A decidely odd-looking race of aliens has descended upon Pittsburgh, and they’re out to snatch up our coffee, Wi-Fi, and everything else we hold dear. Thankfully, the baristas at Black Forge Coffeehouse are on the case, ready to kick ass, take names, and send the Smurglians back to their home planet empty-handed.
That’s quite a plot, alright – and it makes for a delightfully vibrant setting for Megacat Studios’ new game, Coffee Crisis. If you grew up playing side-scrolling beat-em-up games like Double Dragon and Streets of Rage, you’ll feel right at home when you fire this up with a pal.
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The colorful hand-drawn levels, inspired by city scenes across Pittsburgh, feature landmarks from across the metropolis like the PNC baseball park and the Duquesne Incline railroad – but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a moment to take in the sights, as the Smurglians hardly let up through each and every level.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward – fight the baddies (which include aliens, and a host of humans possessed by aliens) with punches, combos, suplexes, and special attacks, collect power-ups to stay alive, and defeat the evil galactic overlords to save Pittsburgh. You can choose to play as either Nick or Ashley; each barista has their own fighting style, which means you can enjoy a slightly different experience when you replay the game.
There are five expansive levels to complete, and while it can get a bit repetitive to go through on your own, they’re sure to make a couple of hours fly by when you’re playing together with a friend on your couch. If you’ve been meaning to vent some deep-seated frustrations out on some ugly-ass aliens, I highly recommend grabbing a controller and dishing out some pain.
It all comes together pretty nicely for a campy, fun take on the brawlers of our 16-bit gaming heyday. And if you want a stronger dose of nostalgia, you can buy a cartridge version of the game (special editions start at $40), which works on the Sega Genesis and other non-emulation hardware consoles.