who had a Clash Bandicoot MOBA on your 2023 bingo card? Following its first world premiere trailer at The Game Awards 2022, Activision and developer Toys for Bob have strategically kept quiet about Rumble Team Clash. From what we were able to glean from social media previews and a number of additional trailers, we knew some iconic Crash characters would face off in battle, but everything else remained a mystery. After testing a PS5 version of the game at GDC 2023, it turns out that this spin-off looks more like Pokemon Unite than Crash Bash.
In keeping with the franchise’s overall appeal, Crash Team Rumble is very easy to pick up. Two teams of four heroes first attempt to collect a certain amount of Wumpa Fruit; in our build, that meant 2,000 pieces of fruit with no time limit. Players do this primarily by opening wooden crates scattered liberally around the map, grabbing the fruit inside, and stacking them while standing at their base for several seconds.
But like any MOBA worth its salt, it’s not as simple as it looks. The opposing team not only tries to grab all the fruit first, but can also use attacks to knock you down and/or damage you until you are forced to respawn, clearing all the fruit you have collected so far. now. Fruit isn’t the only thing to consider. Various groups of gems can be activated on the map to give a temporary boost to the fruit bank, while relic keys can be used to activate relic stations for special items, force fields, springboards , etc. favor of your team.
Specifically, during a match on the Tiki Towers map, I was able to gather enough Relic Keys to summon the powers of Uka Uka, who Crash Bandicoot fans will recognize as the spirit of the voodoo mask that serves as main antagonist of the series. The blue sky turned a deep purple as I rained fiery meteors onto the field, knocking out three of the four enemy team members. In another match on the Calamity Canyon map, the enemy team was able to summon a UFO that was stalking our team like a Mario Kart blue shell.
Choose the right Bandicoot for the job
Also, your role in the team will largely depend on the character you choose. The version we played featured five of the eight characters that have been revealed so far. Crash Bandicoot and Tawna Bandicoot were the top scorers, with high mobility and the ability to fruit for the most points at a time. Crash’s younger sister, Coco, and Dr. Neo Cortex are Boosters who focus on Relic Keys and attempt to activate as many Relic Stations as possible. Meanwhile, Dingodile is a tough blocker who can easily stand on the enemy’s bench platform like a goalkeeper, not allowing his team to score.
Keep track of your character’s role and you’ll quickly fill your item gauge, providing small party buffs when your team is in critical need. For some defense you can summon a Flytrap Spitter which shoots at any nearby enemy or a Gasmozin Guard which can use its gigantic stature to prevent the enemy from blocking your team’s base of operations. If your team is in a tough fight, you can throw in a healing fridge that provides passive healing for you and your friends in a radius. Or if you want to score more points, you can use a Wumpa Stash which automatically fills with fruit.
Crash Team Rumble Preview: Final Thoughts
It didn’t take long for our team to work together, and I’m proud to say that we were able to win every game against the developers at Toys for Bob. However, almost every match was close, and it took us a while to figure out how to balance point scoring with gem pool increases, character roles, and relic stations. By the third game, I was so engrossed in the fight that I forgot I was playing a silly MOBA about hiding fruit. Hopefully the character progression and Battle Pass, with plenty of skins and cosmetic unlocks, will be strong enough to keep the game going for several planned seasons.
Arriving much earlier than expected, Crash Team Rumble’s release date is June 20, 2023, with pre-orders available March 21 and a multiplayer beta scheduled for April 20-24. The game will feature cross-play between PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S and Xbox One with no PC release plans yet. The Standard Edition will cost $29.99 and comes with the Season 1 Battle Pass, while the Deluxe Edition costs $39.99, comes with a Digital Proto Pack with hero skins and cosmetics, and extends the Battle Pass to Season 2.