The Crash Bandicoot franchise takes place on the Wumpa Islands, three close by islands in the waters off the coast of the south-east of Australia. The base island for the games, and Crash's home Island, is affectionately known as N.Sanity Island. In Crash Twinsanity, an alternate version of this island is visited in the 10th dimension, known as Twinsanity Island. The franchise begins with the creation of Crash with the Evolvo Ray, a devise created by Doctor Neo Cortex, the main antagonist for the franchise, and his friend and ingenious scientist, Doctor Nitrus Brio. This device turns unsuspecting animals into beasts with intelligence, and varying levels of strength and abilities. When the duo try to take complete control of Crash with the Cortex Vortex, and use him as a leader for the animal-army, Crash is able to escape, jumping out the window of Cortex's castle and waking up on a beach on N.Sanity Island, the starting point of the first game.
The Crash Bandicoot Franchise, for the most part plays, with a strong emphasis on linear design, with the exception of games in the Crash Racing series, party games such as Crash Bash, and games with elements of free-roaming capabilities, such as those found in Crash Twinsanity.
The classic Naughty games all run with the simple jump and spin buttons, with the inclusion of skidding, crouching, and weapon handling in the beginning in the second and third installments of the series. The sole premise of the early games was based around the collection of gems, collected when you smashed 100% of the boxes in a level, and the collection of crystals, found on every level and used to unlock new warp rooms in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot Warped. The games are based around a lives system, in which the player accumulates lives by collecting them from boxes and bonus missions, and by collecting wumpa fruit from the other types of boxes. Every time a player loses a life, they a forced back to the start of the level, unless they have reached a checkpoint. When all lives are lost, the player is taken to the Game Over screen, and restarts the level or at the last save point. Some levels in the classic games took the gamer away from direct control of Crash, putting him in control of various animals, such as a wild hog from the famous level Hog Ride, Pola the polar bear in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, Pura the tiger and a small Dinosour in Crash Bandicoot: Warped. Other games in the series allow the control of other characters, such as Crash's sister Coco, and Neo Cortex himself.