Crossy Road is a mobile game that was released on November 20, 2014. It was developed by the indie company Hipster Whale and developers Andy Sum, Matt Hall, and Ben Weatherall. The name and concept of the game is a play on the joke: Why did the chicken cross the road?
The idea of the game is to get as far as possible across the roads, rivers, grass and train tracks without dying. The player plays as a mascot and must swipe the screen in the corresponding direction to move the mascot or tap to go forward. Along the way there will be many obstacles, such as rivers, trees, boulders, cars, trains and sometimes even gravestones. To get past these obstacles the player must go past them at the appropriate moment and path to ensure survival or to use other objects to get across rivers such as logs and lily pads. An eagle will come by and snatch the mascot provided they stay in the same place too long or move too far back, resulting in a game over (dying). Every square unit moved forward will earn a point. The more units that are moved, the more points that will be received. Along the way there will be yellow coins with red “C’s” engraved on the covers representing coins. To obtain these coins the player must simply move the mascot to the coin’s location.
Coins are an in-game currency with the sole use of buying random mascots with the lottery machine. Coins can be obtained in-game via landing on them during gameplay, watching advertisement videos, collecting a free gift given every six real-time hours, and using real money to buy them in various amounts. Coins show up in the top right corner as yellow circles engraved with red “C’s”. 100 coins can be used for a chance at a new mascot from the lottery machine. If the player owns the Piggy Bank mascot, red coins worth five coins each are added to the game, and the coins received from free gifts or watching ad videos are doubled.
Initially the developers planned to spend only six weeks developing the game, but afterwards realized the game’s potential and dedicated another six weeks to completing it. The game’s free-to-play model was based on the one for Dota 2. According to developer Matt Hall, Crossy Road drew inspiration from Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Disco Zoo, Flappy Bird, Skylanders, Tiny Wings, FEZ and Frogger.
The game was a finalist for the Game of the Year Award 2014 for the Australian Game Developer Awards. It received generally positive reviews with Metacritic giving the game a score of 88, TouchArcade giving the game 5/5 stars, BigBoomBoom.com giving the game 5/5 stars, Gamezebo Gaming giving the game 4.5/5 stars and Apple N’ Apps giving the game a 4/5 overall score. Polygon dubbed the game “brilliant” and compared it as an update take on Frogger, while TIME called the game a mix of Frogger and Flappy Bird.