Polyroll (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Ben Clarke 08.04.2020

Review for Polyroll on Nintendo Switch

Perhaps the most popular gaming genre around, many a developer have aimed to capture that same platforming magic the likes of Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog managed to engross decades ago. Now that there's a new kid on the block, does Polyroll have what it takes to hold a candle to these platforming years of yore, or is it yet another forgettable game in a sea of 2D platformers?

In typical platforming fashion, Polyroll starts the player out in wildering grasslands, acting as a tutorial of sorts to accustom new players with the control scheme of this game. With the simplistic nature of these controls, it helps make the game easily accessible to both younger audiences and veterans of the platforming genre. There is, however, a unique move that helps to differentiate it slightly from the rest of the competition.

At first it may appear to be a replica of the iconic Spin Dash move from SEGA's own trademark franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, but the uses of it in this game differ just enough to make it not feel like a complete cut and paste job. To pull off this move, simply press and hold the designated button and let go. In this sense, it functions almost exactly as to how Sonic CD handled its Spin Dash, so what defining qualities of this new move determines its unique identity?

Well, unlike in the classic Sonic games, the armadillo-like creature can use this move to bounce up walls, essentially being used as a homemade wall jump, except much faster and characterised to the Polyroll creature. At first, this felt like a smart new move that was implemented very well, but after being exposed to the same level design layouts to take advantage of this ability across this four-hour adventure, the novelty wears off rather quickly and is never truly expanded beyond bouncing up two nearby walls.

Screenshot for Polyroll on Nintendo Switch

It's with this where Polyroll's biggest downfall begins to show its true colour: the level design just isn't that good. It starts out as a simplistic romp, which is totally understandable considering the aim is to ease players into the experience, with forgiving obstacles to hurdle through. The issue at hand is through the progression of the game, where the same problems with these stages continue to appear time and time again. Not only are these stages too basic and uninspired in general, but they feel far too vertical than they need to be, to the point where its hard to tell which path is the correct one to take and which one leads to a collectible.

A minimum amount of these are required to unlock gates to progress further into the game, leading to constant backtracking in a title that isn't well suited for it, especially when the Polyroll's movement is so incredibly slow and limited. It made these stages unenjoyable to navigate through, and because this happened on the majority of these stages, it made the experience slow, clunky, and an overall unpleasant time.

To accompany this issue, the game also has an unpolished feel to it that deters from the fun. Whether that be music in the background that doesn't loop properly, 16-bit graphics used as the backdrop to the stages that don't animate in the slightest, or inconsistent performance and frame rate issues that seemingly appear from nowhere. The presentation isn't particularly bad, it's just nothing to write home about, and adding that on top of the already subpar level design, it doesn't make for an impactful gaming experience. This goes for the bosses of the game as well, which are uninspired at best, and don't add much to it all.

Screenshot for Polyroll on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

With the immense amounts of 2D platformers on the market right now, it's no wonder that Polyroll couldn't live up to what came before it. Even with this, however, the game is simply and utterly unremarkable, with a slow and unpleasant controlling character, problematic level design, and an unpolished feel that makes this title one that shouldn't be given the time of day.

Developer

Spicy Gyro Games

Publisher

HOF Studios

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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