Contraptions (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Eric Ace 19.12.2019

Review for Contraptions on Nintendo Switch

Contraptions is a physics-based puzzler where the goal is to wipe out aliens from the screen through designing the correct puzzle. It is very similar to various old '90s games like The Incredible Machine. Published by Funhouse Media, the game has only the puzzle mode, with no story or anything beyond a level editor. Will those be enough?

Contraptions is the type of game that has zero surprises from what you see in the pictures, and as a result has little depth beyond its initial offering. It clearly takes inspiration from a type of genre that was popular in the '90s that went by various names including The Incredible Machine, where the premise was about taking crazy items like bowling balls, and having stuff bounce around to eventually push a switch or activate something.

In here the point is to try to wipe out aliens on the board. This can be done by sending them off screen, squishing them, shooting them and so on. The is accomplished by taking a set number of pieces, moving them onto the board, and trying to trigger various things like lighters, or anvil to move into the right space to kill the aliens. A staple of the levels is various generators, fans or conveyors that the player can hook belts onto to power multiple things at once, this forms the large basis on how the puzzles are constructed.

It is tough to tell if the genre is simple stale and dead, or if the game is just not that good of a rehash of the old idea. The first couple levels are kind of fun in a "well this is a different game" kind of way before they run completely out of novelty and the reality of the game becomes apparent. Early on, the levels are largely solvable by actually thinking about what things do, but quickly it becomes largely luck and just trying stuff over and over until the level is beaten.

Screenshot for Contraptions on Nintendo Switch

The atmosphere is very odd, and honestly does not fit very well. The background is something out of 'Candyland,' and the sprites of the aliens or camels just does not fit. Ever-present droning music does not help things in the slightest either. It is clear this is meant to be casual and fun, but it feels more like a cheap knock-off game or something you could play for free online.

The controls are awful - they use a type of motion sensor in the switch controls (which honestly is very very, rare and many do not even know it exists), to act as a type of 'Wiimote' pointing at the screen. The novelty is appreciated, but it works extremely poorly. For how precise the controls generally have to be to click on conveyors or other things, far too often the cursor is gone out of the screen or bounces around erratically.

This is not bad in the strictest sense, as a very narrow definition of a puzzle game, it on some degree hits this - nut it lacks any modern sense of progression, gaming, or really anything that would make this title rise above anything. It completely feels like a piece of software someone might make in a programming class, and does not stand up to even indie-standards of modern games. For a purely casual game for young kids it might be fun, but that is about it.

Screenshot for Contraptions on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

It's hard to recommend this to any but the most hard-core and starved puzzle lovers. Despite its 'fun' graphics, the game does not have much charm, and the levels are repetitive and rely far too much on just trying random things until something finally works. Despite how fun older games like this once were, it does not stack up to modern puzzlers in the slightest.

Developer

Funbox Media

Publisher

Funbox Media

Genre

Puzzle

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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