ReviewsReview: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time


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Platform games have been wowing audiences for years. From the classic side-scrolling 2D titles to massive sprawling 3D open-world experiences. Franchises come and go, but a few stick in our mind as being synonymous with the genre. Crash Bandicoot was originally released on PlayStation in 1996, and loved by anyone that played it. Fast forward twenty-five years and many spinoffs have been enjoyed by its fan base. In 2020 its latest instalment was released, can Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time hit the heights of its predecessors?

Developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision Publishing, this is a whacky, colourful 3D platformer that’ll drive you insane. Following on from the much-loved and expected mechanics found in the series, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time chucks in some unexpected elements to keep you on your toes, and make the gameplay feel fresh.

Same old enemies, but a new threat.

The gameplay kicks off where Crash Bandicoot: Warped ended. Doctors Neo Cortex and N. Tropy are trapped in their prison in the past. Uka Uka attempts to liberate them all and succeeds by tearing a hole in the fabric of space. Realising that they can now take over the multiverse, they leave Uka Uka behind and join forces with Doctors N. Gin and Nitrus Brio. The Four evil geniuses create a generator to open more rifts, and in doing so awaken four ancient witch doctor masks.

You aim to travel across many stages, overcoming each of the doctors, collecting the masks, and closing the rifts. If you succeed, the universe is saved. Failure, on the other hand, is unthinkable, so don’t fail.

You control Crash, Coco, Tawna, and more, as you take on many challenging levels and game modes. As you’d expect you must collect fruits, crates and hidden gems en route to completing each stage and aiming for perfection. You will enjoy bonus levels, flashback tapes, N’verted modes, time trials, and boss fights. In typical Crash fashion, the action is fast-paced, requires accuracy and patience, and will demand an eye for detail.

Lionel Richie will love you dancing on this ceiling.

Two gameplay styles and plenty of collectables.

The Gameplay is split into two distinct styles; modern and classic. Modern has unlimited lives, a checkpoint system, and a counter to show how many times you die. The latter element was heartwarmingly frustrating, especially when it ticked into double figures. The classic set up has no checkpoints and a limited amount of lives and is aimed at gamers who are familiar with the series. 

I played both methods and found that neither was more nor less pleasurable than the other. The classic method will appeal more to the purists of the franchise. But I enjoyed playing without the concern of running out of lives. The modern method was certainly easier, but both are challenging in their own right.

The focus across each stage, no matter the mode, was as follows; find every crate, collect all the fruits, die fewer than three times, and find the hidden gem. If you are successful, you’ll unlock a cosmetic skin. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is all about crazy moves, and looking cool.


So many levels and objectives that it feels a bit of a grind.

With over one hundred levels to work through, including five boss fights, this has plenty of content. There are thirty-eight different stages, each with a slight variation depending on which mode you undertake. Sadly though, with so much going on, it becomes a bit of a grind trying to collect everything. Luckily you soon overcome this feeling with the many game modes you must play. 

Flashback Tapes. 

You to return to play a 2D level that will tweak those nostalgic strings. The aim for each stage doesn’t change, but it was refreshing to play from a different viewpoint.


Psychedelic colours, special gems, and a mirrored version of each level. It was hard to get your head around the sudden changes, and if you have memorised a level, it was tough to unlearn the paths you wanted to take. 

Bonus Levels. 

These hide in plain sight on every stage. If you cannot find them, you will not get the six clear gems, and you’ll miss out on that fashionable skin. 

Time Trials.

Little explanation needed, but be prepared to be enraged as you attempt to beat the time, and stay alive.

Finding every collectable in Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time was a nightmare. The developers have done a great job of making the most of their stage designs, and it will take you many attempts to tick every box to complete each level. 

Grind that rail.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is a colourful, loud, and wonderful experience.

What instantly strikes you is the bold and vivid imagery that is used to create the Crash world. Fantastic cut scenes break up the many levels that you will face. These short videos are full of humour and help to progress the story. The updated aesthetics will be familiar for its large fanbase but look modern and polished for the next generation of consoles. The variety of stage designs, use of contrasting colours, and excellent character models make this a fantastic game to look at, and one you will not tire of.

The audio was equally good. It didn’t surprise me as much as the visuals, and its style and tempo screamed Crash franchise. I expect loud and fun tunes whenever I play one of these games and was fortunately not disappointed. If you chuck in the OTT sound effects, this is a noisy title that’ll make you smile throughout, even when you are dying.

I suggest you keep running.

So many actions to master.

It’s all about accuracy and fast reactions, so I’m glad to say that the controls are tight. The fundamentals are familiar, and won’t shock anyone who loves the genre. What is tough to understand is the use of each of the ancient masks. Each has a special power that can assist you. You must use each power correctly. If you cannot do this, you’ll fall to your doom and have to start again.

This is a completionists dream and nightmare. With so many collectables, this will test the best platform gamers resolve. Items are hidden, multiple modes must be completed, and perfection is necessary. In short, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time will destroy you with its tough achievement list. You are going to lose hours of your life to this brutal platform game, and only the most hardcore gamers will complete it.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time ticks all the boxes.

I was amazed by nearly every element I experienced. The ridiculous amount of collectables and levels, the many game modes, and the aesthetics all make this a wonderful platform game. Other than the grind to get the 100% status, the developers have ticked all the boxes for me. If you are a fan of the franchise or the genre, buy it here! The multiverse is under threat, and you must do everything you can to get those masks and close those rifts.


Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is a great sequel and a worthy addition to the franchise. With fast-paced hectic action and classic platforming mechanics, this is going to be loved by everyone that plays it.

+ Excellent vivid graphics.
+ Loud and upbeat audio.
+ The fundamentals are easy to pick up.
+ Wonderful level design.
+ Plenty of content.
- Finding all the collectables is a grind.
- A tough game to complete.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email:

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Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is a great sequel and a worthy addition to the franchise. With fast-paced hectic action and classic platforming mechanics, this is going to be loved by everyone that plays it.<br/> <br/> + Excellent vivid graphics.<br/> + Loud and upbeat audio.<br/> + The fundamentals are easy to pick up.<br/> + Wonderful level design.<br/> + Plenty of content.<br/> - Finding all the collectables is a grind.<br/> - A tough game to complete.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>Review: Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time