Has Nothing To Do With Nintendo
Inspired by brutally difficult platformers like Super Meat Boy and The End Is Nigh, Switch: Or Die Trying implements some unique ideas but ultimately winds up being a frustrating controller smasher. Each level might be focused on reaching the end but really the meat of gameplay is all about dying repeatedly until absolute perfection is performed.
Watching my stream below to realize how swear-inducing this game really is.
Playing as a the letter “i” the goal is to jump through a demanding stage of hazards and traps to reach the end point. Each stage can yield a total of three stars: a star for completing the level, another for completing the level under the par time, and getting the final star by collecting the one optional collectable. Due to the high difficulty, just simply completing most stages is a challenge in and of itself let alone trying to snag that one hard-to-reach collectable within a certain amount of time. Through and through, Switch: Or Die Trying is a difficult game but sometimes not for the right reasons. However, you probably won’t realize it from the lighthearted visual style and nursery-like soundtrack.
Since perfection is required to complete most stages, it is rather frustrating when the controls are inaccurate and inconsistent. Wall jumping, for example, felt natural and intuitive in games like Super Meat Boy which means that death felt like the player’s fault. Here, wall jumping is inconsistent and never feels right, often resulting in agonizing and unfair deaths. Running and jumping is straightforward enough but any complex maneuver, even double jumping, requires thought and absolute precision. Double jumping involves tapping between two different buttons instead of hitting the same jump button twice, adding another layer of complexity; telling your brain to tap two buttons is jump is rather difficult since gamers have been doing it with a single button since the dawn of time.
In order to advance to the next batch of stages, the player must first complete the majority of stages in the current batch. Since some stages are so difficult, even in the first world, they might just sit there unbeaten due to rage quitting. Just reaching the end of the game, not even earning all the stars, is a huge gaming accomplishment if hardcore players enjoy punishment.
With a simple presentation and musical score, Switch: Or Die Trying fulfills its $7 price tag. Unfortunately, the obscene and mostly unnecessary difficulty, often infuriating level design, and inconsistent controls will make most players switch to similar platformers instead.
Not As Good As: VVVVVV
Also Try: Celeste
Wait For It: Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze on Switch