Published on December 3rd, 2009 | by Cameron Woolsey
Indie Review: Junkyard Battle
Junkyard Battle is a simple little game developed by “Daevid” and hosted by Xbox Live Arcade. The gameplay is pretty basic: use a crane and pile stuff up. Easy, eh? Actually, piling stuff up can get more challenging than I originally thought. In the game you play as an overhead crane that moves horizontally across the screen. When a match starts, items are dropped from the sky and you have to use the crane to pick the items up and stack them to reach a goal line which is indicated by a green bar. The game offers single player and offline multiplayer.
The single player consists of several challenge maps for you to practice in. You aren’t given a tutorial but it really isn’t necessary for one. It’s a game where you stack things. Items to stack fall from the sky and each level gives you more stuff to stack and a higher goal to reach. As you advance levels, you are given different stuff to stack such as safes, refrigerators, boxes, Tetris-style blocks, and even small cars. You also learn how to use the cement ability which freezes everything below your tower height line–indicated by a red line–in place. The first two challenges I face were not that hard, after that, things got a little difficult. A game of stacking things shouldn’t be too difficult, but the physics will often cause items to slide off each other as if coated by crisco, steadily increasing frustration levels. The other problem is that the game features no real music whatsoever. So not only was I frustrated, I was also bored and was quickly beginning to hate the sound of the crane.
Multiplayer is where the actual game is. It consists of two crane operators quickly stacking items against the clock in a race to create the highest pile of crap. The items to stack fall at a regular pace so you don’t have to fight the curiously slippery physics as often. Power ups also fall down and you can use them to spice up the game. Besides the cement power up, you can also grab one that gives you more time, or destroy your opponent’s tower.
Overall the game really isn’t too spectacular. If I review this game like I would an actual major title, I would declare this game to be unworthy of a purchase, but since the goal of this game isn’t the same as a major title, I will level with it a bit. Junkyard Battle is a game designed for quick pick-up-and-play multiplayer gaming. The multiplayer can be fun, though it isn’t lasting. The game is meant to be picked up by a couple of people every so often and enjoyed for some quick fun. When seeing the game from this angle, it performs it’s job. But for people without that intention, keep on moving.