KRUNCH | LeGrudge & Rugged

It’s safe to say that most games require a certain degree of skill and precision, but KRUNCH is a game that takes it up a notch, or two...or three. KRUNCH is the debut from LeGrudge & Rugged in which your goal is to navigate through deadly obstacles and find the exit as quickly as you can. It gets more challenging and frustrating as you progress, but it’s always rewarding once you do advance. KRUNCH certainly demands precision and speed, but, without a little patience, you’ll find yourself hacked in half or electrocuted in no time.

Oh, speaking of time, your health gauge gradually decreases so you’re never without a sense of urgency. There is a speed boost to help you outrun enemies, but this drains your life faster, and it’s limited to a certain amount that is reserved strictly for health. In most levels, monsters are an infrequent nuisance that offer a slow demise rather than an abrupt end like other obstacles.

Never be too certain that you've made it through a level unscathed. There are sometimes unpleasant surprises that await you. And don't bother trying to hide in a safe spot, because there are none in KRUNCH. You can never let your guard down; only timing, precision, and quick thinking will help you survive a level. But death is certain in this game, and it’s not shy about reminding you either. Each time you die, the following screen taunts you with stats like how many times you've died in a certain amount of time and in what manner.

Keyboard controls are simple and intuitive, but, since you’re technically floating, there is an added element of movement. Overdoing it with the space-key can send you flying into danger. There’s little room for error so even subtle movements can have you bouncing into a wall of spikes. Luckily, the game supports gamepads which does add a level of smoothness to the controls and worked perfectly with my Afterglow controller and Xpadder.

Aesthetically, KRUNCH is extremely polished and well done. It has great retro graphics, but the soundtrack is what really stood out for me. The tracks provide the intensity and urgency throughout the stages to keep up the flow of the game. The music and sounds are never intrusive or annoying and always fit the mood of the level.

Overall, KRUNCH proves to be engaging, fast-paced, and rewarding – even after dying countless times. With over 100 levels, boss battles, and leaderboards, there is a lot of content packed into the game for extra replayability. KRUNCH is available now for Windows, Mac, and Linux, at http://krunchgame.com/. You can purchase the game only for $9.99, or you can get the game and soundtrack for $13.99.

Pros: Challenging yet rewarding, great soundtrack
Cons: Sensitive controls
Overall score: 4/5