Browse through these very pages, and you’ll see a handful of write-ups on The Crackpet Show, with me championing Vixa Games and Ravenage Games’ title. I’ve loved this since the dawn of time, the Early Access build, and that time we shared in the broom cupboard at the office Christmas party. Now I love it more as it’s available on the Nintendo Switch.
If you can’t be arsed to read anything surplus to this page, The Crackpet Show is a rogue-like arena shooter, playable as a solo campaign or a local co-op, using some deliciously cute animals. If you consider bloodthirsty animals with a penchant for blowing things into a furry, gooey mess – including the fans that cheer you on, you’ll love this too. Compared to the original Early Access title’s roster of four, there are eight on offer, each with a bustling wardrobe of skins to unlock.
Like the classic Smash TV, you’re part of a TV show (Gone Viral?) where you move through a series of rooms, eliminating everything in your path. There aren’t any prizes as such, but for each room, you’ll be awarded likes from your fans, which in turn help unlock upgrades for the extensive perks and weapons available. See your way through the season by annihilating the boss, and you get trophies that unlock permanent buffs such as more health, weaker enemies, and bonus rounds that heal, give more likes, or allow you to carry more weapons.
The Crackpet Show Switch Review
Health can be stingy in The Crackpet Show, and you only get three hearts, split in two per hit. Guns are a-plenty, featuring unique options such as variants of rocket launchers, Nerf guns, musical instruments and more. By default, you can only hold one weapon, which you can swap for others or sell at the shops. Alternatively, unlocking the sponsorship perk for carrying two guns is a must. In addition to the guns, there are the perks, i.e. critical chances, more health, walking on booby traps, and accessories that can add a defensive force field, drop turrets, or even heal.
The variety of gear is pretty impressive, and since playing the Early Access, the updates have been well worth it. A couple of points to note, so as not to be completely biased… First of all, The Crackpet Show is not a twin-stick shooter. Enemies are automatically targeted, but you can scroll through them with ZL and ZR. Shooting them is conducted through the appropriate mashing of buttons, combined with the evasive roll, to avoid all incoming attacks. It might sound boring and not offer much challenge, but that shoot and dodge method makes it all worth it. It’d be nice to have the option to manually aim, however.
What I like least about the Nintendo Switch version are the loading times. Without sitting on my PC with a stopwatch, the screens between each match drag in comparison, and while the subtle musical score is good background music, it never makes the game feel energetic. As for presentation, nothing separates the PC and Switch as it’s not graphically demanding. If you don’t mind the waiting and can live without game achievements, The Crackpet Show on the Nintendo Switch is excellent. Obviously, it’s better on a big screen if you’re playing local co-op.
In It For The Crack..Pets
Perhaps a bit predictable, but The Crackpet Show gets a recommendation from me. I jumped back in the game to remind myself of features during this review and found myself grinding a few seasons purely because it’s so addictive. While it lacks any urgency due to the loading times and general tempo of gameplay, the number of goodies on offer and seemingly endless runs you need to upgrade your favourite load-outs make it massively playable. Coincidentally, there’s an Endless Mode to unlock along with the Campaign. I prefer this in solo, but the game is currently my go-to co-op to play with my five-year-old daughter in co-op. That’s great parenting for you. Just think Happy Tree Friends, and you’ll understand why this isn’t the best family title. Still… recommended!