Crush is one of those games that was critically well-received at release, but strangely overlooked by the games-buying public (even more strangely when you consider that the PSP at that point wasn't exactly overwhelmed with top quality games). It is, for my money, one of the true gems of the PSP's back catalogue, and one of the best puzzle games since Lemmings. I won't describe the mind-bending perspective-altering gameplay; check out the vids on Youtube, as they will do a far more eloquent job. Suffice to say that the gameplay is addictive and satisfying, and that the act of `crushing' never gets old.
There are 40 levels that ease you gradually into Crush's unique way of thinking, and the game as a whole has a sort of twisted, imaginative aesthetic and a great, equally demented soundtrack full of what sounds like spooky fairground music mixed with a big dose of jazz, and even a bit of dub thrown in for the hell of it. With the game forging such a unique identity, it's a shame the story feels a bit underdeveloped and doesn't mesh with the levels; nothing ever happens within gameplay that affects the story and this makes the narrative feel disconnected and a bit tacked on as a result. The story also features one of my videogame pet hates - the dreaded UCE (that stands for Unnecessary Cliffhanger Ending, folks). Videogame designers please note - cliffhangers should only be used in the second episode of a guaranteed trilogy (if then) and never in the first part of a new franchise where gamers just want a satisfying conclusion that pays off their commitment and investment of time. There's nothing worse than a cliffhanger that will never be resolved.
However, don't let that put you off as the story is not the star here, the gameplay and ingenious level design is, and they will keep you happily occupied for many hours. After you have finished your first playthrough (and gritted your teeth at the ending), you will discover it was basically a training mode for the real challenge: trophy mode. Here, you can play through all the levels again but this time against the clock and with a limited number of crushes; no more can you leisurely solve a puzzle in an hour using 68 crushes: now you find you have to do the same level in two and a half minutes with 8 crushes. It makes each level into a new puzzle, as you vaguely remember how you solved it the first time, but now have to do it again in the most efficient way possible. Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction you get when you manage to beat a level in this mode, and if you manage to have plenty of time and a couple of crushes left over at the end you feel like nothing short of a genius.
To sum up, if you have even a passing interest in platform/puzzle games, give this one a shot. It deserves to be in your PSP collection, and will give you hours of entertainment.