Saturday, 4 August 2018

CREATURE CRUNCH

by Austin Brewer

Being an obscure diamond in the rough, the point and click adventure Creature Crunch truly deserves some attention. Debuting at E3 in 1996, this game was developed by Class6 Interactive, an offshoot of Class6 Entertainment responsible for the likes of Ren & Stimpy and many animated commercials. Creature Crunch was an unfortunate commercial failure with talented people involved. Even though it won the “Best Director of Animation for CD-ROM” award in 97, the game was swept under the rug from too little exposure.

Working prior on the Ren & Stimpy Show, animation veterans John and Ted Mathot animated and designed Creature Crunch. With over 20,000 drawings contained within the game, these guys did some incredible work.

It stars two well-known comedians, Martin Short and Eugene Levy. You may know Martin Short for movies such as Inherent Vice, Three Amigos!, and Innerspace. Eugene Levy is known for movies like Best in Show, American Pie, and the series Schitt’s Creek. Their voice work, paired with “The Tick” writer Ken Segal’s goofy script, really amp up the enjoyment for this game. It was even considered to be developed into a series by Universal Cartoon Studios, but they later cucked and cancelled on the notion.

Wesley is transformed from a normal if slightly annoying kid 
to monster with all sorts of special abilities.

Getting into the game itself, the intro gives you a good taste of what the presentation of the game is like. Those classic Ren & Stimpy-esque facial expressions, a kooky scientist, and a hilarious forth wall break later, I knew I was going to love this title already.

The cutscene shows Wesley while lost on a bike ride. A bad storm kicks in and he becomes desperate to get to shelter.  Finding a dry place, Wesley finds an eerie mansion alongside the sidewalk. As he rings the doorbell, two large arms reach out and throw him under the welcome mat. Underneath the welcome mat is a classic trap door that leads to a secret lab. He falls victim to Dr. Drod’s crazy experiments, as the slide leads him straight to his “genetic recombobulizer” table. The mad scientist plans to create an entire army of creatures, Wesley being his final one. Drod throws the switch to transform Wesley, stumbling in the process. The laser kills Drod, as Wesley is able to break free from the trap with his newfound monster strength.

These eyeball creatures will stand guard in various rooms preventing you from progressing.

Now riddled with specks, pointy ears, a sharp jaw, yellow skin, and a long rat tail, Wesley must navigate through the mansion and find a way out. At your side is a talking brain in a jar, Brian (don’t tell me that’s not funny as hell). He meets Brian in the lab, as he makes quips about his new appearance. Voiced by Eugene Levy, the floating Brian is another unfortunate visitor that had been transformed by Drog.

You control Wesley, interacting with weird tchotchkes and other peculiar specimens and household items that have been transformed. To progress through the game, you must defeat other creatures that are blocking your pathways to each room (one of them is a reoccurring beast with an eyeball for a head). In order to do so, you must experimentally devour items and random objects you find as you play. These items will transform Wesley into miscellaneous, helpful objects to take down whoever is blocking your path. An example would be eating a Bunsen burner in order to turn into a flamethrower.

This also brings on one of the game’s major flaws. Like many point and click games, it presents the issue of not knowing how to progress sometimes. Have you ever just used an object on something and went “How the hell was I supposed to know it’d work with that?” Well, this game practically oozes that. I’d assume it’s doing out of its funky humor, but it could result in some players getting stuck and growing impatient.

Right-click on Wesley to access your underpant inventory. 
Eat the correct item in the correct room to dispatch creatures.

The game behaves in the same manner as a Humongous Entertainment game, with its funny sounds bytes, animated skits and random sense of humor. Although, this game is aimed more towards teenagers and adults than kids. There’s a masturbation joke tucked in somewhere. So that will tell you level of comedy we're dealing with..

Even with farts gags and other stupid interactions, Creature Crunch actually has some really clever jokes scattered around and somewhat unconventional comedy writing. It makes it a somewhat niche experience, but an incredibly enjoyable one if it resonates with your humor. Again, if you like Ren & Stimpy and wacky or dark-humored point and click games in general, I couldn’t recommend this game more.


To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.

File Size: 490 Mb.  Install Size: 889 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Creature Crunch is © Class6 Interactive
Review by Austin Brewer
Cover Design and Installer created by me


Like this? Try These...

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/ufos.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/clandestiny.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-neverhood.html

5 comments:

  1. how have I never heard of this game. Thanks again Biffman for unearthing another gem!

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    1. You're welcome, though it was Austin that pushed for it.

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  2. I had heard of this and tried it. It looked like good fun, but I couldn't run it properly on my modern system, so I had to give up on it. Biffman has rescued another good adventure from the late 90s from oblivion! I hope he will tackle some of the post-2000 Windows XP adventures next. I am thinking specifically of the handful from Kheops Studios, most of which are not available on GOG. They can't run on modern systems because modern nVidia graphics cards have broken compatibility with them, apparently. (It's entirely nVidia's fault, not the studio's.) So I'm thinking they may need a Windows XP emulation, similar to the type of emulation that Biffman keeps successfully achieving here.

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    Replies
    1. I have a fair amount of their games when the first came out and I know some have appeared on digital platforms. Post 2000 games can get tricky to run as there's not a lot of tools. Even programs like DxWnd and dgVoodoo aren't always successful (and if they are take a lot of trial and error).

      There's some great games in their back catalogue so I wouldn't rule it out completely though.

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  3. Yes, I understand the difficulties involved. (Well, I don't really understand, but I can imagine.) I haven't heard of anyone else emulating Windows XP, so it was probably a foolish idea. We'll just have to wait and see if GOG or someone else can adapt those Kheops games for modern PCs. Don't waste any time on them, seriously. This astonishing collection is already comprehensive enough.

    Sticking to late 90s adventure games, I can only think of two that you have missed. One comes in two forms, Gadget: Past as Future or Gadget: Invention, Travel & Adventure, neither of which can work now without an emulation. The other is Amber: Journeys Beyond, from 1996. There is a SquirtTheCat installer for it, but that's only for Windows XP or Vista, not for Windows 10. However, as I said, your collection already looks complete without anything else!

    ReplyDelete