A promising 3D platformer held back by simple errors.
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is a 3D platformer that follows the classic gameplay and design of classic games from this genre; fans of this genre will find the gameplay very familiar to Super Mario Galaxy or the Crash Bandicoot series. While this game fits the genre nicely, it does come with some issues that prevent the game from achieving the same level of greatness.
The game starts with a detailed look at the lore and the story behind the game; Ginger was created as a gift from the powerful Goddess for her to speak through and to do her will. While there is a detailed cutscene at the start of the game, the plot of Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is quite simple. The player needs to find and purify all of the crystals in the game which have been tainted by a mysterious figure.
While the plot plays a significant role at the start of the game, more emphasis is placed on the gameplay as it progresses which makes the story easy to forget. There are three unique hub worlds for the player to explore and complete the different themed levels in each one. Once the main levels have been completed in a hub world, the player is granted access to the next zone with a range of new levels.
Hub worlds contain two different types of levels, the Mirror Levels, and the Red Crystal Levels. Mirror Levels are played in as a sidescrolling 3D platformer where the player must complete certain tasks before they can finish the level. Some of these levels are based on time trials which the player must complete before they are given the red crystal to purify.
Unique characters can also be found in some of the Mirror Levels in the game who will reward the player with a new outfit once they’ve been freed from their prisons. Outfits play a pivotal role in the game as they provide the player with new abilities to access specific areas or complete puzzles in the Mirror Levels and hub worlds.
Red Crystal Levels are played in a third-person perspective, where the player must traverse different blocks on the path to reach the red crystals. These levels can be very entertaining, but the camera view can cause some problems, it’s easy to misjudge jumps as a result, and some gaps between blocks may not even be noticeable at times.
Hub worlds also contain some activities for players to complete which can provide a nice break from the main levels of the game; there are various quests to complete for NPCs, enemies to kill, crystals to collect and a town to rebuild. While there is plenty to do, these aspects of the game are very basic and have not been expanded enough to make completing them worthwhile.
Combat is quite simple, and the tutorial is good, but it doesn’t explain one crucial point to the player; jumping on an enemies head will instantly kill most of them. This area of the game is very underdeveloped and feels a little rushed. It’s difficult to get close enough to attack enemies without the player also being harmed in the attempt; there is still a method to kill enemies safely. However, this quickly becomes repetitive.
Gamers should not be put off by the issues with clipping graphics or bugs that can allow the player to walk through the plant traps in the game. The graphics are still incredible, and gamers of all ages should be able to appreciate the game in its current state.
Ginger: Beyond the Crystal is a 3D platformer that suits players of all ages and despite its issues, it’s still an entertaining game. The game certainly has a lot of potential, but the developers have missed the chance to further the game. While this is a fun game to play, its weaknesses cannot be overlooked.