Super Crate Box iPhone Review

There's a scene in the movie Big where Tom Hank's character, while in a MacMillan Toy Company meeting, raises his hand and says (in response to a proposed product line), "I don't get it."

That basically sums up our thoughts on Super Crate Box, and more specifically, the overwhelmingly positive reaction from the press, which ultimately convinced us to spend the $0.99 to purchase it.

This game is super irritating. You take control of a tiny dude, where the goal is to kill enemies and collect crates before he, she or it croaks. The higher number of crates collected, the better.

Meanwhile, the developers at Vlambeer display one crate at a time on-screen. Pass over said crate, and you gain access to a weapon, while causing another crate (and different weapon) to appear in some random location.

Sometimes, you luck out with a rocket launcher or machine gun. Other times, the game supplies your character with dual pistols that fire too slowly to have any real effect, or perhaps a disc gun that not only slices monsters in half, but also ricochets off hard surfaces and kills your hero.

Bottom line, you never know which weapon is next, which is a nice way of saying the designers can screw you over at any moment.

This is also one of those one hit and you're dead types of games, so expect to die quite a bit.

To be fair, the concept is OK, and the retro graphics have a cool 8-bit vibe. We just cannot muster enough excitement to care. Poor collision detection means enemies reach your character even though it seemed like you executed a high enough jump to vault over them. Meanwhile, the randomness of the weapons simply makes the game tougher than it should be. No one in his or her right mind should want to go from a flamethrower to landmines.

Factor in just three stages, and Super Crate Box is a big letdown. Save your money and look elsewhere.

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.

Download Super Crate Box

What's Hot: Some cool weapons, 80s inspired graphics and music, universal, $0.99.

What's Not: Unfairly difficult, poor collision detection, only three stages, a few lame weapons.