Thanks to The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild for the review code
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 08/23/2019
Presentation-wise, Gurgamoth looks average. The characters are pretty generic and the stages don’t really have much to them outside of a different color scheme and the fleshy textures in the background, and while nothing’s hard on the eyes there doesn’t seem to be any sort of personality to speak of. The only interesting thing of note is the titular Gurgamoth which you see after a game’s cleared, represented by a big eye. The music isn’t really memorable either.
In this multiplayer party game, you can take control of one of several heroes, who must compete in deathmatches to emerge victorious and awaken the titular Gurgamoth!
With up to four players supported either locally or against AI opponents, this game demands that you play against others, and the seven Stages on offer do offer a few different gimmicks to differentiate themselves from one another. At the end of the day though, your controls are simplistic, with the left stick being used for moment, the A button being used for a dash attack, and the B button as a dodge. Each of these stages have some sort of hazard that’ll kill anyone on contact, so the main objective is to really just push your opponents into the deathtrap and be the last one standing. Rinse and repeat until all rounds are cleared and the game’s over.
Truth be told, that’s basically all there even is to Gurgamoth. Yes, there’s seven stages and some of them have interesting ideas, (such as one where every single wall will cause a spiky death, all as they compact in on the player, alongside a stage where the walls bounces you towards a death ball in the middle) but once you try each of them once you’ve already seen the entirety of the game. Outside of enabling some powerups that can cause you to take advantage of time or get the upper hand or changing the amount of rounds, you don’t have much else to do. There’s no stats page or any sort of in-game challenges at all, and as a matter of fact this entire game will not save.
This makes the game incredibly shallow and borderline useless if you’re playing by yourself against the AI, and only a decently fun experience when playing with friends. There’s a good core gameplay loop, but there’s nothing else to compliment or add depth to it, which helps bring the question of why bother with it in the first place? Even some other local-multiplayer focused games had some sort of stats page or customization to mess around with, but outside of some generic characters to choose from there really isn’t much else here besides the small handful of stages. It’s like a deadly round of bumper cars, but without a long period of enjoyment.
In conclusion, Gurgamoth is a party game that has the core mechanics down, and works well enough to entertain a group of guests, but besides that there’s little else to it. There’s no reason to go up against bots whatsoever, and the maps can cause rounds to end in under a minute. The quick pace of the game can be fun at times, but it also leads to some games ending before they even start depending on the stage.
For $10, there are plenty of other, better local multiplayer games on offer here that have a lot more variety than Gurgamoth, and I’d even argue that Tumblestone (which was ported to Switch, sans Online) works as a better local multiplayer game from this publisher, since not only does it has a lot of fun mechanics to toy with, but it even includes plenty of single player levels to test your brain with while also serving as good practice.
This game still has fun controls and works well as a local multiplayer game, but I think that this should have had some sort of merit for single player purposes, or at the very least some sort of save feature to merit a way of keeping track of stats, or maybe a way to do special challenges against the AI bots. Regardless, while Gurgamoth’s core gameplay loop is still decently enjoyable, the lack of anything else to it makes it a hard recommendation in the sea of other multiplayer games.
I give Gurgamoth a 5 out of 10.