The Fall (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 01.12.2018

Review for The Fall on Nintendo Switch

Stranded on an unknown planet with an unconscious, and dying, pilot inside of her, combat suit A.R.I.D. tasks it upon herself to keep her host human alive by exploring the planet, and systematically finding ways to activate her AI's functions. It's a solid premise for a point-and-click adventure, and one that plays towards inherent themes of desperation and loneliness. Deliberately paced with plenty of puzzles to solve, The Fall does a good job at setting up an engaging journey.

The Fall excels most when it's taking its time fleshing out an environment, slowly introducing new puzzles to solve. There's an impressive amount of attention to detail present on every screen, and said detail lets itself to an all encompassing atmosphere that might very well define the experience more than any other aspect. While atmosphere is always nice, though, point-and-click adventuress rely more on strong puzzles, rather than good atmosphere or narrative elements, not that the story here is bad or lacking, that is. There's a consistent effort made to ensure puzzles make sense within the story's context. A.R.I.D.'s functions require such specific criteria that the plot itself almost feels like a puzzle at times, with the resident AI protagonist trying to find ways to bypass her limitations.

Screenshot for The Fall on Nintendo Switch

Puzzles themselves are fairly standard genre-fare, but there's a bit of streamlining going to cut down on some of the genre's tedium, as A.R.I.D. can simply shine her flashlight on an object to prompt a text blurb describing it and then just interact with said object how she pleases. While most puzzles are serviceable, though, few actually stand out as genuinely thought-provoking or engaging. This is likely due to The Fall splitting its gameplay between traditional puzzle-solving and gunplay.

In a twist for the genre, combat plays an active role here - nowhere to the extent puzzles do, but it's quite obvious that focus was split into two key areas, and neither one really benefited from it. In the same way the puzzles aren't bad, but are generally lacking, gunplay is a "through the motions" kind of ordeal; one that it's not offensively bad, but it isn't particularly exciting either. Fortunately, combat sections tend to fall on the short side and it's never long before A.R.I.D. is back to exploring the planet in earnest.

Screenshot for The Fall on Nintendo Switch

Although it's far more important for a point-and-click adventure's puzzles to shine over their narrative, this is a title that thrives in its storytelling. Easily it's most consistent component, the plot moves at a slow, deliberate pace that takes full advantage of its setting and potential puzzles. Though most of them will simply be breezed through, the story does an excellent job at distracting the fact that the problem-solving on offer isn't all that impressive. A.R.I.D.'s goal to keep her pilot alive by any means possible has her bumping into other AI units, opposing forces, and prompting the very question of what it means to be human.

Screenshot for The Fall on Nintendo Switch

Thematically, The Fall is a strong title with plenty of details and lines of dialogue to think on. What it means to be human is a theme easily explored with a non-human entity, and it's pushed relatively far within the script. The story is rather short for the most part, falling under roughly five hours, but it's honestly for the best. Everything that needs to be said is said and any additional puzzles, shootouts, or cut-scenes would simply feel like padding.

Sure, the last act does indeed feel rather rushed compared to the rest of the game, but it's a clearly intentional decision meant to capitalize on all the plot threads coming to a close while also setting up the next game. Even as just one piece of a greater narrative, The Fall does a great job at feeling thematically cohesive and complete. It could have benefitted from a better puzzle element, but it all comes together for the most part.

Screenshot for The Fall on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The first instalment in a planned trilogy, The Fall does a respectable job at feeling complete while setting up upcoming entries. Although shorter than most adventures, the length does work in its benefit, as the slow pacing would likely overstay its welcome in a longer journey. Worth noting, the pacing is by no means perfect, with the ending coming off feeling especially rushed, but the rest of the experience makes good use of a slow, methodical approach. Atmospheric and appropriately lonely, with enough narrative weight to think on, this makes for some enjoyable point-and-click fun.


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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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