For millions of twenty-somethings, Crash Bandicoot was one of the games that defined their childhood. Many hours were spent navigating the mysterious Wumpa Islands, progressing through levels and foiling enemies.
What has defined the series so far is its close ties to consoles and PC. It has moved with consoles through the ages, from the original PlayStation for the first game to PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in the latest title.
Sure, Crash has dabbled with mobile in the past, but these were primarily on legacy platforms. The only games available on smartphones were from a Mario Kart-style spin-off.
This is one reason why recent leaks surrounding a new endless runner mobile game have been met with contempt by Crash fans. Screenshots looking very similar to an app store preview have emerged, while Kotaku are reporting what looks like a genuine game description.
CRASH BANDICOOT MOBILE GAME REVEALED investigation by myself and @Motwera This game can be signed up for NOW it seems. The way the link was found was by searching the name on FB after previously being a fan of the FB page tied to the Brazilian ads. https://t.co/98Qq3jkJCZ pic.twitter.com/AE6bPek4rq— JumpButton (@jumpbuttoncb) February 7, 2020
Crash Bandicoot has never been the most demanding graphically, with recent games focusing on providing a hit of nostalgia more than a significant visual upgrade. In theory, porting a version of this over to mobile wouldn’t be too much hassle, and fans of the series would surely be happy to pay a few pounds to have one of their favourite series in their pocket.
The likes of Angry Birds and Monument Valley has proven there is a market for level-based mobile games, which makes the apparent move to an endless runner all the more curious.
Many endless runners can feel like the same game with different visuals. While Temple Run and Subway Surfers popularised the genre in the early 2010s, interest has cooled as mobile devices become increasingly capable gaming machines. It’s hard to see how such a similar game could reach anything like that level of popularity, particularly considering the level of negative reaction to the leaks.
What’s more, leaked screenshots suggest the game would be made by King, the mobile developers behind the Candy Crush saga. That game drew criticism for its emphasis on in-app purchases, and there are fears a Crash game could go the same way.
While it’s understandable that companies want to tap into the burgeoning mobile games market, Crash Bandicoot should stick the platforms it knows best until it has something truly compelling to offer.
If you’d like inspiration on what’s possible with mobile games, check out our comprehensive list of the best Android games of all time.