Saturday, April 6, 2024

Wrecking Crew: Breaking walls

I've been a bit busy lately with some personal and professional issues and haven't had much time for games, but I squeezed in about an hour and a half for Wrecking Crew this week. As with when I covered Lode Runner, I've made notes on a few of the more interesting/frustrating levels.


Level 28 - Four Gotchawrenches chase you up the ladder... and the fact that they don't all move at the same speed makes it impossible to corral them into a single unit that you can easily avoid. Once you disembark from the ladder, you either go left and smash down a row of walls before dropping down onto the floor below, which might not be safe, or you go right, wrap around to the left side of the screen and drop down all the way to the bottom, which definitely won't be safe. This level also just loves spawning fireballs to come at you from the left just when you get off the ladder.

This one probably took me the most tries out of all the levels I finished during this session.

Level 30 - In retrospect, I think I missed an easy solution - smash the supports near the bottom so that the barrels come down on the Gotchawrench's heads, taking them out of the picture. With two of them in the picture, though, the two pockets of walls on the second floor are deathtraps where the only way to leave is climbing down the ladder, where a wrench might be goaltending.

Instead, after a few false attempts, I wound up dropping down into the left pocket right at the start, smashing the walls, and climbing down before the Gotchawrenches could block off my escape. Then, evading them, I climbed to the top, demolished the top row, and climbed down the middle, breaking the walls there, before dropping down to the right and finishing in the right pocket.

Level 36 - Eggplant men don't pursue you, but walk in semi-predictable patterns, climbing ladders wherever they can. Breaking the ladders beneath them makes them tumble into the bottom level, and you'll have to deal with that later. This can be a big problem if they're too spread out or if some of them have reversed their direction.

Level 40 - A nasty stage where the ladders are the only way to get off a level. Find yourself in a situation where a wrench (or fireball) gets on either side of you, and you might not have any escape. Dynamite will destroy the adjacent ladders, so don't use any of it until you're done on the floor above. It can be tempting to use it to stun the wrenches, but they'll recover and get faster each time.


Level 43 - Four Gotchawrenches and Foreman Spike. Spike just loves tapping opening the doors on the stage, enticing the wrenches to pass through to the background and out of your hair... until he opens a door somewhere else and they pass right back through to the foreground and into your hair.

As with other stages with long, unbroken platforms spanning the entire floor, fireballs can be a serious threat, spawning and giving you no opportunity to get away by dropping down.

Level 45 - This was the second most difficult stage of the session, after level 28. There's no escape from the Gotchawrenches; anywhere you can run from them will dead-end. So you've got to drop barrels on them, and you've got to do it without crushing or dead-ending yourself.

Even after getting both of them, there's still the non-trivial task of getting to all of the destructible walls in one pass.

Not quite halfway done, but I'm neither bored with this, nor excited to continue playing.


  1. As a Lode Runner fan this game really interests me. I’ve never heard of it before. It’s a shame that it doesn’t seem to be up to the standard of Lode Runner.

    1. Well, let's just say there's a reason Lode Runner has a bazillion sequels and remakes that keep recycling the original classic levels alongside new ones, while Wrecking Crew is somewhat of an obscurity that's mostly remembered for starring Mario rather than its qualities as a game.


Most popular posts