A group of villains made up of Ballos, Elise, Jim Hawkins and Akuji seeks to harness the power of Cave Story's Red Crystal, a gem imbued with power capable of destroying the universe itself. To prevent this threat, a small team of heroes unites to take on the villains and destroy the Red Crystal once and for all.
Gameplay in Crystal Crisis is very similar to that of Puzzle Fighter. Sets of two colored blocks will fall from above, and the players must arrange them on their play field, ideally with blocks of the same color placed next to one another. If a set of same-colored blocks are arranged in a rectangle of at least 2 x 2, they will coalesce into a single larger block. Colored crystals will sometimes appear in place of one of the falling blocks; if a crystal touches a block of the same color, it and any other contiguous blocks of the same color will disappear from the play field, causing all the blocks above them to fall to the ground. Depending on how many blocks are destroyed at once and how large a combo is triggered, a number of countdown blocks will fall on the opponent's screen. These have a timer indicator on them, and will not change to normal blocks until the timer expires, meaning they are unaffected by crystals. The game ends when a player's play field is full and they cannot place more blocks, forcing them to surrender.
Unique to Crystal Crisis is a "wrap-around" mechanic: by attempting to move a falling block past the left or right border of the play field, it will appear on the other side of the screen. This can also be used to bisect two blocks falling horizontally, allowing players to drop one block on the rightmost edge and another on the leftmost edge, adding to the necessary strategic considerations. Crystal Crisis also features the "Burst Gauge", which fills as the player matches gems and triggers combos. When it is full, the player can trigger one of two character-specific Burst Attacks. Each character has a defensive Burst, which can be used to give them different buffs and clear blocks from their own play field, and an offensive Burst, which can be used to interfere with their opponent. Players can store up to three levels of Burst Gauge; the more of the gauge is spent on a Burst at once, the more powerful and effective it becomes.
The game supports local and online multiplayer for up to four players in normal, tag-team, and "Column Crash" variants, as well as single-player Arcade, Survival, and Training modes. An optional "Colorblind Mode" is also available.
Crystal Crisis features twenty playable characters from various IPs, each with their own stage and musical theme. Fifteen are pre-existing characters, while four are from currently-unreleased Nicalis titles, some of which have not yet been announced.
Akuji the Demon