The Crackpet Show

The Crackpet Show by developer Vixa Games and publishers Ravenage Games, Ripples Asia Venture—Nintendo Switch review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

The Crackpet Show is a roguelite shoot ’em up to the theme of post-apocalyptic mutated animals. A game where you risk your life for TV ratings while fighting for your life. Will you survive and earn your place amongst the rich and famous, or be doomed to obscurity?

The premise of The Crackpet Show is essentially a post-apocalyptic setting where mutated animals have become the norm. For whatever reason, you have decided to become a contestant on the world’s most violent TV show. Grab a gun, a special item, and fight your way through other mutated animals and creatures in order to win over the audience and become super famous! And also probably super dead as well.

The gameplay for Crackpet Show is roughly what you’d expect from a roguelite shooter, although it draws from a few different categories to help keep it going. Your goal is to make it through a series of rooms, each time beating all the enemies in each room you go through, in order to get to the end and beat the boss. You have a gun, an item, and a dodge roll. Enemies will spawn in and you need to dispatch them. Your primary weapon has infinite ammo, but your items are limited use. As you run around avoiding enemy attacks, you’ll also probably notice that you stop moving to fire, an interesting design choice. Thankfully the dodge roll is decently lenient.

Each room you beat will allow you to choose the next room you continue to, as long as it’s on the same path moving forward. Some rooms provide for you upon clearing, or allow you to shop for new weapons, health, or perks. Perks will most likely be earned in rooms that give you a perk upon clearing out the enemies. You can also get new weapons and items in a similar way. Unfortunately for you, you’ll probably still die. Good news though! This isn’t the end.

When you die, the audience will give you a rating in the form of likes, which also acts as the in-round currency at the shop. Get enough likes and you are awarded with points you can use between rounds. If you manage to beat a boss, you can also collect trophies and costume tickets, which can also be redeemed between rounds. Let’s start with the points from your likes first. As you go through rounds, you will find new weapons, items, and perks. As you get further along however, these just aren’t gonna cut it. Fortunately for you, whenever you’re in the main hub area before a round, you can cash in your points to choose between one of two randomly selected weapons/items/perks to upgrade.

Trophies work in a sort of similar manner. You can exchange them for permanent bonuses that you can progressively unlock. This could be less health on bosses, heart drops upon killing enemies, or an extra weapon slot for you. For the costume tickets, once you get a couple, you can spin a wheel and unlock a new outfit for a character.

Now, it is important to note that this is a Roguelite. While you can select one of four basic packages for a run, you’re given a weapon and item to start. Everything else is randomized throughout a stage, including the different path splits. Sometimes you get really good paths and rolls, such as getting a really nice weapon and item right off the bat. And having the rest of the rooms give perks upon completion. Other times you’ll have runs that are mostly rooms with only enemies and nothing else, or you get weapons or items you really would rather not have. Yeah, I did a full stage with just the starter gear once. It was dumb. On the other hand, this means that every run you do feels at least somewhat fresh, so that’s good for keeping your attention.

As you progress through more stages, the path branches will start getting longer and will include minibosses as well. Usually these tend to be toned down bosses you’ve fought before, so hopefully you’re prepared. If not, you could always try bringing a friend! The Crackpet Show supports up to four contestants, so hopefully you actually have friends who can come help out.

In terms of art style, well, if you remember Happy Tree Friends you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. If not, well, just expect a lot more blood and violence than the name would suggest. Your player characters are all cartoony animals, usually looking mentally unstable, and the bosses are generally some form of malformed monstrosity in the guise of an animal. Some are a little more “normal” though.


Overall, The Crackpet Show is a pretty solid roguelite experience. The weapons, items, and perks are all pretty interesting, the gameplay feels smooth. Although there are a few long loading times on the Switch, this only happens when you first start up. There is a variety of bosses, and the multiplayer makes for a good choice to play with friends.

While The Crackpet Show doesn’t really bring anything innovative to the table, it does what it does well. If you’re up for some post-apocalyptic animal mayhem, be sure to check this out.

Score: 8 / 10



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