I think it’s safe to say that the 80s and 90s were the golden era of beat-em-up games. I mean, brawlers like “Streets of Rage”, “Double Dragon“, Golden Axe”, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Final Fight” were all launched during that time period. So I guess that you could say that I (and many others) got rather spoiled when it comes to beat-em-up’s. In other words, it takes a whole lot to impress me on that front.

coffee crisis the start menu

You’ve got a handful of different menus, game modes and difficulties to pick from in “Coffee Crisis”.

That’s also why I got rather excited when I got a chance to review Mega Cat Studios 16-bit neo-rogue beat-em-up “Coffee Crisis”. You see, the game just happens to be inspired by some of the best old-school beat-em-games from the 80s and 90s. Well, I’ve played through the whole game with both of Coffee Crisis playable fighters (Nick and Ashley), and I have to say that the game really lives up to the hype for most part.

coffee crisis nick and ashley

You can play as either Nick or Ashley in “Coffee Crisis”, and both of them have their own unique attacks, strengths and weaknesses (Think Axel and Blaze Fielding from “Streets of Rage”).

Right off the bat, “Coffee Crisis” really does look and feel like a 16-bit beat-em-up from the 80s or 90s (the visuals are pretty darn cool in my opinion), and the controls are very simple and rock solid. So that means that just about anyone should be able to pick up the game and start kicking some alien asses in no time. As a matter of fact, the controls are so good that you got no one else to blame for your failures but yourself.

coffee crisis cutscenes

Most of Coffee Crisis story is told with the help of cutscenes such as the one in this picture.

As for “Coffee Crisis” story, it’s an extremely simply one, and it’s also very 80s or 90s-like in-terms of how the story line is built up. I’m not even exaggerating either, because in “Coffee Crisis” your trying to fight off an alien invasion of earth. Why? Because the aliens are trying to steal our heavy metal, free Wifi, and our coffee. Yes, you read that right the first time. So it’s up to you (the player) to take on the greedy alien bastards heads on.

coffee crisis streets of rage

You can really tell that “Coffee Crisis” has been heavily inspired by games such as “Streets of Rage”, “Double Dragon”, “Golden Axe” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. I find that to be a very good thing though, as I love those games.

That is of course easier said than done though, and please allow me to tell you why. For starter, you will struggle to make it to the end even if you play on “Coffee Crisis” easiest difficulty level. So much so that it’s very likely that the game will toss a game over screen into your face over and over again.

coffee crisis melee weapons

Make no mistake, there are plenty of creatures that want to kill you in “Coffee Crisis” (like aliens and old folks). So it’s a good thing that you got different melee weapons and power ups that you could use to improve your odds of staying alive throughout the game.

Furthermore, luck also plays a big role in “Coffee Crisis” in terms of your odds of completing the game, because throughout the game you can find power ups, 1ups and whatnot. However, sometimes you don’t find anything at all, and if that’s the case, then you’re pretty much dead in the water.

coffee crisis the coffee drinking mini game

If you haven’t noticed by now, yes, there is a coffee theme to “Coffee Crisis” (thus the game’s name). Hell, there’s even a coffee drinking mini-game where you can win 1ups by drinking huge amounts of coffee.

So if it hadn’t been for “Coffee Crisis” password system, then I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish the game on the Metal difficulty (that’s the second hardest difficulty in the game). I would also like to point out that “Coffee Crisis” becomes even harder when you play as Ashley, because her special attacks don’t work as good as Nick’s (at least not in my opinion). So it’s pretty much impossible to reach to the end of the game when you play as Ashley on the Metal or Death difficulty level.

coffee crisis the level complete screen

Just like most of the old-school beat-em-up games, there is no save function to be found in “Coffee Crisis”. However, at the end of each stage, you get a password that you could use if you end up seeing the game over screen (that happens when you run out of continues).

I mean, sure, Ashley works like a charm if you play “Coffee Crisis” together with a friend, but if you play as her on your own…Let’s just say that “Coffee Crisis” is going to become even harder if you play as her. So, what about the actual gameplay then? Well, the game is fun and all (think “Streets or Rage” meets “Double Dragon” and “Golden Axe”, but with one hell of a twist involving aliens and crazy humor), but I just wish that Mega Cat Studios had tossed in more attacks and combos into the game…Because the game’s current available attacks and combos tend to become rather repetitive and boring after a while.

coffee crisis boss fight

No beat-em-up game would be complete without some boss fights. Well, “Coffee Crisis” does indeed contain boss fights. However, since the game is so short, there is only a handful of bosses to fight in the game.

Nevertheless, all in all, “Coffee Crisis” is still a fun and great 16-bit neo-rogue beat-em-up, and that despite the cons that I have listed in this review. Truth be told, “Coffee Crisis” biggest downside is its short gameplay length. I mean, even if you play on Metal, and finish the game with both Nick and Ashley. The game will still be over in a couple of hours. Then again, you could pick up “Coffee Crisis” for as low as 4,99 Euros at the moment.

My point would be that you still get a lot of value for your money. So if you’re into old-school beat-em-up games, then I’m quite sure that you’re going to love “Coffee Crisis” with no doubt.

Pros:
+ Tons of Streets of Rage, Double Dragon and Golden Axe vibes
+ Great 16-bit retro-like graphics
+ The soundtrack is freaking awesome! (Metal ftw! \m/)
+ The game is pretty darn cheap
+ Co-op is fun as hell
+ It’s extremely satisfying to beat-up aliens and old folks with the help of coffee

Cons:
– Coffee Crisis is a very short game
– There is no CPU option for Player 2
– Bugs and glitches (v1.0-1.6)
– The high difficulty level might be a turn off for some players

Gameplay: 3.5/5
Graphics: 3.5/5
Sound/music: 5/5
Controls: 5/5
Replay value: 3.5/5
Story: 3.5/5

tgg grade 4 out of 5

Verdict: 4/5
Coffee Crisis may be a rather short beat-em-up experience, but since the game is anything but easy, and looks and feels like a mix of some of the best beat-em-up games from the 80s and 90s. I’m ready to look past that down-side, especially since the two-player co-op mode makes the game even more fun to play. So, all in all, Coffee Crisis  is a really fun and challenging 16-bit neo-rogue beat-em-up.

Title: Coffee Crisis
Developer: Mega Cat Studios
Format: PC
Genre: Beat-em-up
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2018-05-04
Difficulty: Hard
Spent time: +6 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +16
Price: 4,99 Euros

***Disclosure***
The review code was provided by Mega Cat Studios.

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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