Red's Kingdom (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 22.09.2018

Review for Red

Mixing different things can be awesome, but that doesn't mean that what sounds good on paper will always succeed when put to practice. Case in point, a little isometric (and very cheap) puzzler known as Red's Kingdom. Crafted by Cobra Mobile, and initially available only for iOS and Steam, it attempted to create a pretty risky cocktail, one where the simplicity of rolling/sliding puzzle-solving collides with the joy of exploration usually found in metroidvanias. Time to give it another look, and on something that's a hybrid itself, Nintendo Switch.

Red is a little... squirrel(?) who sets out on a quest to save his kidnapped squirrel papa who has been taken by the evil squirrel king... err, what's-his-name - the most important detail, however, is that Red must collect his stolen nuts. Of course, the plot in here has no greater meaning than providing a bunch of cute cut-scenes, most of which could easily entertain a four-year-old. In other words, the name of the game is nut-collecting, and, of course, puzzle-solving.

Red's main means of transportation is a Sonic the Hedgehog-like spinning roll (minus the electric, circular saw sound, and damage output), with the player choosing a direction, and then watching Red go, with him stopping each time he bumps into an object. Note that this uses the "diagonal" controls usually found in top-down isometric titles, which some people (reviewer included) will find insanely annoying, unless they choose to do things through the touch-screen.

Screenshot for Red's Kingdom on Nintendo Switch

Red's Kingdom has a pretty decent difficulty curve, and manages to keep you interested by introducing new mechanics, whether that's just a bunch of levers that activate/deactivate barriers, or an assortment of traps, enemies, and hazards. In terms of content, it's one of those pieces of software that can be completed in two or so evenings - something that is certainly not a complaint, as this is something to be expected due to the low price at hand.

Sadly, this isn't without flaws. For starters, while the titular kingdom is pleasantly detailed and coloured, it's sometimes hard to see an obstacle before actually hitting it, as some props, like bushes, for example, tend to blend with the environment; a problem that could be avoided if there was some sort of helper mechanic available, like a flashing line or something. The biggest issue, however, has to do with the very thing that makes this different from other puzzle games.

Simply put, the world in here is structured like a Zelda title, meaning that areas are interconnected in one way or another, with Red being able to gather new gadgets to overcome certain obstacles, and thus visit new areas. While an intriguing idea, though, it just doesn't work very well, since the necessary backtracking forces players to re-solve previous puzzles again, and again, when these should be self-contained, and not part of the road that leads from 'A' to 'B.'

Screenshot for Red's Kingdom on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Red's Kingdom strives to combine simple rolling puzzles with the exploration part of a Zelda game... and it just doesn't manage to make the mix actually any fun, mainly because players will have to go through the chore of solving the same puzzles all over again... and more than once.

Developer

Cobra Mobile

Publisher

Rising Star Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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