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You may be mistaken in thinking this game is just an ordinary puzzle game. There are plenty of puzzle games on the PSP; Go! Sudoku, Carol Vorderman's Sudoku and Puzzler Collection, for example. So what makes this one different?
Well, a lot of puzzle games on consoles can also be played on paper - Sudoku being a good example. But you certainly can't play this on paper. This game has 3D. To complete puzzles you have to switch between 2D and 3D. Now does your Sudoku have 3D? If you're thinking yes you might want to keep your kids away from the Sudoku and crayons! This game is more impressive than kids making squares into cubes, although to be fair it's probably just as colourful.
Unlike normal puzzle games this one has a story so you have some motivation to keep playing through the puzzles.
You play as Danny, a guy whose head is in a mess and it's up to you to sort it out. Each puzzle is his dream and it's up to you to solve them to conquer his nightmares. Danny has insomnia and Dr Reubens is attempting to help him. He has a new machine called C.R.U.S.H (Cognitive Regression Utilizing pSychiatric Heuristics) which is able to show patients problems and allow them to walk through and uncover their issues and secrets.
There are 2 game modes; The Story mode and Trophy mode. In trophy mode when you collect a trophy pick-up you unlock a special time/crush limited trophy mode for that level.
In story mode there are 4 different worlds and they all represent a different part of Danny's past.
When you first start you can go through tutorials which tell you how to do things such as switch between 2D and 3D (known as crushing). This is very useful although it's quite easy to pick up the controls as you play (you can always restart a level if experimenting with the controls accidentally gets you killed or stuck).
Each level starts with the camera going around the level so you can see how it's set out. It starts in 3D.
You use the analog stick, move and directional for the camera. L1 crushes (changes between 2D and 3D). When you hold down R the view zooms out and you can use the analog stick to look around the whole level. Circle pushes items such as boulders which you need to roll along. Square allows you to crouch which is helpful in some situations. Triangle gives you a hint, which is really useful as it gives you an idea of what to do but doesn't completely give it all away so you still have a challenge.
To make it more interesting there are obstacles such as the boulders I mentioned earlier and demons. The demons keep knocking you down so you need to avoid them or destroy them. For example, there are cockroaches in his nightmares and these can be crushed with the boulders, solid blocks or captured in a cage. This adds to the challenge as they're not always as easy to destroy as you may think and it becomes your nightmare as you try and figure it out.
There are certain times when you can't crush as solid blocks are in your way. You cry out as if in pain and it flicks back to 3D. When you do switch walls often trap you in certain areas, stopping you from getting where you want, but it can also help you get to places that are higher up that you wouldn't have been able to get to otherwise. The challenge is working out not only when to crush but where the camera needs to be.
As you're making your way around the levels there are many marbles to collect which comes in 3 colours. You also activate and collect trophies and collect memories. Trophies have to be activated and once you've picked them up it unlocks the trophy mode for that level. There is one memory in each level and collecting these unlocks some cool images that you can look through in the image gallery, which is a nice extra feature.
It's an easy game to pick up and start playing and is fun no matter what age you are. While each level has the main aim to get to the end of the level and find the same objects the game doesn't feel repetitive as each puzzle is a challenge and each puzzle is set out completely differently with different objects and demons.
The music is eerie and what you'd expect really from a surreal dream. It's alright to listen to to start with, but it soon gets annoying.
The graphics are pretty good, but it's not the first thing you notice. The colour is what draws you in and really makes you feel as though you are in a dream.
You can pick up a copy of Crush for around £5 on Play.com and Amazon which is a great price.
This is a great puzzle game that it suitable for both kids and adults and you can easily pick up a cheap copy. Highly recommended.