Thanks to Dispatch Games for the review code
Title: Switchy Road
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 07/11/2019
Switchy Road is definitely a very simplistic game, with some of the most basic visuals I’ve ever seen in a game. It’s really hard to describe, but the only way I can think of is that some basic 3D modeling from Unity was put in its own game, with nothing to supplement it. The only other thing worth noting is that you can choose between different background colors to make the game easier on the eyes, but don’t expect much else. Each difficulty has their own music track, but they’re all incredibly generic.
Switchy Road aims to play akin to a Game & Watch game in the sense that you focus on a simple task and go for the highest score, and the task here is the ability to change form to pass through certain doors. You’re an object that’s automatically moving forward on a fixed path, and the only control here is the B and A button. The B button changes a shape to the left and the A button changes a shape to the right. Match the shape that the door in front of you is, and you’ll fit through it. Rinse and repeat until you mess up.
I just described the entirety of this game in that one paragraph, and I’m not joking when I say there’s literally nothing else to this game. No speed boosters, no crazy jumps, no extra obstacles, nothing. The only thing that happens during this entire game is that the ground tiles change color now and then to indicate that you’re speeding up, and while the game can actually be pretty fun once the game speed increases enough, it starts off far too slow to be enjoyable, and the Expert difficulty is the only one that I can recommend bothering with due to being the better pick up and play nature.
In conclusion, while Switchy Road is advertised as a Dispatch Minis game as part of a program to promote smaller developers, (something I’m totally game for) this title was unfortunately not the best one to kick off the program. While everything here technically works and the hardest difficulty does provide a decent score chaser, the fact that the game doesn’t throw anything at you to shake things up, along with the absurd price point for something so basic makes this game one I just cannot recommend.
At least everything here works and it’s not a technical disaster, but when the game itself isn’t anything special and comes off as something you could play on a web browser, $5 seems far too much for such a basic title when there are other indie gems available for the same price. I do hope that future Dispatch Minis end up a lot more promising, as bite-sized metroidvanias, scorechaser and puzzlers are always welcome in my book, but they need to have something to engage the player, too.
I give Switchy Road a 4 out of 10.