Beautiful animation and 2D sprites; effective use of 3D; tight controls; clever and varied game design; and great sounds
Lack of online leaderboards and/or social features; a bit short
Mighty Switch Force masterfully switches between platforming and puzzle solving but lacks social features to enhance the game’s longevity.
From developer WayForward, the eShop title stars Officer Patricia Wagon, whose duty focuses on rounding up five beautifully animated female escapees in each level. But switch blocks, which zoom in and out of the screen by the tap of a button, make the task more puzzling and, most importantly, fun.
At first, the game seems more action-oriented, as Wagon sports a blaster to blow away foes. But slowly and surely, puzzles and precise jumps become the meat and potatoes of the title. Impressively, WayForward manages to guide players through the game without any tutorials. The developer respects the player’s intelligence and then challenges it. Blocks serve as platforms in one level, while the next uses blocks to shoot Wagon or enemies vertically or horizontally to other parts of the environment.
The transition from platforming to puzzle solving and back again happens seamlessly, making for a varied and entertaining experience. Great controls give players ultimate precision, necessary for the time-based mechanics of switching blocks. And WayForward delivers wonderful visuals and audio: gorgeous 2D sprites, which truly pop in 3D, complemented by head-bopping electronic music by Jake Kaufman. The presentation sits atop the eShop’s catalog of games.
The main problem with Mighty Switch Force revolves around its Par times and lack of social features. The title consists of 16 levels, called accidents, which can be beaten in a couple of minutes or less (though there will be multiple attempts thanks to challenging designs). As such, the game is fairly short, and WayForward attempts to add longevity with Par times for each level. Par times are what they sound like — specific times to beat. But players’ times cannot be shared via SpotPass or StreetPass, nor can images of times be saved to 3DS. If friends’ times were easily shared, the time trial aspect of the game would make much more sense.
Integrated online leaderboards would greatly enhance the game, but even without them, Mighty Switch Force delivers a fun albeit short on-the-go gaming experience for 3DS.