Mighty Switch Force Review

Mighty Switch Force (Available only on Nintendo 3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Publisher: WayForward Technologies
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Release Date: December 22nd, 2011
MSRP: $5.99

Parent Talk: Mighty Switch Force is a colorful action game where you have to collect all of the run-away prisoners. You can run, jump, and shoot past obstacles. The goofy characters and eccentric visuals make this game perfect for children.

Review Basis: Completed the game and achieved par times on all stages.

The Great: Excellent 2D level design. The developers over at WayForward Technologies have proven themselves to be masters of 2D, with excellent titles like Contra 4, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, and the Mighty series. Mighty Switch Force is a continuation of the more puzzle-centric design found in WayForward’s previous DSi games, but the level design is as strong as ever. In each level, the player must track down and capture all of the escaped prisoners. Patricia Wagon has her trusty blaster at her side and the skills to traverse any environment. Not only can she blast enemy enemies and jump over platforms though, she also has the ability to “switch” the environment. The switch mechanic can bring background platforms into the foreground and vice versa. This is not only essential for reaching difficult platforms, but switching platforms can also dispatch enemies by knocking them into the foreground. Each level is intelligently designed and begs the player to revisit it for repeat play sessions.

The Good:

+ Colorful, eye-popping graphics. The sprite-based characters are all wonderfully animated and the backgrounds are exquisitely detailed, but the 3D effect is arguably the most exceptional part of the game’s presentation. The “switch” mechanic is not only an essential game design element, it also plays well into the strengths of 3D visuals. Playing the game in 3D gives extra emphasis to the elements in the foreground and makes everything pop out of the screen, making the switch mechanic even more impressive.

+ Fun characters. WayForward Technologies continues its tradition of fun and eccentric characters with Patricia Wagon and company. The goofy aesthetic makes it suitable for all ages.

+ Easy to play, difficult to master. The simple platforming and shooting mechanics give Mighty Switch Force the draw of any fun, uncomplicated 2D action game. The player can take as long as he or she likes to complete the level. However, the real draw comes in trying to find the perfect route and achieve par time. Navigating through each level and discovering the most effective route brings an added level of challenge to the game.

+ Perfect for spontaneous, pick-up-and-play sessions.  Most levels only take a few short minutes to complete, making this game ideal for quick play sessions. If you’re waiting at the bus stop, on a break, or between classes, you have time to blast through a couple levels.

+ An excellent soundtrack.

+ 16 varied stages to blast through. Each level has a variety of trials to tackle and enemies to overcome.

+ Unlock a more powerful weapon to help achieve par time faster! Getting the powered-up gun makes playing earlier levels even more entertaining.

The Bad:

-There isn’t much content. There are 16 very fun levels to play through, but it goes quickly. The game can be completed quickly and after you achieve par time, there isn’t much more to do. The entire game can easily be completed in one sitting (the par times add up to about 27 minutes total).

-No leaderboards or Street Pass support. It would be nice to compare times to friends.

The Lowdown:

Mighty Switch Force is an excellent choice for any 3DS owner. It’s a quirky, fun title that can be played in short bursts. The mix of puzzle-centric platforming and excellent visuals make it a standout title in Nintendo’s eShop catalog. Go ahead and download it!

Score: 8.5/10