Crush, Crumble and Chomp! is a computer game from Epyx, published in 1981 for the Atari 8-Bit Computers, Apple II, VIC 20, Commodore 64, and TRS 80. Subtitled "The Movie Monster Game", it's a lighthearted simulation/strategy game where the player controls a gigantic movie monster and attacks one of four major cities (New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, and Tokyo).Generally speaking, the player is scored based on how long he manages to survive, how much damage he causes, and how many human forces he eliminates. Play proceeds with a turn-based quasi-real-time system; the player's commands take a certain amount of time to execute, and longer commands may result in the human units making a move before the player. The monster must eat humans to stave off hunger and heal damage, though the player will eventually lose through attrition.While the default game has six predefined monsters, the disc-based version has a "Grow your monster" option to let the player create their own critter.Epyx released a Spiritual Successor, The Movie Monster Game, in 1986, but only for the Apple II, and Commodore 64. This game had a similar "Monster vs. City" theme, and even featured an officially-licensed Godzilla as a playable monster.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
Action Commands: Though ostensibly turn-based, the game will skip the player's current "turn" if he takes too long to enter a command.
All There in the Manual: The instruction manual for the game is a treasure trove of comic wit; not content to simply list the commands, Jon Freeman (who later went on to create the classic game Archon) jams it full of sarcasticTake Thats, overly melodramatic Purple Prose, and hilariously irrelevant backstories for the six stock monsters (Arachnis' city-destroying rampage could've been averted if the Knicks had better appreciated his basketball skills...).
Controllable Helplessness: Occurs when the monster is ravenous with hunger, and the computer begins randomly entering commands. The player can sometimes get his own commands in, but it's usually a futile attempt to avert disaster.
Cut and Paste Environments: Due to the limitations of personal computers at the time, the game heavily reuses standard icons for most spaces (residential home, skyscraper, bridge, etc.). Even with this limitation, the game loosely attempts to duplicate real-world locations with the setup — for example, The Pentagon is a ring of five "skyscraper" tiles.
Death of a Thousand Cuts: This is almost always the fate of the monster; no matter how good you play, eventually the human forces will overwhelm you with attacks faster than your ability to heal/recover.
Mad Scientist: One of the last human attackers, and arguably the deadliest; a single hit from the Mad Scientist will cause the monster to gradually slow down (lose turns), hastening his eventual defeat.
Multi Mook Melee: That is, if you consider the amassed forces of humanity to be "mooks". Starts off with police cars, then later escalates to soldiers, tanks, artillery, and the Mad Scientist.
Scratch Damage: Fully justified, since all of your opponents are weaker than you.
Shout Out: One of the more useful command sequences was to hit P (paralyze), then G (grab), then E (eat). The user's manual described this as "The Power of PG&E". PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) is the main power company for much of the Pacific Northwest.
Top Down View: In terms of gameplay, anyway; the icons show things in side-view profile for easier identification.
To Serve Man: Appropriately enough, the nourishment rewarded from eating humans varies according to the unit: soft, unprotected civilians are the best, while armored tanks and helicopter pilots provide only a minimal amount.
Walking Wasteland: Depending on the monster/powers selected, the player can leave flames or radioactive/destructive waste in his wake.
Wizard Needs Food Badly: The player must regularly eat people to sustain his monstrous self. Failure to do so would result in the monster going mad with hunger; this was simulated by having the game enter commands on its own, which left the player vulnerable to the humans' counterattacks.