Crusaders Quest Review - Match for the Win!

Crusaders Quest is a free-to-play Android/iOS title that harkens back to the 16-bit era both graphically and in terms of gameplay as well.

Published: December 21, 2014 9:00 AM /

Reviewed By:

Crusdaers Quest Key Art

Crusaders Quest is a real-time action RPG and matching game from TOAST for iOS and Android. Released on Dec. 11, 2014, the game is now available worldwide.  Tens of thousands of players pre-registered for the game, and now it’s finally available to play.

Crusaders Quest - Gameplay

On the surface, Crusaders Quest might look like a cute little match-three game trussed up to seem like an RPG.  In reality, there is a lot of depth to this little mobile game. Not quite as convoluted as an MMO. There are nearly as many moving parts to Crusaders Quest. To start, there’s a real story to the game.  In a fantasy setting, players will become crusaders, working as mercenaries to help protect the land.  Soon you’ll discover a generic plot about darkness corrupting people and stealing away the elemental Goddesses of the world.  Players are quickly enlisted to help NPCs in their quests to protect the land and save the Goddesses.

While the story may be trite, there is a definite plot that can’t be said of all RPG mobile games.  This simple story is fleshed out with a cast of entertaining characters who relay their quests, storyline info, and colorful dialogues through a scrolling text box.  The story of Crusaders Quest isn't inventive, but it is epic and can pull the player in if they're willing to let it happen.

The core gameplay is a match-three game.  Match corresponding tiles together to power up and activate the abilities of the hero they represent.  Yet instead of a bejeweled style field of tiles to match, Crusaders Quest has a simple single row of tiles that fill up at the bottom of the screen.  This limits the available decisions players have to make and speeds up gameplay.

It plays like a hack-and-slash side scroller as your team of heroes runs across a field auto, hitting any baddie they come up against and collecting loot along the way. Match tiles to make them perform more sophisticated moves.  There’s a variety of abilities, including healing, ranged, and melee attacks, all of which are activated with basic touch controls. Action is certainly fast-paced in this game, with each stage lasting about a minute.  Gameplay is a bit repetitive as you match tiles and finish each stage with a boss fight.  However, as your heroes level up and you recruit new ones, there are many attacks to use. 

Crusaders Quests - A Wealth of Content

Play through the story stages, complete side quests for NPCs, or test your skills in the PVP arena in Crusaders Quest.  Regardless of your preferred play style, there are over 200 heroes to discover and recruit for your own adventuring team.  As you play, your heroes will gain experience, and once leveled, you can pay to promote them with in-game currency honor.

Some heroes will become a more skilled version of themselves when promoted.  Other more generic heroes will be promoted into mystery characters.  A nun can turn into a chef, making the promotion mechanic a fun game of chance that’s disappointingly random at times.

You’ll have to train your heroes as well, which will take a steady supply of food. Buy food from the baker NPC or find some on your adventures and get it as a reward for completing quests.  Weapons, too, are an important part of your team of heroes as each one can be equipped with the appropriate class of weapons, and those weapons can be updated as you gain resources and experience.  And don’t forget skills; a special skill can be assigned to qualified heroes using a combination of honor and gold via the skill lab in town.

All of these RPG elements, such as accepting quests, allocating skills, acquiring resources, and managing your inventory are done in town (a hub/menu area that’s currently decked out for the holiday season). Here you can quickly tap on any of the icons or run through the little town to see the appropriate NPC in person.  All of the classic RPG elements are present in Crusaders Quest, so you’ll have to play through a few tutorial stages at first to get your bearings. 

Crusaders Quest - In-Game Unlocks

Currency can be acquired in-game, yet the jewels are where in-app purchases really come into play.  Particularly when it comes to getting more heroes, these jewels are used to purchase contracts that unlock new heroes to play with.  Jewels are much easier to flat-out buy than to grind through the game.  The game is otherwise completely free to play, with no purchases necessary.

Crusaders Quest has a classic 8-bit style that will make you nostalgic for your Game Boy Color, except the graphics are better.  The effect is adorable and works as a fun juxtaposition to the classic epic fantasy genre of the story.  The mixture of retro style and whimsical, epic fantasy is also reflected in the music and sound effects that will really bring you back.

The Verdict

Fans of games like Puzzle Quest, Gems of War, or Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes will likely find enjoyment in Crusaders Quest.  The match 3 strategy is less than in other games of a similar genre, yet the RPG elements are well fleshed out.  The 8-bit graphics and fast-paced gameplay make it a good fit for a mobile device.  The game is free to play for iOS and Android ( although a paid version without all the in-game currency shenanigans may have been preferable to some), so if an action, RPG, or match 3 title is at all appealing, why not give it a try?

TechRaptor reviewed Crusaders Quest on Android. This review was originally published on 12-21-2014. While care has been taken to update the piece to reflect our modern style guidelines, some of the information may be out of date. We've left pieces like this as they were to reflect the original authors' opinions, and for historical context.

Review Summary

The match 3 strategy is less than in other games and the in-app purchases can be annoying but the RPG elements are strong and the retro style and fast paced gameplay works great on mobile devices. (Review Policy)

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Alexandra Joy Taberski
| Past Author

Alexandria is a former Staff Writer at TechRaptor, who specializes in coverage of mobile games, RPGs, and JRPGs primarily, and has an unfortunate aversion… More about Alexandria