There’s something of a renaissance going on in multiplayer games right now. Games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite are revolutionising the multiplayer space, providing stripped-back experiences with no frills and reinventing the rulebook when it comes to what players want from their online multiplayer. At the same time, we’re still seeing continuing interest in .io games; things like Slither.io and the original Agar.io are still enjoying high numbers and exposure on streaming platforms.
This makes sense, of course. As we move from guided experiences to user-generated emergent gameplay, it’s gonna get more common for games to try and provide players with a playground in which to tell their own stories rather than a railroaded, linear game which tells the story for them. That’s where things like PUBG, Fortnite and .io games come in.
Krunker.io game is an attempt to marry the two aforementioned houses. The game comes to us from Sidney de Vries, who’s a well-known .io creator. Sidney’s perhaps best known for Moomoo.io, a farming-based take on the .io genre which also incorporates resource gathering and crafting. Krunker.io doesn’t concern itself with these trappings or extras, though, and returns to the essence of the .io formula, which is to say it’s all about competing with your fellow players until you rule the roost.
Things like story and character aren’t important to .io games by and large, and Krunker.io continues this venerable tradition. In Krunker.io, you are a person with a gun, and you must fight other people with a gun until your score is higher than theirs. This oversimplification isn’t intended as a criticism, though; it’s quite nice to go into a multiplayer experience where the goal is simply to win, and there aren’t any extra objectives for one’s team to completely miss (lookin’ at you, Overwatch).
What you do get is two modes to choose from (Team Deathmatch and Free-For-All, which are both fairly self-explanatory), as well as several character classes to specialise your play style. These character classes are a carry-over from Sidney de Vries’ previous title Vertix.io, so it could be said that Krunker.io is kind of a sequel (as we’ve said, though, you don’t need to worry about the story or anything, so you can obviously go into this one blind).
Those classes are arguably one of the highlights of Krunker.io, and one of the ways in which it differentiates itself from other .io games. Players can choose from a variety of classes, all of which have a specifically tailored play style which differs from the others in interesting and unique ways. The Sniper, as one might expect, carries a rifle which can pick off opponents at range with ease, but which has a slow reload time, so every shot counts. The Detective class wields a revolver, which packs a devastating punch up-close but doesn’t have spray, so you’d better know who your target is.
All of this adds up to create a satisfying experience with a ton of replay value. Experimenting with classes during one of Krunker.io’s 6-person matches made us feel like we did way back when playing Star Wars Battlefront II, and that’s high praise indeed. Seeing how the classes interact with one another, and how each class can be used to effectively combat another one, is one of Krunker.io’s great joys.
Of course, this wouldn’t mean much if the shooting itself wasn’t satisfying, but it’s a pleasure to report that this isn’t a problem for Krunker.io. The game’s aesthetic is strongly reminiscent of de Vries’ previous project, Vertix.io, all cuboid surfaces and block colours. Each weapon has a satisfying kick to it; even lowlier pistols like the Revolver feel great to use. Despite being a fairly low-key production, Krunker.io’s guns feel better than some high-profile mainstream shooters we could care to mention.
This is aided by some extremely well-designed maps. At the time of writing, only the Fort map was available to us, but we certainly got our money’s worth from it. Fort is designed with a surprising level of care and nuance; a lot of thought has been given to how players will use the map space, and what this will mean for each individual class. No matter which class we were playing as, we never felt like the map wasn’t accommodating us, even though there’s definitely spots where each class holds an advantage. Different height levels, obscure hiding places and other features helped us feel like the map had new and interesting things to discover each time we played.
We’re hard-pressed to think of a criticism for Krunker.io, if we’re honest. For what it is, it delivers a consistently satisfying and fun experience that’s easy to get into and hard to master. The game has full mod support, too, so if there’s anything you think is missing from Krunker.io when you play it, it should be fairly easy to remedy this if you’re of a technical mind. Krunker.io is a surprisingly accomplished shooter with a nice, simple feel and a wealth of classes to sink your teeth into. Give this one a try and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.