At first glance, Tokyo Crash Mobs is an awkward meeting of live-action with game mechanics. It’s not made any easier to understand thanks to its simplistic story, told entirely through short scenes of the two female protagonists who seem to be incredibly diligent about getting to the front of lines and expressing their dislike for large crowds or lines in general. Underneath it, though, is an easy to pick up and play matching game. But does it have what it takes to really stand out on the 3DS, or should it go down with the rest of those forgotten eShop titles?
Tokyo Crash Mobs has you take the role of two women who, as mentioned, dislike waiting in lines. The dislike it so much that they are willing to toss people into the line so that they match their jackets and get eliminated – just like in real life. Matching three in a row sees them thrown out of the line for some bizarre reason, but this is the gist of every level. Your goal is to get to the front of the line as fast as possible, or end up in the first 10 people before time ends – as every restaurant in Tokyo only allows the first ten people in, an excellent way to do business really.
Another mode sees you rolling people and matching their colors once more, all before they get to a red buzzer that hinders your progress. People also walk around holding various items that you can use, the only caveat is that you’ve got to throw another person at them to pick up the item. Definitely no encouraging anti-social behaviour in public places. Later on you’ll come up against every line lover’s worst nightmare: the line cutter. Easily remedied, these new obstacles keep you on your toes so the slightly repetitive action puzzling doesn’t grow too tiresome.
You’ll progress through levels on a calendar basis, meaning that each day of the in-game week provides you with a new challenge to face, with each week culminating in a ninja battle on a Sunday. Although, it’s exactly the same as normal besides the addition of different colored ninjas – I wish I was joking, but I’m not. I’m really not. It also features a few extra modes, such as a largely pointless Movie Mode for viewing completed scenes, a Challenge mode that places you in the shoes of either Grace or Savannah as you try to combat a seemingly endless wave of queuers as you try to find out how high a score you can get.
Understandably, this all seems very odd – and it should do. This really isn’t your ordinary run-of-the-mill line cutting simulator – if there even is such a market for such a genre niche. But if it wasn’t already apparent enough, the real appeal to Tokyo Crash Mobs is the awkward zaniness to everything you do. It’s certainly unique and a title that you definitely won’t find anywhere other than the 3DS eShop. It’s insane, crazy and progressively difficult, but occasionally it’ll make you crack out a smile.
In general though, Tokyo Crash Mobs is lacking in content due to its limited levels and level design. It’s story mode – if you can call it that – lacks length and gameplay requires very little skill to play. However, for less than $10/£6 it’s a pretty good deal for wasting some time. Just make sure you like utterly random moments in your games.
Audio/Visual – 3/5: Nothing really out of the ordinary, but addition of live actors for gameplay is nice.
Gameplay – 3/5: Unique in implementation, strategic in drawing you in, but overall a simple puzzler.
Innovation – 4/5: Insane ideas and crazy, quirky gameplay.
Value – 3.5/5: For the price, you’d be hard pressed to find something this unique.
Final Score: 3/5