Whatever Review: Mighty Switch Force

Hi. It’s been awhile. Sorry.

A deluge of games hit my face since the beginning of November. Too many, almost. New Zelda, new Mario, new Mario Kart, 10 FREE GBA Ambassador games, Pushmo, VVVVVV, Twinbee (a bit late to this one), etc etc. I have been lost in gaming nerd Nirvana or whatever for almost two months. Adrift in Zelda’s intricate albeit linear environments, mostly.

But, I am back. Happy 2012, you two readers you.

Mighty Switch Force is made by Wayforward, a dev that Ninty nerds love love love. I have never hopped aboard this bandwagon — I found previous Mighty Flip Champs to be a fun albeit mild take on puzzle platforming, while their other titles were not played by me. Mighty Switch Force inspires the same feelings I got from Flip Champs: I’m having some fun, everything looks pretty nice, but… “eh.”

The biggest drawback to Mighty Switch Force is its brevity. Even at rather cheap price of $6 (in comparison to most eShop games), it’s just too short. 16 levels short to be exact, most of them over within 5 minutes. The gameplay resembles a miniature collectathon, with your cop character nabbing six escaped prison inmates and then finding the exit. The “Switch” part of the title refers to blocks that you have to basically turn off and on to get through the levels.

There are charming sprites everywhere, decently well drawn but in a very specific style that doesn’t totally click with me. The 3D adds a fun sense of depth that is entirely inessential┬áto gameplay, with characters popping out of the screen and various layers of background pushed to the back, ala 3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure (among others). I really enjoy it, although I can understand why it is considered pointless by others.

For the hour or so it takes to get through the game, it is an enjoyable time. I even initially recommended it to others. But I’ve lived with the game for a couple of weeks, and it doesn’t thrill me anymore after completing everything. You have the option of trying to beat levels as quickly as possible (“par times”), so for score attack junkies it could be worthwhile.

+ Nice, detailed sprite work, even if I’m not a huge fan of the style.
+ Level design is consistently engaging.
+ Lack of hand holding is refreshing.
+ Decent fun.

– Short.
– Replay value isn’t quite high.
– Sound effects (ie voice overs) can be annoying.
– Puzzles all revolve around the same two or three concepts.

*** / *****