Button City (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 25.12.2021

Review for Button City on Nintendo Switch

It is never easy moving to a new place and settling in to making friends, as Fennel the fox discovers when he moves with his mother to Button City. Circumstances see him flung into both an arcade rival war, and a mission to save the arcade from closing. Fennel spends most of his time either playing Gobabots, a popular multiplayer game where two teams of four players battle it out to get the most ingredients into a smoothie, and helping his teammates with their numerous problems while also dealing with his own in this puzzle adventure game on Nintendo Switch from Subliminal.

The tutorial shows how to perform basic actions, including the fact that almost every item can be interacted with in some way. Some repeatedly give coins, a useful feature when money needs to be collected, and it can be worthwhile touching everything whenever an area is visited, even if it has been visited and interacted with previously. Others are key items for later parts in the story, and can be seen from the start, but cannot be picked up until the relevant quest starts. It is possible that for some the interactions may become a chore, especially because instead of immediately carrying out the action, Fennel first shifts position which lengthens the time of said action - plus the tutorial does not explicitly explain about repeated item interaction, although it is fairly easy to collect enough money for relevant story parts.

Fennel's rate of movement is on the slower side, with no options to increase the speed; it feels too slow compared to other similar titles. Navigating through the town is a case of selecting which area to access, using a specific button. It is almost too easy to select a different location by accidentally pressing that button during exploration, which is irritating in larger areas like downtown, which take a bit of time to travel to the very end of the area because of Fennel's travel speed. Thankfully, most areas are quite small making the speed issue a limited occurrence.

Screenshot for Button City on Nintendo Switch

Starting at the point when Fennel moves in and shows some of the relationship dynamic he has with his mother, is a glimpse of how much Button City focuses on friendships. Fennel's timid personality means when he is coerced into helping out the ones who become his friends in the arcade, he is unable to refuse to help as he wants to fit in. Despite some teasing, Fennel learns The Fluff Squad are at the core friendly and supportive. It is refreshing to have a wheelchair user in a game; Chive's adapted house naturally sheds light on what life is like for others like herself who need wheels to get around.

She is not limited by her medical condition, in fact it is what helps her invent so many tools that can help her, her family, or are just pure fun to do. The rest of The Fluff Squad, Sorrel the cat and Lavender the panda, each have their own life hurdles, which eventually explain some of their personal quirks which are ways to cope with their personal struggles; none of the friends have what society can portray is a stereotypical family unit, something that broadens Fennel's outlook on life.

Screenshot for Button City on Nintendo Switch

For the most part Button City gives clear direction on where to go next and what needs to be done in quests that are easily accessed from the main menu in the diary section. These are divided into main story quests, and other quests that are not mandatory to complete the main game, but are fun to do and show another side to the characters. Some of these side quests are found by chance encounters so can be missed, making it important to explore very single part of an area even if it looks like unimportant scenery.

Other quests involve taking part in the mini-games which can be tricky to master and include a rhythm game and a racing game. Those are, for the most part, not mandatory to the story so can be skipped, but money is gained by winning them which is necessary if new gobabots are wanted, as there are unfortunately more than one type of in game currency. The type needed to buy gobabots can only be acquired through winning games, the standard money needed for buying quest items is more readily available through story progression and item interaction.

Screenshot for Button City on Nintendo Switch

Gobabots is the main focus at the arcade centre. It is simple to play, with the fruit required for the smoothie machine in the centre grows on trees or bushes on the outskirts. The enemy team and also two AI enemies, one on each half of the playing field can steal fruit from the player, making avoiding the enemy a priority. The health system is simple. When hit the health depletes, but it can be regained by passing through the battery packs scattered around the playable area. For story matches the other three teammates are automatically selected, but when challenging individuals to gobabots then any purchased gobabots can be used, the rest of the team is made up of the basic low skilled gobabots if there are too few higher skilled ones.

If playing Gobabots is not all that enjoyable it can be avoided for the most part because the majority of playtime is spent is running errands for people, plus finding and locating items. Unfortunately, while playing this crashed occasionally, and there is one instance when the friends are spying on someone where story progression was hard because if the team got caught in the activity then it would have to be repeated; the actions required in that unofficial mini-game were not fully explained, and it seemed to glitch during the scenario which did not help matters.

Screenshot for Button City on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

The low-poly graphics may not appeal to everyone, and various mechanics can make gameplay feel a bit on the slow side, but those who love the cute aesthetic are guaranteed to have fun helping Fennel settle into his new town of Button City with the bright colours and entertaining characters. The range of mini-games means there is something for everyone to enjoy from racing to rhythm games, and the plethora of side quests add to the post game content. The almost non-stop humour aside from the moments where gravitas is required make it more than just a game. It focuses on and excels at showing the nature of friendship within small groups, and also the wider social structure of what it takes to be in a community.

Developer

Wings Interactive

Publisher

Subliminal

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 Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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