Mighty Switch Force Review

Mighty Switch Force (3DS e-shop)
Developer: WayForward Technologies
MSRP: $5.99

Mighty Switch Force is designed to look like a classic run-and-gun sidescroller (albeit one with beautifully rendered sprites), but its depth lies in its puzzle sensibilities. The ‘Switch” in the title refers to a mechanic where, at the press of a button, some objects will materialize while others become translucent. Basic platorming becomes more engaging, as you’ll need to time when you want certain blocks to appear and disappear. Switching blocks ‘on’ that you’re character is over will send you back to the previous checkpoint, thus demanding quick and thoughtful timing.

New switchable blocks will appear over the course of 16 levels. One is a launcher block that shoots you, or enemies, in the directions that it’s pointing. Later levels include long strings of launcher blocks with normal switchable blocks in your way that’ll attempt to thwart your momentum and try your patience. This game is reflex-intensive – figuring out the solution is easier than applying it.

My issues Mighty Switch Force have nothing to do with the mechanics or how the game plays. There could be more block mechanics thrown in the mix, but what is there is satisfying enough for a $5.99 download. What I do take issue with is that the game is constantly timing you against the levels par time, all of which are absurdly fast. You’ll never be under par your first time through a level. Instead, the game demands complete knowledge of each level, because the order in which you can/should progress isn’t always clear the first time around. Expect to be playing levels multiple times, slowly learning the optimal paths and actions to take.

The enjoyment from games like these is derived from solving puzzles and then applying the solution. However, when there’s a timer to remind you that you didn’t beat any level fast enough to earn a star, all of your accomplishments become overshadowed by your overall failure. Worse yet, you’re not even rewarded for completing every level under par, unless self-gratification if good enough for you.

Even though Mighty Switch Force’s ranking system attempts to spoil the enjoyment, the switching mechanic is put to solid use. Come for the twitch-based puzzles and leave before you waste your time getting under par. It isn’t worth your time.




Quick tidbits:

– Once you beat the game you unlock a stronger blaster that’ll help you beat certain levels faster.

– If you’re expecting boss battles, don’t. There’s only one and it’s underwhelming.

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