive all the way down the optimization rabbit hole and become an ultra-efficient super predator stalking across your newfound home, dominating all you see, and making lots of cool stuff. There’s a lot of space between those options on the Crashlands continuum and Woanope makes for an awesome sandbox in which to play. Even better, it is very easy to tackle this game in bite-sized chunks while on the go. Go in for a crash landing on iOS or Android!