Crossy Road, the endless runner mashup that’s parts Flappy Bird and Frogger dressed in a Lego suit has finally made the jump from iOS and Android to Windows platforms. Created by Aussie developers Hipster Whale, the game has been a huge hit on iOS and Android and praised not just for its simple and highly addictive gameplay but also for a “freemium” pricing model that avoids crippling the game behind a paywall.
The game itself is much in the vein of Frogger in that your task is to navigate your little avatar (initially a chicken) across an endless amount of roads, train tracks and rivers in a bid to get the highest score possible. The difficulty increases the further you travel but it feel like a gradual process. Deaths occur often and quickly but the game has you back at the start again within moments so there’s little holding you back from having one more go.
Controls are dead simple: tap to jump forward and swipe to move left, right and back. There is a potential for a swipe to be misinterpreted as a tap which can often lead to a squishy end but with practise and more carefully planned swipes you can reduce the chances of it happening.
Visually, the game makes great use of voxels to create a cute and chunky world to bounce through. The design is distinctive and almost iconic; I could see t-shirts being printed of some of this stuff. Audio also changes based on the avatar selected but I admit that I still enjoy using the chicken just on its sound effects alone.
Over time, the player accrues coins which can be used to obtain new avatars via a lucky dip. There’s a charming sense of humour with these additional characters; some of them alter the game mechanics or the visuals but nothing that breaks the game or skews the scoring. Seeing my chicken replaced with a ghost navigating around tombstones instead of trees brought a smile to my face.
Avatars can also be purchased by those wanting to avoid the lucky dip and the game occasionally recommends avatar options and even short trials but none of these get in the way of the game itself or make one class of player feel less than another.
Now please excuse me while I try to beat my last score… 101 and counting…
Crossy Road is now available on the Windows / Phone app stores. The game is also available for iOS and Android.