Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 19.08.2020

Review for Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold on Nintendo Switch

With little fanfare about its release, this fruity adventure from Level-5 is competing with hundreds of titles on the Switch, vying for attention. After some small success on the DS, the inevitable port was bound to arrive to ensure that, before the impending apocalypse, all will be able to see it out with the entire cart catalogue at their fingertips. After completing the title, however, it is not exactly certified that Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold is going to be a stable part of a gamer diet.

Starting as any good RPG should, after a surprisingly in-depth character customisation option, the titular hero wakes up with no recollection of his life in the unsurprisingly named Kingdom of Tutti Fruitti. After getting a lay of the land, unnamed Hero type is sent to the obligatory castle to begin his journey. What follows is a frankly bonkers opening FMV driven by J-Pop madness, translated food lyrics et al. It's a surprising, albeit jarring, introduction but, after such an introduction, any player would be hard pressed to get stuck in without a huge smile on their face and a hope for the rest of the adventure to follow suit.

Screenshot for Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold on Nintendo Switch

Self-awareness plays a major part in the draw here and, from the outset, pretty much every character met makes a comment on the generic RPG tropes littered throughout. One of the first interactions gives the protagonist the title of Regal Positive Go-getter (or 'RPG,' for short) before commenting that any would-be adventurer will require a trip to the town's item shop before any more activities take place, especially any that involve leaving the safety of the kingdom walls.

Items are easily managed, and before questing any items, armour or weapons can be manually set within the menu, or in an extremely helpful addition, 'Auto Equipped.' Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold, as with any other RPG, can feel like a bit of a slow burner in the early hours, and the ability to best outfit a character and head out certainly takes the edge off.

Screenshot for Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold on Nintendo Switch

Customisation is always welcome but with the light-hearted approach to storytelling and continual mocking of RPG tropes, it could be expected that menu slogging could be avoided. An easily accessible fast-forward option mapped to the R Button is also a welcomed addition, although it can move slightly quicker than it needs to, leading to the skipping over of any important dialogue. With a little more thought and attention paid, a handy feature like this could have been a bit more intuitive and, in turn, useful. Apart from these oversights, there are a lot of good ideas executed throughout that set this title apart. One of the most interesting additions is party members, and the summons implemented through the snack system.

All faithful compatriots are presented as food-based designs, and it does give a foodie-styled buzz every time a new character is unlocked. Most of the fun, in terms of combat, can be found switching assets in and out to find the best combination to deal with the crawl ahead. There is an abundance of options that scratch the collecting itch, that's for sure, and a neat little extra is that these can also be shared and traded online.

Screenshot for Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold on Nintendo Switch

Unfortunately, for all the fun to be had collecting, the combat when questing - the meat in the Snack World sandwich, as it were - is stale. Enemies expectantly pop-up in the generic maps laid out, and although looking vastly different from each other, can usually be dispatched with a quick sword swipe and button mash. Boss battles do require a bit more thought, but the simplistic, repetitive combat rears its ugly head a lot more often than anyone would like. As rewarding as the spoils of the quest are, it feels as if the grind isn't worth the time or effort. On reflection, this style of gameplay does lend itself perfectly to a pick-up-and-play, portable title, so it seems rather counter-intuitive in the genre it is attached to.

The bread and butter of an RPG that is worth investing time with is the battle system, especially for a title that literally has 'Dungeon Crawl' in the title. Perhaps some tweaks to the difficulty could have mixed things up slightly, and extra strategy implemented into the later chapters to really spice things up. From what is on offer, however, there aren't really any changes from start to finish.

Screenshot for Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Overall, there really is nothing fundamentally wrong here, but with its reliance on deriving humour from treating RPG standards as dated and ripe for mockery, Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl - Gold pretty much shoots itself in the foot. Leaning into these tropes, and really investing the time into a combat system that is as much of a treat as the rest of the game could have really elevated this above a saturated market. Collecting 'Snacks' and using them as party members is fun, and a worthwhile curiosity, plus visually it has charming designs, reminiscent of Final Fantasy: My Life as a King, which both enthrals and delights. Sadly, though, without a sturdy and, more importantly, fun battle system driving this forward, this may leave a sour taste for those expecting something of the calibre of Level-5's past RPG efforts.

Developer

Level-5

Publisher

Level-5

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date 14.02.2020   North America release date 14.02.2020   Japan release date 14.02.2020   Australian release date 14.02.2020   

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