REVIEW: Croc’s World 2

Despite some crisp, cheery visuals and a lovable croc mascot with a football helmet, I didn’t like the original Croc’s World. Most of that had to do with the fact that it was almost a straight Mario clone, with no interesting bits or unique mechanics to define itself as anything other. Now Sprakelsoft has unleashed Croc’s World 2 ($1.00) upon the unsuspecting mobile and XBLIG masses, and… nothing much has changed for the sequel. It’s still an unapologetic Mario clone.

Croc's World 2 - Screen

In a valiant attempt to cover for that, Croc’s World 2 has effectively ‘doubled-down’ on the content for this follow-up. While the original had a pair of world themes covering 30 stages, the sequel has four(!) unique stage themes, spread across 60(!) levels. It’s that classic sequel trick, using the fuzzy math of ‘more = better’. Tempting to consider, but the platforming remains as nonchalant and formulaic as ever.

Croc’s moveset is simple enough to master; he runs, he jumps, he collects diamonds in batches of a hundred in order to gain a 1-up. His ‘football helmet’ powerup mirrors Mario‘s ‘mushroom’, allowing you to bash bricks above your head and take one extra hit from enemies before dying. You can collect a second item, a bag of rocks (see Mario‘s ‘fire flower’) to toss stones at aerial foes or attack ground opponents from a safer distance. In a new twist, you can pick up an additional bag to turn your stones into ‘homing’ rocks, seeking out targets and simplifying the combat even more.

That over-simplification is a natural byproduct of being a port of a mobile game (just as the original was), yet the ease at which you can complete stages once again throws out any semblance of challenge for someone over the age of five. I consistently ran through most scenes at top speed, navigating the basic obstacles (think spikes, disappearing bricks, or fire hazards1) and taking down end-level bosses without a care. With plentiful checkpoints and unlimited continues considered, there’s really no way anyone can lose.

Croc's World 2 - Screen2

Once again, the only real challenge to be found is to figure out the bizarre reasoning behind your stomp attacks, and what can hurt you; bees and crabs are fair game to be bopped, while porcupines are strictly on the do-not-touch list. Even the boss fights, while appreciated, fall into the familiar rut of ‘platforming 101’— stomp them, wait for them to exit their ‘stunned’ animation, then repeat.

Inspiration in any creative design can be a very good thing— when it’s used as a model to advance your own ideas. Croc’s World 2 borrows too much from Croc’s World, which in turn borrows way too much from Super Mario Bros. Thus, there’s no reason to invest in this artificially-inflated sequel, unless you like generic platformers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; why play a dumbed-down knockoff when you can just play the stellar original game it’s based on?

  1. Another new powerup makes you invulnerable to fire at certain points, which, you guessed it— makes things even easier

16 thoughts on “REVIEW: Croc’s World 2”

    1. Oh yeah, it’s pretty blatant, from the moveset to the powerups to the music. And to think, they’ve got three of these games now. Somebody must be playing them to keep cranking them out like that.

  1. What a load of Croc! The game not the review…well then again the review is full of Croc too but not in that way. Oh hell!! I just need to go out and get me some Gator Burgers and Croc Boots and call it a day.

    1. Since we’re on the subject, ever had a gator burger? I won’t knock anything unless I’ve tried it first, but that is one idea that I just can’t figure.

      As for the game, yeah, pedestrian stuff. Maybe it’s good enough for the younger crowds on mobile, but as a platforming veteran, far too simple and bland.

    2. Yes I have had a Gator Burger as well as several other “exotic meats” burgers and steaks for that matter. But I rate the Gator Burger up there with Buffalo and Elk as my top 3 fave burger meats.

      And yeah…finally got me a Window’s phone and a new Android Tablet and this whole mobile gaming thing is stealing time away from the console right now.

    3. Got them fancy, newfangled gadgets, eh? For gaming purposes, you will certainly not be lacking in things to play. Ah well, it was good knowing you. XBLIG will throw a party in your honor.

      Heh, I like that coinage of ‘exotic’ meats. I have a sort-of uncle that’s big into hunting / fishing, and he’s constantly telling us stories of stuff he’s tried… and it’s NOT inspiring me to get out of my comfort zone anytime soon. 🙂

    4. hey, I’m from Louisiana.. below New Orleans believe it or not. so where I’m from; gator really isn’t that exotic. now.. croc on the other hand.. idk about a croc burger. BTW when’s that party for theMetalLord? Are you gonna change the color of your website to black in honor of the occasion?

    5. New phone or tablet or whatever, ‘ImTheMetalLord’ won’t be going anywhere so long as he’s hooked on Block King. 😉

      And man, you guys are far more versed in the world’s ‘alternative meats’ department than I am. Louisiana does cooking right, though, no doubt about that. Some BBQ, the right amount of spice / sauce, I’d probably try anything once myself. 🙂

    6. @andregurov: True, true, but it didn’t help us out this year… 😦

      @ImTheMetalLord: It won’t in regards to Block King, sir. 😉

  2. this game would be a whole lot better if the protagonist were an alligator. with that out of the way; I already got suckered into buying part one before I had the chance to read your first review :/ damn impulse purchases

    1. Whoops, I actually called Croc an ‘alligator’ at the beginning of the review; had to go back and change that. Damn late night reviews 😀

      If you enjoyed the first one (suckered into it or not), then there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy this. I just fail to see the point in playing a game that so blatantly borrows from a far superior original, especially if there’s zero new tricks to add to the formula. Shipwreck and Zelda might be the only exceptions to that rule, but at least Shipwreck had some interesting wrinkles here and there.

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