For coffee lover in you.
Title: Coffee Crisis
Platform: PC, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One
Developer: Mega Cat Studios
Release date: Out now.
tl;dr: Almost as fun as Double Dragon.
Price: $10/£10 (across all platforms)
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Earth has been invaded by an alien race called the Smurglian. These extraterrestrial beings have landed on our planet in order to steal our Wifi, metal music and our best brands of coffee. It’s up to Nick and Ashley, two baristas from the Black Forge Coffee House, to go head-to-head with the alien threat and save the world.
Coffee Crisis is a 16-bit beat’em up which is reminiscent of games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. As either Nick or Ashley, players go through each level fighting through hordes of alien forces to reach a boss at the end of the level. Unlike the traditional beat’em up, instead of using their punches, Nick and Ash use coffee bags to smash through their enemies. Thankfully, each level also include a handful of additional weapons which can be picked up.
Once players successfully finish a level, they are confronted by a “Test your might,” type of mini game where by mashing the prompted button, players need to drink as much coffee as possible in order to “regain some strength,” before tackling more alien forces. While it is a nice little throwback, it feels more like filler than anything else.
There’s one mechanic that make this game stand out from the genre, and it’s the rogue gameplay mechanic: 1 – 8 randomizers. This means that each playthrough will vary by having enemies spawn at different spots (so memorization is not an option) or change the screen by applying a black/white or cathode filters. This will impact the game’s difficulty even on the lower setting, as randomizers can either help you or hinder your progress. In my experience, I kept getting randomizers that would make things harder; combined with my main gripe, that the game never really explains which randomizer does what, it can lead to some frustrations. Thankfully, these can be turned off in the Options menu prior to starting a new playthrough.
Unlike the traditional save system that we’re used to, in order to keep things as old school as possible, Mega Cat Studios implemented a Password system instead. So every time you’ll see the game over screen, a password will be available for your to note down in order to pick up where you died. I’ll admit that while I do love this throwback feature, however it feels a bit archaic for modern players.
The game’s presentation is solid; the 16-bit visuals are well represented, but there are some collision issues; often I wouldn’t be aligned with an enemy and they were able to make contact while I couldn’t return the favor. Metal heads will be quite happy with the game’s score – the best way to describe it would be a comparing it to Trivium, so go on and headbang your way through the alien invasion.
As a huge fan of beat’em ups, I had high hopes for Coffee Crisis. However, the more I played, the more I found myself annoyed by the randomizers, despite this being the only saving grace of the game overall. It is a competent beat’em up, but considering there are better options available (Raging Justice, Mother Russia Bleeds), it is kind of difficult to recommend Coffee Crisis, considering the best parts are also its drawbacks.
- Local co-op
- Excellent metal soundtrack
- Randomizers aren’t fun
- Screen randomizers/filters are annoying
Coffee Crisis is rated T for Teen and PEGI 12 due to the presence of blood, crude humor, mild language, use of alcohol and violence. I mean it *is* a beat’em up: players need to beat aliens with coffee bags. Not drink a coffee over a nice conversation.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a review code provided by the developer for the purposes of this review.