Crashlands is a neat little game almost in the vein of something like Don't Starve combined with Minecraft or Terraria. It's not entirely a survival game, it's not entirely a crafting/decoration game, but it has elements of both and it pits you against a large world where you must accomplish missions, mine resources, craft better gear, rinse, repeat. It's a fun and interesting idea, but I'm not sure it works 100% well on iOS, both because of control issues, and also because when I have hours to spend doing nothing but tight loops of crafting and fighting, it's rarely on my iPad.

After a small tutorial about moving around, you're dropped on a planet with nothing but your wits and a crashed spaceship that can help you with basic crafting recipes. From there, you chop down a few trees and build a small base, then you move around to find quests and different materials. The core idea of the game is good, with snappy action and a vast world, but moving around is a bit rough. It's a tough issue to tackle on mobile, but having to tap where you want to move is a bit difficult, especially since your character can get obscured by your finger on-screen. There are plenty of materials and crafting stations to get you on a wild tech tree chase and while there seems to be plenty of stuff that is purely cosmetic - not sure if having stone floors is better than straw floors - you can make gear with stats and rarities - and randomized effects to boot - and other tools.

I had a few issues with the fighting as well, since you need to tap enemies once to start auto-attacking them, but then you also need to tap around to dodge their attack areas, helpfully highlighted on the ground. I kinda wish you would have more ranged weapons and that the character would automatically hit an enemy forever once you targeted them once. It's a bit rough moving around to dodge hits and projectiles while also needing to tap sometimes fast moving enemies in order to resume attacking them. You have an array of healing and damaging items all on cooldowns and they help survive stomping, dashing and projectile spitting enemies.

The map is quite big, but there are teleporters everywhere, so that's helpful. Quests are scattered around but the game is nice enough to give you indications of where you have to go. Quests are usually fetch quests, or require you to kill a bunch of monster at a certain location. You'll get recipes and items from completing them, and you can follow the main story by doing them. There are also pets that buff you and attack enemies for you, but only when you target them first. 

I liked Crashlands but couldn't get really far into it because of how I play iOS games. I feel like this would be a bit better on a PC - but then again, I don't have time to sunk into this kind of game nowadays. I wish there was more variety in weapons besides melee stuff and I kinda wish the controls were a bit different, but it's overall a great game in that vein.

AuthorJérémie Tessier