Crash Team Rumble Review - Screenshot 1 of 5

When we first got wind that Crash Bandicoot was to star in his very own online multiplayer game, you'll forgive us for not having got all that excited. As much as we love Crash, and as much as we enjoy this genre of game, well, it just feels as though these sorts of online arena-styled efforts come and go all too frequently these days, fun for a little while but with nothing to really dig into over the long term.

It feels like a genre that sees promising new titles attract an audience for a short while before dying an unfortunate and premature death. All too often this is because of the inherently disposable nature of a lot of these games, they need to draw in a wide audience after all, especially since many of them are free to play. However, with Toys For Bob at the helm - the developers of the amazing Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time - we had been holding out hope that there'd be a little more flesh on this particular Wumpa fruit, especially given that this fruit is of the paid variety, rather than all of that free fruit that's been knocking about lately.

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And so it has proven! Crash Team Rumble is a surprisingly fun, addictive and strategic multiplayer effort with core mechanics that are easy to pick up whilst providing plenty of scope for invention and skill. Indeed, this is one online party game that's off to a very strong start as far as we can see, with three decent maps, a roster of eight strong characters and a good sense of where it's headed at launch.

The basic gist here is that four players face off against another party of four, with the aim of being the first team to collect 2000 juicy Wumpa fruit. It couldn't be more simple really, but there's enough extra moving parts here to ensure that things are kept feeling interesting. The roster of eight characters, which includes Crash, Coco, Dingodile and good old Dr Neo Cortex at launch, is split into three basic types; scorers, blockers and boosters. Scorers can move quickly, collect more fruit and are good at doing damage through spins, slides and ground pounds, blockers excel defensively and boosters provide support, collecting relics to activate specials and capturing a level's gem points more quickly.

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You see, capturing a level's gems - by standing on the associated platforms - doubles the number of Wumpa fruit you collect from crates and then dump back at your team's scoring pad at one end of the arena. The battle over these gem platforms is a ferocious one as a result, and good teams will communicate effectively to balance attentive boosters, deft scorers and blockers who know how to stop enemies in their tracks in order to come out on top. All of this makes for a game that you can excel at if you put the practice in, and you can immediately tell when you're up against a strong team. It has the makings of an online effort that has proper legs and room to grow.

On top of controlling gems and collecting fruit, you've also got relics scattered around that, once you've collected five, allow you access to special goodies located around the current level. There's loads of stuff here, from turning your current character into a great big beach ball to roll around levels quickly, to mushrooms, or slowshrooms, that sprout up and get in the way of your foes. Each character also has a bunch of attacks, alongside their own special that's activated on a gauge that fills as you fight and score. Max out your gauge and you can plop down fridges that heal all nearby allies, stick down a plant that attacks your foes, suck stuff up with a vacuum gun and more besides.

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There's a very solid base here, it's the kind of game we can easily sit and play match after match on, and there are currently lots of nice prizes to unlock and kit your characters out with as rewards on the game's free Battle Pass. We love a bit of customisation to keep things interesting and Crash Team Rumble has plenty of it to offer already.

Speaking of Battle Passes, there is a paid version on the way, we believe as soon as the game's initial season ends in September - although it may be earlier than that, we're not 100% sure. With more maps and characters to be added in Season 2 you've got the makings of a game that could well be around for a while. It's got an addictive brand of action that's easy to pick up but with depth to it, matches are just the right length, the focus on collecting fruit instead of killing enemies keeps frustration at bay and the whole thing looks and sounds like a premium slice of Crash Bandicoot fayre.

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Of course, there is a bit of a fly in the ointment here with regards to the fact that this is a paid effort where so many of its competitors are free. It's asking you to take a gamble really, to have faith in Crash Team Rumble finding an audience that will stick with it. Thankfully, the rewards in both the free and paid Battle Pass do seem to be cosmetic only, so that's something, and we really do feel as though there's a game here that has every chance of sucking in quite a large audience thanks to how well put together it all is.

Overall then, and besides any slight niggles we may have about the cost of the thing, we're actually quite impressed by Crash Team Rumble as things stand right now. It remains to be seen how it'll develop over the long term but, in the here and now, this is a very nice online party effort that's well worth getting involved in and a game we've been thoroughly enjoying our time with thus far!


Crash Team Rumble is a slick and addictive online arena battler that looks and sounds great and offers up some properly addictive team-based action that's easy to pick up but with plenty of depth to master. Focusing on collecting fruit rather than killing foes keeps things feeling fun and frustration-free, the various roles available to play as add a sense of skill and strategy, and there's a strong lineup of colourful characters and three decent maps to play on at launch. We're suitably impressed so far and with new seasons adding more maps and characters in the near future, things are looking bright for this one starting out.