Switch - Or Die Trying (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 11.03.2017

Review for Switch - Or Die Trying on PC

What do the words “conceited,” “egotistical” and “vain” have in common? Why, the letter “I,” of course. When it comes to narcissistic tendencies, “I” is without peer. Even just saying the letter by itself draws attention. “I” always has something to say, because “I” is so important. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the alphabet has become fed up with his horrible attitude. Now, it’s up to “I” to make amends, even if it means jumping on platforms, solving puzzles, and dying miserably to spikes.

Switch – Or Die Trying is a platformer that focuses on having a large number of stages that are both short and relatively difficult. Patience is a virtue and precise jumps are a necessity. Without both, the player won’t get very far. Aside from despair in the face of constant failure, the player can also look forward to quite a bit of problem solving. The switch button serves a dual purpose. It’s used as a mid-air jump and to also make objects disappear and reappear. It also causes “I” to switch from a lowercase to an uppercase letter. He can also fire ink pellets, which hit faraway switches or create platforms. With a little experimentation, most scenarios aren’t too difficult to figure out.

Dotting each of the 75 stages are the usual assortment of spikes, lasers, rockets, and other tools for bringing about alphanumeric destruction. Getting around all of these obstacles requires steady nerves and an understanding of the protagonist’s jumping physics. The controls are finely tuned, so avoiding danger isn’t too problematic a process. However, the hit boxes are slightly larger than they should be. Dodging a trap on reaction (such as a rapidly approaching rocket) isn’t always possible. In other words, forethought is going to save more lives than raw reflexes.

Screenshot for Switch - Or Die Trying on PC

The switch mechanics are underutilised. After about the midway point, there really aren’t any stages that take advantage of the hero’s unique abilities. Early on, switching can create platforms to climb onto and toxic waterfalls to cease, but afterwards, it’s mostly ignored. While the later stages are still enjoyable – providing that one has a moderately high threshold for pain – they don’t do anything that hasn’t been seen before. Anyone familiar with titles such as Super Meat Boy will even recognise a few of the traps.

This is one of those cases where a new approach would have worked wonders. Instead of merely jumping over lasers or waiting for them to dissipate, “I” could create walls to block them. Since created platforms work on a timer, there could be a number of creative methods for making them work in the context of the game. At the very least, stages that combine rocket dodging with platform making would have gone a long way. Instead, most of the game just feels like a missed opportunity.

There’s also the issue of bugs. While none of them are game breaking, they tend to crop up during intense situations. The main character has a habit of getting stuck on the corners of ledges. It takes some wriggling of the D-pad to break away. This can be frustrating, since getting stuck at a critical moment is a guaranteed death. Also, when running to the end of a cliff to make a jump, there will be times where the jump button doesn’t register, and “I” will just run off the ledge. Also, almost every trap in the game runs on a global timer. This means that even when the hero dies and retries a stage, lasers or rockets will continue to fire at their own pace, rather than stopping and then resuming. It’s a minor issue, unless the player is going for the best times, then it becomes a headache.

Screenshot for Switch - Or Die Trying on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The main problem with Switch - Or Die Trying is that it has clever ideas, but doesn't take advantage of them. Game mechanics, when they're not fully explored, are just gimmicks. If switching is integral, then it needs to have a presence in the entirety of the game, not just a portion. Maybe the switch could have more abilities, such as powering fans that push the hero where he needs to go. Ghosts could chase him, depending on whether he's a big I or a little i. This puzzle-platformer has a lot of untapped potential, and that's a shame.

Developer

Threye Interactive

Publisher

Threye Interactive

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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