Ah Speed, one of the most important tabletop games from my childhood. Black Jack, G0-Fish, and Spades are all insignificant in my memory of card games when compared to Speed. Whether it was in between and during classes, at dull parties, or sleepovers, Speed was always the go to game when a deck of cards was around. For those unfamiliar, I will do my best to briefly explain the fast-paced card game. Speed is a two player game where the deck is evenly split amongst the players, with two cards face up in the center. Each player has a deck to draw from, with only a certain amount of cards being allowed to be held at any given time (I play with five in a hand, Physical Contact goes with four). The goal of the game is to get rid of your deck the quickest, and you do that by placing a card either one value higher or lower on top of the center facing cards. So if there is a 6, you can place either a 7 or a 5 on top of it, or if a Jack is present a 10 or a Queen. If there happens to be no move available for either player, a spare deck is drawn from to make new moves available. Obviously as with many other games, the rules may vary from household to household, but Physical Contact: Speed held pretty true to the rules I am familiar with from growing up. Speed on Switch is a good fit that has some issues, but is otherwise a budget friendly title that gets you your monies worth for sure.
In the game, you can play one of two modes, either single player or local multiplayer. Now local multiplayer is what grabbed my attention when I saw it in the store, so let us start with that. My fiancé and I love playing Speed in the real world, so I jumped at the chance to play it on Switch for the low price of $5. Speed does a nifty thing on Switch, taking advantage of the undocked layout and allowing you to play directly across from the other player, with the joycons either attached or detached. So while playing multiplayer, the switch will be longways in front of you, instead of horizontal. Simple touches of the buttons allow you to cycle left and right, then shoot your card up to play it. This makes it incredibly easy to play at a table or across from eachother. This layout is awesome, and I hope to see more developers take advantage of some out of the box ideas like this one. Everything runs smooth while playing, and there is even a handicap feature if one player needs to be slowed down or helped along the way.
Single player does not impress as much as the conceptually perfect multiplayer. Single player mode lets you crawl through a whopping 100 levels to test your reaction time and become the master of the card game. Unfortunately, it is way too easy. While I had hoped I would not have to play through the entire game to find a challenge, my fiancé and I played through all 100 levels and did not find ourselves challenged one bit. The beginning is understandably slow, but as you progress, the computer’s speed and smarts go up. These numbers show, but it is not nearly enough of an intelligence and speed improvement to make a difference for seasoned veterans of the game like ourselves. It is a shame, because I would like to continue playing the game outside of multiplayer, but probably never will when there is no way to challenge myself inside of it. Only the last ten levels come close to being a challenge, but were still easy to pass on the first or second try. There are also three challenges to go for on each level (represented by stars), which were also fairly easy. We achieved all three stars without really trying on at least 80% of the levels.
One of the cool features I liked though was the fact that you could buy different items to change the aesthetics. With the coins you earned from matches and challenges (or from playing daily), you could get new avatars, card backs, or table layouts. There was a wide variety for all of these options, which make it easy to switch up the look of the game. While some of the avatars are crudely drawn, they were worth a laugh and the whole feature added to the value of the game. Look wise overall, the game is simple but effective once again considering its price point. In docked mode, the game actually pops quite a bit, and the colors look stellar. The music is incredibly tacky, but it’s there if you want to feel like you are in an elevator while playing.
My $5 did not go to waste on my purchase of Physical Contact: Speed. Though the Single Player is awfully easy, the multiplayer is more than worth it for less than an actual deck of cards. This is going to be a great addition to my on-the-go friendly multiplayer games. If a patch were to come along that enhanced the computers difficulty to a more challenging and balanced progression, it would do wonders for the game. But as a multiplayer friendly title, I could not recommend it more. If you enjoy card games with friends and have a spare $5, you really won’t go wrong with Physical Contact Speed.
Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review after I had already purchased, and given to another editor at the discretion of the developers. This review is based entirely off my own purchase
Final Score: 7/10
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