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One of the best Mac games of all time, is also exclusive to Mac (or Apple computers anyway; I hear an Apple ][gs version was made...). It was simple enough; gather crystals while "critters" of various shapes and sizes attack. However, it got challenging little by little, and even more and more fun! Sound effects were excellent, as well as the overall game interface, which was smooth as silk. The game may not have been as compatible with newer Macs in the late '90s as it should have been, though it was addictive entertainment while it lasted. It even was one of the first games to offer a game editor, as well as the option to save your creations to disk, to share with other owners of the game; a concept years ahead of its time! Such innovations in gaming put this title squarely in Techtite's List of Top 50 Multimedia Classics.
Instead of simply playing like a blatant Geometry Wars clone, Crystal Quest takes some cues from Pac-Man, making it a great game in its own right. What? You say the original game predated Geometry Wars? I'll have none of that talk here. Please leave my review this instant.
Xbox 360Games Radar
Based on a classic Apple II/Macintosh game (yes, once upon a time, Macs played games), Crystal Quest serves up a bare-bones gaming experience, but still manages to dress up for its 360 debut. A kaleidoscope of trippy, tracer-leaving characters parade across the screen, dazzling you into that state of catatonic play where concerns outside the game itself become completely irrelevant. A cool downbeat techno track lulls you into a trance that just might cause you to forget that you can always choose your own music. Crystal Quest may not feel particularly original, but it's magnetic and hypnotic - and that's worth our Microsoft Points.
Xbox 360GamesAreFun.com (GAF)
Crystal Quest is rather simple. It doesn't pretend to be a direct competitor to Geometry Wars or other modern twin stick shooters because it's really a different kind of game. Whatever its main target audience is supposed to be, the people who will enjoy it the most are those who played the original. The updated version keeps a lot of the charm. The goofy sound effects are toned down and a light sci-fi soundtrack was added, but all the enemy types are there, just updated a bit. The crystal gathering is still frantic and crazy. And if you really miss the original version, you can play it almost identically by selecting the classic version; the only difference is that you are using a 360 controller. For new gamers who have no idea what this 1987 Crystal Quest thing is, I'd probably give the game a 6. It's fun, but maybe not modern enough to hold your interest. For people like me who do remember playing and enjoying it, you get the score above. Your childhood is not lost.
Xbox 360Extreme Gamer
Crystal Quest by Stainless Games is worth the few bucks it demands. If you enjoy shooter styled games then you'll probably get something out of Crystal Quest. It is the perfect accompaniment along with other shooters like Mutant Storm, and Geometry Wars, only without the impossible factor attached. Crystal Quest is worth the download, check out the demo and enjoy questing for crystals purchase the full version.
The difficulty settings, responsive controls and some nice visual download content to boot make Crystal Quest stand out from a slew of other dual-stick control games and I'd recommend it over SmashTV or Robotron 2084 in a second, but it isn't quite up there with Geometry Wars. However, if you're a fan of these types of games and have burnt out your copy of GW, I'd definitely recommend this game to you; just be sure to put it on the hard difficulty, as you can really get sick of it on the moderately easy default setting, especially in the slow early levels. Not a great arcade title for the 360, but it is a good one and there are much worse ways to spend 400 Microsoft points, especially if you're just looking for achievements. Buy it during the next drought when there aren't any new games coming, but for now save your points for something that doesn't involve travelling with the left stick and firing with the right! Like The superb Cloning Clyde, for example…
Xbox 360Game Chronicles
With all of the old school shooter options on Xbox Live Arcade (Geometry Wars, and Robotron: 2084) it may be hard to distinguish Crystal Quest from the crowd. But if you look closely you’ll find a very fun, challenging, easy to pick up and play shooter that will entertain you for hours when you want to take a break from all the great current generation titles.
Crystal Quest's issue is that it never manages to absorb all your attention and mental focus like Smash TV, Robotron 2084 or Geometry Wars. At their cores, these titles are all essentially the same game with minor differences, and the differences that set Crystal Quest apart just don't work as well. It may only be 400 Microsoft Points, but that's five bucks better spent on another game.
At 400 points ($5 at the standard conversion rate), Crystal Quest is a solid game that could have used some better presentational aspects. When put up against the surprisingly deep competition for this style of game on Xbox Live Arcade, it falls a little flat. Still, if you're finished with Robotron, Smash TV, and Geometry Wars, and you're looking for some similar action, Crystal Quest is exactly that.
Crystal Quest tries its hardest to bring a slower variation of the style and substance that Geometry Wars so expertly crafted but it falls short of delivering the overall fun factor that other XBLA games have. There’s a certain nostalgia value that comes along with this one but is it really worth the points for a game from 1987 and some updated visuals outfitted with a funktastic techno track on loop? What it really comes down to is whether or not you’ve had your fill of the better games out there, and if you have then maybe Crystal Quest will be worth the few bucks, if not then we assure you that there are plenty of better XBLA offerings on the market.
Graphically, even in the new mode, CQ feels like an old Xbox title. Aurally, it’s nothing too special either. But what really counts here is the gameplay and if you can get past the initial levels which must be repeated upon each play through, CQ is a fun game that will appeal greatly to Mutant Storm and Geometry Wars’ fans alike. While not as polished as other titles, Crystal Quest is still a fun game that is easy to pick and play and the simple fact that it contains levels to complete adds incentive to keep playing it.
Xbox 360Eurogamer.net (UK)
Back on topic, whether Crystal Quest is worth buying is questionable. Sure, it's one of the cheaper offerings on Live Arcade, and it's certainly a fun, entertaining addition to the Live Arcade scene, but as brightly as it burns, it's an all-too-brief fix that doesn't leave you wanting more. You'll feel satisfied with what you've seen, but also keen to move on to something else. Download it and see for yourself.
Xbox 360Thunderbolt Games
Crystal Quest is a pleasant shooter, with no huge flaws, yet the gameplay lets it down. Compared to something as action-packed and addictive as Geometry Wars there isn’t much to keep you playing other than for an impressive high score to boast about. The graphics work but are otherwise dull and the sound is just average. There is a hint of that ‘one-more-go’ factor, but this only lasts a few goes until you decide to play a better shooter. As a game, Crystal Quest provides a fun if a little short-lived gaming experience, with arguably more staying power if you’re a huge fan of the Macintosh original. If you’re finished with games such as Smash TV or Robotron: 2084 and are aching for more, then Crystal Quest could be that next purchase, and for only 400 points, you’ve got little to lose in doing so.
Xbox 360XBox Evolved
All in all, Crystal Quest is like a boring, lazy summer time day, where all you do is sit around and drink lemonade but there is no lemonade with Crystal Quest. None at all! At five bucks, or 400 points it isn’t asking for much, but with so many other better games at their to buy at the store, and on Live Arcade alike, you might as well just leave this one as it is.