When you think of action adventure games, what’s the first thing you think of? I mean, it’s probably the action itself, maybe a top down perspective, and of course epic boss fights, but for us it’s block puzzles. You know, those puzzles in games like Zelda where you have to push blocks around to trigger switches, or open pathways to progress. They’re never a focus of these games, of course, but you can be sure there’ll be at least one that will appear at some point while you play.
What if there was a game where the primary focus was pushing blocks around in order to solve puzzles? One that didn’t have you opening secret passageways, but instead had you uncovering naughty pictures of sexy ladies, all wrapped up in a funky ode to early 90s Japanese arcades. With all the sleaze included!
Well, CosmiKankei hopes to answer all of those questions in their groovy sliding block puzzler, Crawlco Block Knockers! However, will their focus on an oft overlooked mechanic have us hooked, or will we be sliding on outta here?!
Although we certainly wouldn’t play it while the kids were still awake, and you’d probably get a firm slap on the wrist from the video/steaming corporate overlords, Crawlco Block Knockers dismounts with a decently low rating with regards to our gauges. In fact, it barely registers! With no sex, implied nor otherwise, and with only partial nudity (boobs and butts), it landed firmly at Level 1.
When it comes to the type of sexual content, since it is just nudity, with not even a single euphemism in sight, Crawlco Block Knockers ends up being our first game that scored less than 10. Coming in at a solid 5%. We would have scored it lower, but the purple and blue nipples pushed us over the edge! Also, in case you can’t tell we’re winking sarcastically right now.
Tower of Succubus was a no brainer choice given it came bundled with Sword of Succubus, which we reviewed earlier this year. However, we originally bought the bundle because both games looked like super fun, retro-styled throwbacks with an assertively naughty twist. Perfect games for Backlog After Dark reviews!
While Sword of Succubus felt very much like a GBC game, Tower of Succubus took more of an NES route. I really appreciated the change up of both art and graphical style. The fact that Libra Heart put in the effort to make two completely different games, in both graphics and gameplay, is honestly impressive and very commendable given adult games are really just starting to find a stable foothold in the gaming community.
Variety is the spice of life! That’s what we hear at least, but it also rings true when trying to find a fun new game that also has a naughty twist. I mean, puzzle games aren’t exactly uncommon within the NSFW genre, but a lot of them lean more toward the match 3 spectrum, so when we saw Crawlco’s unique take, we were intrigued from the get go. Plus, its call back to the dark corners of early 90s Japanese arcade games really resonated with me. There’s just something about your mad puzzling skills being rewarded with images of scantily clad anime ladies!
That’s not the only thing though. The overall aesthetic was pretty fun too, with bright and colorful pixel art, and a soundtrack that made my booty groove to the beat. Plus, the light hearted approach to its lewd content was refreshing and that made me excited to give it a shot!
The adult content may be slight in Crawlco Block Knockers, but what’s there is a large focal point for the gameplay. Although it may not be integral, it’s used as a reward for progressing through a stage. As you push around and match blocks, more and more of the image is revealed. Typically the first two images in a set for a given stage are merely suggestive, with at most a nip slip, or maybe some butt crack, but the final stage will usually reveal the glorious northern assets of the lady who’s stage you’re currently working through.
Now, just because you can, doesn’t mean it’ll be easy to do however. Crawco can get quite tough, especially in later stages, and if you’re not strategic with your block placement, you can end up finishing a stage with only partially revealing the image. There is a gallery too, but in order to unlock any of the images within it, you’ll need to have a “Perfect Reveal” on the specific stage the image appears in.
Finally, and this says a lot about the content that appears in Crawlco, but you can pretty much turn it all off through various options (partially censored, or completely obscured) and the game doesn’t change at all. It’s still a fun and unique puzzler! That said, working toward revealing each of the images, and seeing what the new stages bring with regards to that, really is a driving force. Honestly, without it it just wouldn’t be the same, and I can imagine the motivation to finish the game would be a lot less.
The adult content is very centric in Tower of Succubus. You play as a succubus who has had her powers diminished by an evil wizard. She sets out on a quest to reach the top of a tower where the succubus queen can restore her powers in full.
Just like in Sword of Succubus, you have a melee attack and a magic attack, and you can use a charm spell to “drain the lifeforce” out of enemies to regain health and mana. Unlike in SOS though, you can charm most of the enemies, and each has their own little H-scene.
Tower of Succubus in general has a LOT more H-scenes, not just from enemies, but also from the many journal entries scattered about the levels to collect. Most were singular entries of women who tried and failed to reach the succubus queen, others were an intriguing multipart story. Each contained one or two sex scenes, usually involving the women being captured by monsters.
The simplicity of the base gameplay and the increasing difficulty of each boss was a bit of a juxtaposition to be sure, but really it hammered home just how reminiscent Tower of Succubus was to a classic NES game. I really liked the attention to detail woven throughout this game even if it was in the simplest of ways.
We got to the top of the succubus tower fairly quickly. In just two short sittings we reached the succubus queen and finished with a 98% completion without even really trying. Some of the floors did feel a little repetitive which is understandable given there were 77 floors, all with very simple gameplay and only a few puzzles scattered about. I can’t say there’s much I’d change over all and to say more variety could be useful is just nitpicking.
The artwork itself may not have been my cup of tea, but overall I thought the vibe was absolutely fantastic! Especially that music. The moment it blasted out of my speakers with its groovy melodies, and thumping base, it brought me back to days of pumping quarters into my favorite arcade machine, trying to get the high score. Truly something I hope to see more of, if we were to get a sequel. What I really loved however, was that Crawlco was absolutely brimming with ways to customize your game. From turning off enemy spawns (which greatly reduces the challenge), to censoring the images you reveal, to the color and shape of the blocks you push around. I really appreciated that, and I hope we see more of that, not only in a sequel, but in more games in general!
If I had to pick one thing though, that dulled my experience a bit, it would be the controls. Especially when you’re inundated with enemies. At times they were too touchy, and at others, it just wouldn’t do what you wanted it to do. It could have been the combinations of buttons you had to use to perform specific actions, or my inability to wrap my mind around them, but we ended up dying and restarting because of them all too often. I think a big help would be to give players the ability to assign those actions to single button presses. Which would ultimately make things like jumping or shuffling blocks behind you a bit more intuitive.
We think if you’re in the mood for an outside of the box puzzler, and don’t mind being rewarded with naughty eye candy, then we think you should definitely give Crawlco Block Knockers a shot! It may not be the most risque game we’ve played, but honestly, it doesn’t need the sex because those levels will f#*k you pretty hard all by themselves. It may have been a bit frustrating at times, but with enough options to help cater the experience to your needs, that’s quickly circumvented and makes Crawlco Block Knockers a game to keep your eye on!
Have a curiosity for adult themed games, but are wary of what type and level of content they may contain? Use our at-a-glance After Dark Gauges, to quickly see if a game is for you! Check out the After Dark Gauges Primer page, for more information!