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Download Crush! Deluxe

Crush! Deluxe
 
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11365 kb
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It would be misleading to call Crush! Deluxe a sports game, because that would bring to mind games like the FIFA and NBA games, which are based on real sports. Crush! Deluxe is better described as a turn-based strategy game, based on a sport that exists within the game world. (Nothing in the game hints at it being a game within a game though. That would have made things even more confusing.)

The rules of the sport are simple enough. There are 3 teams with up to 9 players each. Players teleport onto the field one at a time and try to find a ball that is hidden in 1 of 8 dispensers. Once the ball is found, a player has to carry it to the goal. The team whose player reaches the goal with the ball wins. From there, things rapidly get more twisted. For starters, the 7 dispensers that don't have the ball are booby-trapped. Powerful electrical traps are scattered around the field. Checks are vicious and can lead to permanent injury or death. Players often sneak equipment and pseudo-weapons into the arena to improve their chances. And over it all you can hear baseball riffs, wild cheers, and cries for hot dogs.

The rules of the game are more complicated. There are 3 gameplay modes: Exhibition, Tournament, and League. Hot-seat and online multiplayer are available, in case you tire of the computer's inconsistent A.I. In all of these you manage a team and deal with all that that entails: You can draft players from 8 different species, each with different stats and abilities, to make up your team and reserves. You can buy them illegal equipment ranging from jumping boots and reinforced armor to electric gauntlets and explosive belts. There's even an RPG-style skill system where you can purchase stat boosts and skills as your players gain experience. Of course, the longer your players play for you, the more money they demand. The stress of playing such a high-risk game also makes them prone to developing certain quirks, such as a paralyzing fear of being electrocuted (which is not unjustified). Naturally, it's your job to keep a tight grip on everything and lead your players to victory on the field.

If that sounds like a lot to do, that's because it is. The game's greatest weakness is that it won't help you here. The field phase has a basic tutorial showing you how to perform certain actions and the functions of various objects on the field. However, if you want to know certain important things, like what the species abilities actually do, the game won't tell you. This can lead to a lot of confusion and trial-and-error at first. Once you finally piece everything together and it clicks though, the multitude of features becomes the game's greatest strength. You can easily spend days pondering how to build your team, what equipment to buy, what skills your players should get, and so on.

On the other hand, this leads to another weakness: the amount of effort you put into the management phase can occasionally feel lost in the field phase, especially if you're having a run of bad luck. This is not to say that the field phase is bland. Assist bonuses, traps to dodge, and the varying map layouts all provide ample opportunities for you to demonstrate your tactics.

All in all, Crush! Deluxe does have its flaws, but when your carefully organized and trained teams crush the opposition and bring you victory, the rush of pride leaves no doubt that it was worth it. I give this game 4.5/5.

There seem to be two versions of this game. The older one was released in 1995 and has a number of differences from this version:
- Exhibition and tournament bankrolls are fixed at 350K and 400K respectively, instead of 600K or 900K for both modes.
- The default team color is red instead of yellow.
- There are at least two maps that are not in this version. You're not missing much, though.

Should work without tweaks in Win9x and XP. Running the game in a virtual machine may require a CPU throttling program.

To run in Vista and Windows 7 without color corruption, run Crush! Configuration and change "Background color" to black and white. Then write the following batch file:

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start /w crush.exe
start explorer.exe

Save this file to the Crush! directory and double-click on it to run the game. If you have PsSuspend you can use that instead of taskkill.


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Reviewed by: wackypanda / Screenshots by: wackypanda / Uploaded by: wackypanda / share on facebook
 

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