Howl (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Albert Lichi 09.01.2024

Review for Howl on Nintendo Switch

Untouched by the hands of imitation, its concept blooms anew, a flower bursting forth from fertile ground. Howl's rules are simple and elegant, beckoning even the most hesitant novice to step across its threshold. However, beneath this welcoming surface, a cunning beast slumbers, its riddles woven with a complexity that will test even the most seasoned strategist.

In a time of shadows, the very air vibrates with a monstrous howl, and a new kind of hero rises. Immune to the beastly plague that claws at the land, she stands as a beacon of hope in a world succumbing to savagery. Born deaf to the world's terror, she navigates the battlefield not through the cacophony of growls and snarls, but through the keen observations of a silent hunter. Her weapon is meticulous strategy, a chess game played out in bloodstained woods.

With each step, she delves deeper into this macabre dance, her mind a whirlwind of calculations. Six moves ahead she must see, outwitting the Lycans who stalk the land. Each creature a puzzle, a unique combination of hunger and rage that demands a different approach. Smoke bombs to sow confusion, arrows that pierce through fur and bone - these are the tools at her disposal. With each fallen foe, her repertoire expands, unlocking new abilities, new ways to manipulate the battlefield. But her skills extend beyond combat. With each move, she writes her own prophecy, a dynamic scripture composed in blood and determination.

The narrator's voice, a soothing balm against the howling winds of the forsaken land, guides gamers through the perils that lie ahead. A gentle hand on the player's shoulder, urging them forward with whispered reassurances.

The wolves, those creatures of shadow and fang, truly steal the show. Each twitch of their ears, each flicker of their eyes, speaks volumes. A language of snarls and bared teeth, an amalgam of subtle cues that telegraphs their next move with craven eagerness. The visuals are very quaint, akin to ink on aged parchment. The hand-drawn style, though lacking in finesse, speaks of a vision singular and unwavering artistic conviction.

Screenshot for Howl on Nintendo Switch

Howl masquerades as a strategy game, promising intricate battle plans and cunning manoeuvrers. It is, in truth, a fiendish puzzle box disguised in medieval garb. The AI is not a thinking adversary, but a soulless machine governed by algorithms; each move a preordained response, a predictable march in the face of the most cunning strategies.

While the individual puzzles are undoubtedly engaging, their fleeting satisfaction offers little reprieve from the gnawing emptiness of repetition. Once the solution is unravelled, the challenge fades, leaving behind a void where replayability should reside.

Veterans of the puzzle and strategy genre will find themselves navigating Howl battlefields in about three and a half hours. Those less familiar with puzzle-strategy games should expect the journey to be longer and the frustration more acute.

Howl's climax arrives as abrupt as it is baffling. A single, solitary sentence, followed by a fleeting sequence of imagery, leaves the player staring into an abyss of unsettling emptiness echoing in their minds. It is an ending that evokes not a sense of closure, but rather bewildered disbelief. There is no deeper meaning to be gleaned, no emotional resonance to be felt. The answer is the same enigmatic silence that defines the state of mind of the protagonist.

Screenshot for Howl on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Howl's pace is a brisk whirlwind of quick turns and calculated moves. Its imagery is a charming blend of whimsy and violence, dancing across the screen with a playful ferocity. Yet, beneath this surface, a shallowness lurks. The challenge lies not in the depths of its strategy, but in the player's ability to exploit the predictable patterns of its adversaries. These creatures of the wilderness, though fierce in their appearance, are ultimately creatures of habit, their actions dictated by algorithms and predictable responses. Howl isn't a test of tactical prowess, but a puzzle of exploitation. A game of manipulation, where the gamers are mastermind puppeteers in the shadows, orchestrating the movements of their foes to their own ends.

Developer

Mi'pu'mi

Publisher

Astragon

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

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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