The alphabet is crucial to everyday life. Without it, we have no words, not names, and even the lack of sounds. It’s a world of unimaginable horrors that would devolve us to a less than primitive state. Our hero, I, is facing a world as such. A lonely letter in a world of abandonment and insanity. It’s truly awful, is it not?
Switch or Die Trying is a side-scrolling platformer developed and published by the fine folks at Threye Interactive. It tells the story of I, the letter I (I was surprised too), on his adventure to reunite with the rest of the alphabet. Abandoned early on, he was left to spend his time in solitude. Eagar to unify with his long-lost brethren, I sets out throughout the landscape to find his friends and more importantly himself. It’s your job to save the day, do you think you can handle it?
At first looks, you would expect a cute, child-friendly experience from this unique title and you would be right for the first few levels. However, the true colors are released very early on and this game evolves into a Super Meat Boy clone with all the bells and whistles. While I do not believe it to be as hard, it certainly gets difficult at an early moment. However, take this with a grain of salt, the game provides a decent, while short build-up. The game will get hard, very hard, but it’s the nature of this genre, so before going into it try and remember that.
The mechanics are pretty standard for platformers, you jump block to block or up a wall until you reach the end. Hopefully, you don’t fall in that pit or get consumed by that black goop because you are not going to survive. The one interesting part of Switch or Die Trying is the constant need for adaptation. Whether you are upper or lower case will determine whether you can actually make it through a section and it’s ever-changing. Prepare to take mental notes of the feats that each can accomplish because even simple jumps can differ from stance to stance. I really noticed this when spikes started appearing over my head and I noticed that when our hero was uppercase he would always clip the peak of the hazard. The game didn’t give me any other great vibes, it was pretty generic. The concept was very interesting, but I didn’t notice anything game-changing when I actually started playing.
On the other hand, the visual aesthetics were off the chart. The childish cartoon aspect hit home with me and I found myself utterly amazed by the background, more so than the gameplay. The minimalistic nature was done with perfection and the colors were simply stupendous. It didn’t stop there either, the five different worlds provided their own appeal and it provided something for everyone without getting stale. The soundtrack paired well with the visuals but didn’t bring much on their own.
The best part of Switch or Die Trying is the abundant amount of content that it provides. Having both a single-player and a cooperative campaign to go it alone or with your best bud with 75 stages to conquer. They also include speedrun modes for the platforming elites who love those insanely difficult levels. While it's more content, there is nothing different to the speedrun mode, it is just there to provide more content for those still interested in playing.
So, here is the part of the review that I wasn’t sure of, and that’s my opinions. I will just lay it out here straight, I did not like playing this game, I disdained to play it very much. However, I will not take away from what this game is. It is a decent platformer that provides nice challenges and a lot of content for the players. I just could not get into and I found myself loathing playing this game. The developers made a very good game that just was not for me and I want people to know it has potential.
Overall, Switch or Die Trying is an interesting game for a specific audience. It is priced at $7 USD, which I believe provides a good entrance to trying this game out. I personally really enjoyed Super Meat Boy and was let down by this game, but I this it is worth picking up for anyone who enjoys that genre. It does its job really well, but left me unsatisfied, unfortunately.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
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