If you’re anything like me, after watching Toy Story 2, I always wondered what happened to my luggage after checking it at the airport. Crazy Belts explores the same idea, putting you in control of the falling fate of suitcases, surfboards, and an almost alarming amount of puppies. As the baggage handler, it’s up to you to make sure each color coded piece of luggage makes it into the right pipe, without being damaged by any obstacles. Drop a bag in the wrong colored pipe, or zap with an electric beam, and you’ll lose a star. Lose three stars, and it’s game over. At least you don’t have to deal with the angry passengers, though.
I don’t expect much out of games that are primarily aimed at mobile devices, but the graphics of Crazy Belts still left a little to be desired. Many of the backgrounds appeared pixellated on my iPad Mini, and the on-screen instructions were riddled with typos. It didn’t necessarily ruin the experience, but it gave the impression that the game was slapped together without much attention to detail.
The game starts out nice and slow, with a the first few levels serving as a tutorial to ease you into the game mechanics. Tapping the conveyor belts and gears will cause them to switch directions, allowing you to direct each bag to the correct pipe or prevent them from being destroyed by an electric beam. To add an extra layer of difficulty, certain levels are timed as well. There are power ups available too, allowing you to add extra time, drop bags in any color pipe, or stop time to catch a wayward bag and drop it in the right pipe. These power ups are available as in-app purchases, but completing levels will earn you “miles” that can be used towards them as well.
Overall, I didn’t find the gameplay very satisfying. The physics on the luggage frequently caused pieces to fly in the opposite direction of the conveyor belt or gear, and the timing of the electric rays was rather finicky. The whole point of the game quickly became tedious manipulation in order to get the timing just right, so when I did get a bag in, it felt more like dumb luck from quick taps than any cleverness or skill. I felt frustrated, not challenged. However, if you’re the type who likes games like Super Meat Boy, I suspect you’ll love Crazy Belts.