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Crush, Crumble, & Chomp!
The Great Movie Monster Computer Game
Automated Simulations was founded in 1978 by Jim Connelley and Jon Freeman. They created the company to market a game called Starfleet Orion. The following year, they released an adventure game named Temple of Apshai. Since Temple of Apshai was not a simulation, the duo decided to market their adventure games under the Epyx brand. Eventually, the company as a whole was renamed Epyx. The two founders later left the company to found new ventures (Free Fall Associates and the Connelley Group) after disagreements.
By 1984, Epyx was the 16th largest computer software company in the world. Besides games, the company also made hardware add-ons for the Commodore 64. Two years later, Epyx started working on a handheld gaming device, known internally as Handy Game. Unfortunately, costs spiraled and Epyx sold the device to Atari. It became the Atari Lynx.
By the end of the 1980s, Epyx’s dependency on the Commodore 64 started to hurt them. They tried to adapt, but they were unhappy with Nintendo’s rules and policies. So, they tried to create their own game console, but the project failed. A series of other bad decisions led to the company closing in 1993.
Crush, Crumble, & Chomp! was a game that was released under the Epyx brand in 1981 for Apple, Atari, and TRS-80. The game allowed you to take control of a monster rampaging through a city. These monsters were inspired by movie monsters.
According to Wikipedia, the game contained:
Goshilla, a giant amphibian like Godzilla, with a breath weapon and leaving a corrosive trail of radioactive waste.
The Kraken, a giant octopus or squid-like monster, that can attack bridges and seaside ports and then slip into the water to hide from attack. However, the Kraken can not go on land.
Arachnis, a giant spider, can clog roads with its web and can escape underground via its network of secret tunnels. Arachnis can tunnel underwater, but if emerging in water it's trapped, can't move, and needs to tunnel back to dry land.
The Glob, akin to the monster in The Blob, can travel underground in the city's sewer and absorb obstacles in its path, including skyscrapers. It also leaves a flammable trail of slime in its wake. The Glob shares Arachnis' tunneling ability, but also its limitation.
Mechismo, a towering robotic menace, sports an exotic array of alien weaponry, such as ray guns. It has the advantage over the other monsters in that it does not need to capture and eat people to survive. This is countered by the fact that, as a non-lifeform, it can't heal; the game's customization could allow the player to build a self-repairing robot, but this requires a prohibitive amount of "crunch credits".
Mantra, a giant flying monster, like the infamous Rodan. Mantra can fly over water, but, if landing in it, is stuck like Arachnis or The Glob emerging from its tunneling.
According to a review in 80 Computing ("the magazine for TRS-80 users") from February 1982, "Crush, Crumble, Chomp is a carefully designed game. The graphics on the TRS-80 version are as good or better than anything I have seen before on the machine...The humor is carried through into the game itself. Your monster has to eat, as the instruction point out, so one of the things you are constantly trying to do is catch some of the "human units" for snacks. When your monster does get something to eat, the display flashes "chomp, chomp, chomp." If its belly is full and you continue to feed, it will give you the message "burp.""
The May 1982 issue of 80 US had this to say,
"After playing several million games in which I had to attack alien monsters, I was getting tired of doing all of the killing. I wanted to be the monster for a change! Well, along came Epyx to the rescue! Finally, a company has created a game that will allow me to do a little ravaging of my own, and permit me to be the monster against all of the other good guys”. this game, perhaps a revolutionary one, is called "Crush, Crumble and Chomp", appropriately enough, since those three verbs are what this exciting game centers around.
One of the major differences in this game besides the reversal of roles, is that it is written almost entirely in BASIC. That came as sort of a shock to me since most "professionally made” games I had ever seen were in machine language. Crush, Crumble and Chomp is not a real time arcade game, so BASIC is allowed. However, this makes for some rather slow action on the computer's part. Plan to spend a lot of time if you want to successfully finish this game.”
A more recent (2012) review was not quite as positive. “CC&C is one of Epyx's earlier games and it is a precursor to the many monster games you can get. The object is to wreak havoc in one of the cities you selected at the start of the game. The game is more involved, in that there are many keyboard commands you have to learn off by heart, otherwise the game won't be as enjoyable if you just walk up to a building and smash it rather than do something else with it. The game is a time waster, in that you are seeing how long you can survive without getting killed by the authorities (as far as I'm concerned, at least). The game sports average sound and graphics, and a few nice touches. In conclusion, anyone who likes games with monsters in them should find this one exciting to play.”
Did you (or anyone you know) ever own Crush, Crumble and Chomp? Let us know how it was in the comments.
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