Tokyo Crash Mobs

Tokyo Crash Mobs review

Tokyo Crash Mobs review

Point and clique.

Language can be weird. Take Tokyo Crash Mobs as an example: if I told you that this 3DS eShop curio is a game about going bowling with strangers, you might think I was describing some kind of 10-pin multiplayer set-up with leaderboards and asynchronous challenges. Not quite. It's about going bowling with strangers: it's a match-three game in which you roll - or sometimes throw - brightly clothed dandies into snaking queues and jiggling conga lines of other brightly clothed dandies in order to group colours together and cancel people out. The dandies are called scenesters, incidentally, and the groups of same-hued scenesters you steadily remove are called cliques.

It's Puzz Loop in essence, which isn't really surprising, since it comes from the team that created Puzz Loop. This is a design that's been fairly heavily cloned over the years - it's probably most famous now as Zuma, from PopCap - but Mitchell Corporation has decided to keep things fresh by piling on tweaks and gimmicks and by covering the whole thing with a bizarre aesthetic.

Let's deal with that bit first, actually. Tokyo Crash Mobs uses digitised video of the sort made famous by Narc back in the arcades. The effect here is closer to a WarioWare micro-game, however: Crash Mob's queues and ever-inching lines are composed of roughly animated clones, decked out in cone-fatigue suits, who move jerkily across low-res concrete plazas. The whole thing is broken up, meanwhile, with cut-scenes depicting various men and women doing weird things in public places, exchanging lingering, sometimes rather alarmed looks, and occasionally falling through cheaply rendered depictions of interplanetary space.

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