The early stages of Crash Twinsanity were fraught with a whole lot of misdirection and indecision. As a result, the first 2.5 years of development were pretty much thrown in the bin as we started again. This page is dedicated to all the poor enemies & NPCs that were cast asunder and forgotten.

Small Ant

In the earliest iteration of Crash Twinsanity (when it was known as Crash Evolution), the ant enemies came in three different sizes. The small variety was fully modelled & animated and I think they existed in a couple of early builds. In the final phase of development they were completely remodelled from scratch, where they gained their big cheesy grins. I think the main reason they were rebuilt was because the skeleton was far too complicated. They had six fully articulated limbs in the original version (because they’re ants innit). We ended up making multiple variations of the small ant which only showed up in the last levels of the game (Jetpack/grenade ant, Fire ant, Drill ant).

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Small Ant Mite-mech riders

The small ants could be found in the game riding large “mite mechs”, seen here. You could attack the mech or you could jump up and swipe the rider off. I remember seeing this in test levels. It never really felt “right” to have Crash fighting large enemies with spin attacks. Maybe this was one reason we dropped them. I’ve got a vague memory that these guys played a part in the Neo Cortex Hoverboard sections but I was never directly involved with those.

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Medium Ant

These guys were the medium sized soldiers in the Evil Twin’s ant army. They were fully modelled & animated early on in development. They were quite a bit bigger than Crash and it always felt a bit awkward fighting them. This is probably why they were never rebuilt later on in the game. They were one of the first AI behaviours we worked on when the AI system was young in development so they never really worked that well. I remember they just walked towards Crash while swinging their arms and staggered about when you span into them.

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Large Ants

These guys were massive. They were fully modelled and animated early in development. We used them in an early prototype level (in the spaceport level I think) in a stealth gameplay section. They were standing on a pillar in the center of the room, and Crash had to sneak around out of sight which sliding underneath checkpoints. The ants would jump around 90 degrees every few seconds. This never really worked that well so there was no urge to resurrect it later on in development. Personally I think stealth sections are rubbish. Definitely the kind of thing that game designers put in their games when they’ve got no actual good ideas left. Having said that, an evolution of this Crash Twinsanity stealth idea ended up in the final game, with the Tribespeople instead of Large Ants…


The Gargoyle was a flying solder in the Ant army. It was designed to be perched high on ledges, and to swoop down once Crash approached. It had an attack where it spread its wings and fired out a gout a blue frame which I was quite chuffed with at the time. I seem to remember it was one of the first enemies that we were able to get moving around the level and interacting with Crash in an entertaining manner, as the AI system was starting to come together nicely at this point. It was one of many things that was forgotten as the “Crash Evolution” era of development ended and “Crash Unlimited” began.

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Scientist Ants

These guys were the brains of the twin’s operation. They were inspired by the “brain bugs” in Starship Troopers and as such they had big bulbous brains that wobbled about as they moved.

I’m fairly sure these were remodelled late in the game to have a more obvious white labcoat. I had them 99% scripted and working in game. They lobbed chemical flasks at Crash which exploded on impact. I was planning to squeeze them in to the last level of the game, but unfortunately time was too tight and they never made it…

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I can’t remember which level this guy was supposed to live in, but he became my testbed for a lot of the reusable behaviours which ended up powering most of the creatures in the game. He was supposed to have the ability to eat crates, which would deny the crate to the player. I remember arguing with someone at the design stage that this crate-chomping behaviour wouldn’t be possible with our AI system at the time. We probably could have made it work towards the end but the Vermin creature got left behind in the Crash Unlimited rebuild.

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Baby Plant & Daddy Plant

These two were one of the many enemies that were designed in the “Crash Evolution Era” and were fully modelled and animated. They were intended to live in the “Gaudi Greenhouse” world. I think the idea was that the little guy was completely harmless and would aimlessly hop around until he came in contact with some concentrated wumpa fruit energy, where he would instantly transform into the more formidable “Daddy Plant” and chase the player. I don’t believe they were ever scripted up in the game as the AI system was at a very early stage at this point, but I could be wrong as another designer was responsible for them.

View the Baby Plant animations

View the Daddy Plant animations

Acid Fly

Another denizen of the “Gaudi Greenhouse” world. It was supposed to buzz around sucking up wumpa juice, and launch itself at Crash with a stinging butt attack. Crash would have to dodge the initial attack and finish it off after its stinger got embedded in the ground.

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Tree Monster

I’ve got no idea what this was supposed to do as this level was another designer’s territory. But here it is anyway!

