I’ll be honest, when I first saw Crash Team Rumble, it didn’t spark much excitement for me. Come on, Crash Bandicoot is all about platforming, and whilst he HAS had other ventures, there was something about this that just seemed a bit misplaced. What a pleasant surprise it was then when I played the game and realised that it’s a TON of fun, so much so that I’ve found myself completely hooked in since release.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Crash Team Rumble is all about competitive action, with players split into two teams of four as they compete to collect more Wumpa fruit than their rivals, with the first to hit the allocated goal of 2000 deemed the victor. You’ll do this by smashing up crates to collect Wumpa fruit or by gathering any that’s scattered around the level, with each respawning after a set amount of time – then you take it back it to your base, wait a few seconds without interruption, and voila, it’s added to your total. You can boost your score by capturing small groups of gems by jumping on them, whilst relics found across the map can be spent to unlock special powers for your team. You can even take a rechargeable special ability into each match with you, whether that’s a fridge that’ll heal your team, a flytrap spitter that’ll attack enemies at range, or the Gasmaxian Guard that’ll smash at enemies near it (the perfect thing to place on an enemy base). It’s a simple setup, but one that’s made more exciting thanks to the manic nature of the Crash Bandicoot series.

Players take on the role of a bunch of different Crash Bandicoot favourites, including the titular hero Crash, his doting sister Coco, the anti-hero Dingodile, and series villain Neo Cortex, just to name a few. What makes things interesting is the fact that each character doesn’t only have their own abilities to use, but that they’re also split between three different classes: Scorers, Blockers, and Boosters. Each class has specific roles to play in matches, so their strengths lie within them – the Scorers are more efficient at scoring points by collecting Wumpa fruits, the Blockers will smash up enemies to make them lose their collected Wumpa fruit, whilst the Boosters can activate the gems across levels at a quicker pace to give your team score a boost.

Whilst characters do have specific roles to play, they also bring with them their own unique abilities to help individualise them from one another. Crash is a spinning machine and can unleash a hefty body slam and slide to hurt foes, whilst Tawna can use her hook shot to quickly zip out of trouble or to a hard-to-reach area. Dingodile uses a vacuum to suck up Wumpa fruit or pull enemies towards him, whilst N.Brio can turn into a monster to unleash some hurt within a small area. Coco can unleash a quantum wall when jumping around that will give a health boost to allies or damage enemies, whilst Neo Cortex can transform his enemies into animals by shooting them. Whilst a lot of the core mechanics of playing as each character remain the same, they all have enough distinctions of their own to ensure they each feel unique and fun to play. My personal favourites? Crash and N.Brio, but I’ve found Neo Cortex to be a lot of fun too.

“Crash Team Rumble is simple in design, but it can be deceptively strategic with the multitude of ways you can approach each match.”

Everything comes together wonderfully to make for a super addictive experience, with Crash Team Rumble’s simplicity and quick-paced nature making it easy to pick up and play for quick sessions (though those ‘quick’ sessions have ended up lasting a few hours for me). There’s even plenty of room for strategy, especially when players utilise their roles and character skills efficiently to work together as a team. Having two Blockers working together to thwart Scorers can cause a lot of pain for your rivals, especially if you have a Scorer and Booster to build up your own score – I found it was the quickest way to victory. At the same time, having your Boosters working efficiently can be a game-changer, making each Wumpa fruit you cash in all the more valuable. Crash Team Rumble is simple in design, but it can be deceptively strategic with the multitude of ways you can approach each match. With nine different levels on offer with completely different layouts, varied powers to use to your advantage, and treacherous hazards to face, there’s an unpredictable sense of excitement to each match you play.

It is worth noting that Crash Team Rumble does come with a Battle Pass, allowing players to unlock a whole bunch of cosmetic items for their characters through gameplay. In fairness, there’s nothing unsavoury to be found within it (no play to win mechanics are here) and it does have some pretty cool skins, so it’s hard to complain too much. I’m not sure what the pricing will be though, given that the first Battle Pass is free.

There are plenty of unlockables to obtain without the Battle Pass by levelling each character up too, with cosmetic items, skins, and player profile items to earn, so the Battle Pass isn’t a necessity. Each of the game’s characters can be unlocked without the Battle Pass too, so you won’t have to pay to try out someone new – it’s all done through earning bonuses in gameplay. A personal favourite unlockable of mine has been the theme song from the first game, which now plays each time I’m the highest scoring player in a match… I dunno, there’s just something about that tune that’s so nostalgic to me that it’ll always bring a smile to my face.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Whether it’s with the music, the levels, or just the manic Crash Bandicoot action, Crash Team Rumble does PLENTY to keep fans of the series happy. I guess the only real concern for the gameis its longevity. It’s a lot of fun to play and I’m going to keep coming back for more, but the simplicity of it means that players might not stick around for too long – especially those who aren’t too interested in the Battle Pass. The allure of new characters, maps, game modes, and powers across each Season will certainly keep players interested for a while, but I do wonder how much can really be changed to keep the experience fresh. It might be more appealing if it was a free-to-play release, but as something players have to pay for beforehand, I hope to see more content continually added to ensure the community remains fulfilled. I guess we’ll see more as the new content for this season (including Ripper Roo, my FAVOURITE character in the series) is introduced.

Crash Team Rumble Review

Crash Team Rumble has been a very pleasant surprise, with the addictive and fun gameplay loop making for a really good time. It’s deceptively strategic despite its simplicity, whilst the different characters and their cool abilities as well as the variety of maps ensure that no two matches will feel the same. And, as a long-time Crash Bandicoot fan, I love that it’s oozing with the zany charm that the series is known for.

I do wonder if it’ll offer enough to keep players hooked in for the long term, but as it stands, I’m a big fan of Crash Team Rumble. Now then… when will Ripper Roo be playable?!

Developer: Toys for Bob
Publisher: Activision
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Website: https://www.crashbandicoot.com/uk/en/crashteamrumble