SCRAP is the latest auto-runner on the Switch eShop. The goal is to reach the end of each stage, avoiding traps and hazards along the way while constantly moving forward. Playing as an escapee robot from a robot factory, the player has access to two abilities: jumping and falling. “A” jumps and “B” makes the robot fall through the top platform. Ultimately, it is a simple and short game that is playable but lacks any special, addicting flare.
The biggest issues with this auto-runner are the sometimes cheap and frustrating level design along with awkward loading screens. With no offensive capabilities, the player is left to avoid lasers, pitfalls, spikes, and other typical video game hazards. While there isn’t really any problem with this, sometimes they are placed in a way that is just unfair to the player, requiring plenty of trial-and-error to complete. The high death count gets annoying as the game has to load upon every game over as opposed to instantly restarting. Granted, these loading screens only take a second or two but forcing the player to sit through a bland loading screen again and again makes frustrations level grow even faster.
Each stage tasks the player with trying to earn three stars. However, the player will not know what these requires are unless the pause menu is accessed during gameplay or the stage ends. Even if the player suffers through this unintuitive system, the playoff is moot as it only unlocks an additional bonus stage if all stars are collected, an annoyingly difficult feat for sure. On occasion, the player will encounter an optional power-up such as a lightning bolt to increase speed, a shield to allow one hit, or a magnet that draws in power cells, optional things to collect along the way. These items should spice up gameplay but are not a game changer, such as collecting a defensive shield at the end of a stage. Although the level designs change each stage, all are composed of the same assets and overall same design – the top tier is always at the same height, for example. Then, more trial-and-error is required as the difficulty especially ramps up by the second world as gravity starts to change.
SCRAP was made by a team of three developers and designed as a low-cost eShop download so it wouldn’t be fair to completely bash it. Even though the music repeats just as much as the gameplay, there can be some fun found here if dedicated players look hard enough, play this game in short increments, and keep expectations a little lower.
On Par With: Chicken Rider (Switch)
Not As Good As: some endless runners
Also Check Out: WALL-E (the movie)