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I spent a whole lot of time messing around with the mushroom guy at the start of the second phase of development. At the time, we were experimenting with ambient “ecology” AI behaviours which would play out around the player as he was exploring the game world. I set up a really fun test scene where a flock of mushrooms would hop around, desperately trying to evade the tribesman who were out on a mushroom hunt. They would impale the mushrooms with their spears and carry them back to the campsite before heading out again. It was really fun to watch, especially because the mushrooms made a ridiculous chicken noise when stabbed. Some footage of this test scene has managed to survive, check these videos out:

View the “Mushroom Hunt” video

View the “Environmental” video


Barrel Hermit Crabs

These guys actually managed to survive into the final game, but they lost their barrels along the way and gained a more traditional shell. This version was originally intended for the “Ocean Floor” region of the Earth zone. A seabed which had been drained by the Evil Twin’s nefarious activities.

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Cute Rabbit

This was one of the cute critters from the “Gone a bit Coco” level that took place inside Coco Bandicoot’s mind. There were 3 variations of this little guy that all shared the same skeleton & animations. I can’t remember what animals the other two were but I remember that one was red, one was yellow! The idea was that they they would swarm all over Cortex and hug him to death while he tried to keep them at bay with his laser gun.

The skeleton of the model was kept as simple as possible so we could have loads of the little blighters on screen at once. I think it only has 5 or so bones in it. I personally thought the gameplay we ended up with was pretty fun, with Cortex manically running around shooting up the hundreds of little guys.

One planned feature was for them to peep out from behind crates and wave at the player, as you can see from one of the animations here, but this was never implemented before the whole level was cut.

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Cute Teddybear

This was intended to be the medium sized critter in the “Gone a bit Coco” level. The idea was that he would hold out his lollipop to reflect Cortex’s laser bolts and protect the other critters. Cortex had a “charge blast” move which would destroy the lollipop. I don’t believe that this enemy ever made it beyond the concept stage. I certainly never made any in-game behaviours for him and it didn’t exist in the level before it was all cut.

Cute Elephant

This was the large sized cute critter from the cut “Gone a bit Coco” level. I can’t remember what the initial plan for its behaviour was, but we ended up making it a spawner for the smaller critters. The Elephants would wander around and spawn the little guys out of their trunks. If you didn’t make haste and kill the elephants you’d quickly become overrun by the smaller critters. I had great fun making the AI behaviours for these guys and the animators made some great motion. The piece de resistance for me was the spawning animation (seen here), I made an absolutely hideous oozing particle effect which dripped out of the elephant’s trunks when it spawned the little guys. Sadly now lost forever down the memory hole…

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When I decided to finally get my driving license sorted, I booked my theory test at the earliest possible opportunity. This left me with a mere 22 days to cram the knowledge into my reluctant mind. I needed help fast, so I searched the app store to find the best theory test app on the iPhone. There’s absolutely LOADS of them (and about 75% of them have got the same icon), so to save you the hassle of sifting through the dross yourself, I’ve done the hard work myself.

I used these apps to get a pass mark of 49/50 on the multiple-choice part of the test and 20/25 on the Hazard perception test. If I can do it, then I’m pretty sure you can too. Unless you’re thick. In which case you’ll probably still pass, only with a less impressive score.

Theory Test App Reviews

The Official DVSA Theory Test Kit - TSO

This is the only app that’s officially endorsed by the DVSA, and as such it is the most expensive that I’ve tested at £4.99. There’s no free version available which put me off, but it came highly recommended by my driving instructor so I went for it.

The hazard perception training videos do not have any commentary to explain them in detail, which I feel is a big omission as the way the scoring officially works is slightly odd, I’ll detail this in another blog post later.


DVSA Theory Test for Car Drivers UK Free - Focus Multimedia

This paid app appears to be part of a set containing seperate theory test, harzard perception & highway code apps. Confusingly there are multiple versions of each, with some marked as 2015 editions and some marked as 2014. There’s even a seperate “3 in 1” app containing combined theory, hazard and highway code, as well as iTunes bundles! There’s NINE different apps in total! How’s a brother to know which to choose? However, despite this confusion the app is extremely well designed.

I rate it: Good

iTheory Driving Test Free UK - Swift Management AG

Thumbs up to this app for its great design, and bonus points for its patriotic flag use. It has a large bank of questions available and doesn’t require you to pay to unlock the full set, but you can choose to pay to remove the adverts if you like. There’s some interesting gamification features (trophies and stats) which might make it slightly more fun to study for your theory test. The worst thing about this app is the way displays right and wrong answers; it’s weird and confusing. Weird that the designer couldn’t come up with something better considering the rest of the app is pretty tight!

I rate this app: Good

AA Theory For Car Drivers (and free edition) - Abel Learning Ltd.

For some reason I had previously heard that the AA’s app was the best one on the iPhone.  I was very wrong! Your first experience upon loading is to be presented with a form, which will sign you up to the AA’s spam list, with no explanation as to why you might choose to do this!

The learning experience within the app is limited to trying a small set of practice questions and reviewing the answer at the end to see where you went wrong. I assume that paying for the full version will give you more questions but there’s no clear explanation. The look & feel of the app are absolutely terrible throughout, with a horrible colour scheme, poor navigation and no audio feedback when you hit the buttons. The app does have some use in helping you learn the questions through trial and error, but it seems to be a cheap trick to get you to sign up for driving lessons with the AA.

