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Crossy Road Guide: Tips and tricks
Crossy Road is, simply put, a great game. On the surface, there isn't much to it: You control an animal (or one of the many other characters in this game) and try to get them across the road. Thing is, the road is 2000 meters long, with busy traffic, rivers, trains, police cars and other vehicles that seem to be intent on running you over. The game is a bit like a new version of the classic arcade game Frogger, though much more varied, fun, and infuriating! The game was available on iOS first, but has now also been released on Android. It's a free game with In App Purchases. You don't really need this IAP to get ahead, you use it to buy one of the dozens of different characters you can use in this game.
When the game starts, your animal of choice is standing at the bottom of the screen. When you first start the game, there is only one animal available to you: A chicken (why did the chicken cross the road). So yes, this game is not just an update of Frogger, but also of the classic Activision game Freeway, which came out on the Atari 2600 eons ago, and which tasked you with getting a chicken across a busy road safely.
This chicken also wants to cross the road. But is kind of crowded. And kind of dangerous. Chances are, you are going to kill your chicken within 5 metres. A car can run over it. It can fall in the river. A train has crushed it. Or, if you wait too long before crossing the road, an eagle will come and swoop you from the ground. Yes, this game is rather difficult, however, the gameplay mechanics themselves have been kept as easy as possible. Tap the screen and your chicken jumps forward. Swipe backwards or to the side and your chicken moves in that direction. It's that simple, and that;s good, because now you can concentrate on getting your chicken across the road. For every jump you get a point. And when you reach 2000 points, your chicken will have crossed the road. Congrats! However, getting there is going to take a lot of time, trust me on that.
Some early tips
Don't rush into traffic. Just jumping across the street like a chicken without a head is not going to get you anywhere. Look at the traffic and plan. If you tap fast enough, you can cross the street easily. Try to make crossing a particular set of roads as fluent as possible. Of course you can always jump back or to the sides if you have to, but it's best to just wait for a gap that allows you to cross the whole road in one go. There are lanes of grass that are safe havens where you can rest for a second before moving on.
Don't wait too long either. So, don't rush. However, waiting too long is not a good idea either. An eagle will fly across and kidnap you, which means game over. Mostly this happens after five seconds or so, so you really haven't got that much time to plan your next move. However, if you jump ahead one lane, then the 'eagle timer' resets and you have a bit more time to plan.
Don't get too frustrated. Crossy Road is fun, but it's also very frustrating. Especially when you start to think about getting a really high score and you fail time and time again, you will get the urge to throw your tablet or smartphone across the room. Not a good idea.
Play in portrait mode, not landscape mode. You have the choice between both, but when you play in portrait mode you will be able to see further ahead, which makes it easier to plan your next move.
6 million ways to die
Well, maybe not six million, but the ways to a short and painful death for your character are plentiful.
Death by car: If you are not quick enough, the cars will run over you. But if you are too quick, you will smash into the side of the car. When crossing the street, take a second to see the pattern. It may look like chaos, with cars going this way and that, but cars in one lane keep going in that same direction. This does not mean they all go at the same speed though. Considering this, it's important to keep in the middle of the screen as much as possible, so that you have a clear view of as much of the traffic as possible.
Death by drowning: You cross the river by jumping from log to log. These logs are of varying sizes, and they also move at different speeds. That makes it difficult to plan sometimes, and mistiming a jump means your character will fall in the water and drown (wait, some of the characters you unlock are ducks and fish, how come they drown? Oh well, videogame logic...). Be careful that you don't stay on these moving logs too long, because when you get too close to the side of the screen, there are rapids that pull you under the logs, meaning it's game over as well. In the river, there are also lily pads. These pads do not move, and they are a good place to stay for a second and plan ahead.
Death by train. There are train tracks, with trains speeding over them from time to time. And I do mean speed! However, there are warning signs for when a train is about to pass by. The lights go on and there's a warning sound, meaning you have a couple of seconds to jump across, or wait it out. When a train has passed, it mostly stays away so you can stay on the tracks and chill (chill long enough and you unlock an achievement).
Death by police car. Every now and then police cars drive through the traffic. These are real fast, but are also preceeded by warning lights and siren sounds. Besides that, they are a pretty rare occurrence in the game.
Death by eagle. Stay in the same spot for too long and it's game over. So make sure you jump forward on time, and the eagle timer resets. However, if you jump backwards more than two steps, the eagle timer goes back to the original timing and it will come swoop you up anyway.
Unlocking new characters
The game has over 50 different characters you can unlock. You do this in different ways. You can buy them for a small amount of money, or you can win them. You can do this whenever you have 100 pieces of in game gold. This entitles you to a crack at the lottery machine, which gives you a box with one of the characters in it, thus unlocking it. However, it's possible that the box contains one of the characters you already have.
Ways to make money. There are three ways to earn in game cash. One, is by picking up the coins scattered across the playing field. Don't hunt these too much when you are trying for a high score, because trying to get just one more coin could mean being smashed by a car. Two, is by watching commercials for other videogames. This gives you 20 extra coins. Three is by waiting six hours and pressing on the 'get a free gift' button. This mostly means a number of coins between 100 and 500.
Different characters. The characters are part of the unique appeal of this game. You have bunnies, duckies, dogs, horses and a ton more animals. But also Frankenstein's monster, dracula, aliens and other more outworldly characters. Some of these characters change the scenery. Frankenstein's monster, for instance, turns the world into black and white, while the wolf only walks in the night. It's a fun extra to the game, though it does not change the way you play it too much. Then again, none of the characters really change the playing too much. Just try out some of the characters to see which one you like playing with the most.
Spoiler alert! There's a secret character in the game, and it's the mascot of the game's creator Hipster Whale. It's a whale with a cap on his head, that you can find floating in the water every now and then. Jump on his head and you unlock him for the next time you play the game.
Some more tips for this game
Master the fast tap. Planning is key, but sometimes it's best to just tap the screen like mad and power through a particularly long section of road.
You can pause mid tap. If you keep pressing the screen, your character won't move. So, if you have accidentally pressed the screen while there is a car coming, this will help you not get squashed.
Count your taps. Sometimes, you tap so frantically that you overtap, passing by a green stretch of cross and onto the next road. So be careful to not tap four times whenever three times is enough.
Don't mind your score. When I am playing this game, and I see from the corner of my eye that I am reaching my high score, I somehow lose my concentration and mess up. Forget about that high score and just keep going. You will know you have passed your high score soon enough when you cross the line that shows you where your high score is.
Turn the sound on. There are plenty of warning sounds that alert you to trains, police cars and more.
Don't worry about the IAP. Sure, you can buy a few items to support the people who created this great little game, but without IAP you can also unlock everything. It just takes a bit longer.