I rate this app: a steaming turd.

BSM Theory Test – Free Edition - Abel Learning Ltd.

This is merely a re-skinned version of the AA app, made by the same company and ALL the same criticisms apply, even down to the attempt to get you to sign up to a mailing list as soon as you enter the app! Note to app designers: You’ve gotta EARN my contact details! The colour scheme in this version is less disgusting than the AA app, but this is cancelled out by the fact that it’s endorsed by BSM, who are pretty much the Monsanto of driving schools…

I rate this app: a steaming turd laid by Satan.

UK Car Driving Theory Test (and Lite edition) - Webrich Software Limited

HEY GUYS! Way to make your app stand out from the crowd with your innovative icon designs! The design of this app is fairly mediocre and unoffensive, but doesn’t do it any favours. The questions are presented simply and clearly. Weirdly the app contains a full copy of The Official Highway Code, but it’s scanned in directly from the paper guide and is really difficult to read on an iPhone screen which makes it pretty pointless. I only used the free edition of this app as I didn’t like it anywhere near enough to get the full version.

I rate it: Lacklustre

Driving Theory Test for Car Drivers - Iteration Mobile S.L.

There’s nothing particularly special about this app, although I did like the way it shows you your overall progress through all the questions. Once you’ve hit 100%, you’ll know you’ve seen them all. Unfortunately the selection of questions is extremely limited unless you pay to unlock the full set. There’s a copy of the highway code that is once again very difficult to read on the iPhone screen. No guidance is available for the questions if you get them wrong. There are much better apps.

Rating: Don’t bother.

Driving Theory Test UK - Lite Deep River Developments

This app is utter cack. The design is ugly with terrible text alignment, navigation is clunky and annoying and the occasional illustrations are just laughable. You would’ve needed to be suffering from some sort of brain injury to pay for the full version! Back to the drawing board with this one.

Rating: Filth

The unbridled awesomeness of keytars

The unbridled awesomeness of keytars

This article will take you on a journey into the fascinating world of the keytar. I know you all have this sneaking feeling that guitars suck and keytars are freaking awesome, but you can’t quite put your finger on the exact reasons why. Or perhaps you’ve always known that the keytar is superior, but you’ve been scared of how your peers will react when they discover your beliefs? Well I’ve been conducting some in-depth scientific research into this issue and I’ve compiled a definitive list of why keytars are humanity’s greatest instrument.

1. Keytars are Difficult

Playing guitar is piss easy. You just put your left hand in one of three pre-approved positions on six strings and then do whatever the fuck you want with your right hand. This is enough to sound as good as any bit of popular guitar based music. With a keytar you’ve got at least 36 different keys to master, and it sounds crap to keep tapping the same 6 over and over again so you’ll need to put a lot more effort in.

2. Keytars are Unique

Everybody and their uncle plays guitar. This is because everybody wants to sound like the Beatles or Oasis. If you choose to take a different path from the mindless herd and master the keytar, you’ll stand out from the massive herd of identical string pluckers. Even if you barely achieve mediocrity you’ll still look pretty special in comparison.

3. Keytars are Versatile

Guitars can only make one sound. Keytars can make fuckloads of different sounds. Even toy keytars made for children in the eighties have at least 64 sounds. That’s 64 times better than a guitar.

4. They are from the Future

Keytars are made out of silicon and plastic and microchips and LEDs and lasers. Guitars are made out of dead trees and old bits of string.

5. The Legacy

If you play a keytar you’ll either sound like you’re from the 80s or you’ll sound like you’re from the future. If you play a guitar you’ll sound like you’re from the sixties. The future is awesome, the eighties were awesome but the sixties were utter shit.

6. The Path to Awesomeness

You can play the synthesizer riff from The Final Countdown on a keytar, but you can’t do it on a guitar. I rest my case

7. Gender-Inclusiveness

Guitars are misogynist. As a blatantly obvious phallic symbol, women who attempt to play a guitar are becoming unwitting symbols of patriarchal oppression. Keytars are non-phallic so women are able to play them while still maintaining their full dignity and independence. Also, if a woman plays a guitar wearing high heels she’ll definitely fall over. All modern keytars contain internal stabilising gyroscopes to prevent this from happening.


Keytar Pioneer

8. Extreme Innovation

Guitars have been around for hundreds of years and no-one has had any new ideas to make them better for at least 50. Keytars have only been around for like 30 years and bad-ass keytar scientists are coming up with sweet new ideas all the time. Just check this mother fucker out:

9. Multicultural

All keytars feature both white and black keys working together in perfect racial harmony. Guitars offer no such vision of our multicultural future and are therefore racist.

10. Keytar Justice

A recent scientific study has shown that high court judges who played a keytar solo while reading out a guilty verdict had dramatically lower chances of their convictions being successfully appealed at a later date.


Just buy one already!