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Switch - Or Die Trying Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . While I wish the gameplay was a little tighter, I had a fun time avoiding the obstacles and making my way through most of the stages. There were a few that made me want to throw my controller across the room, but that's par for the course with this style of platformer. Switch - Or Die Trying is a fun little game with a cool mascot that is ultimately undermined by some control issues. It's good, but not great. Rating: 64%
Switch - Or Die Trying
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Switch - Or Die Trying Switch - Or Die Trying Switch - Or Die Trying Switch - Or Die Trying
  • Review Score:

  • B-
There's only one thing you need to make a great 2D platformer, and it has nothing to do with an animal mascot with attitude. The key to this genre has little to do great graphics or funny idle animation, because the 2D platformer lives and dies based on only one thing -- the gameplay. You don't need"next-generation" visuals and dumb gimmicks, because if you don't have precise gameplay, the whole thing falls apart.

That brings me to Switch - Or Die Trying, a brand new platformer from the company that brought you Guardians of the Skies, the official game of the Indian Air Force. This is a deceptively simple 2D action game where you double jump your way through a series of 75 incredibly tough stages in order to reconnect with the letters in the alphabet.


In this case, you play the letter "I," a self-centered character who sleeps all day and rarely thinks of others. Unfortunately, this has cost him a lot of friends, leaving him alone and sad. If he wants to make amends and get his alphabet buddies back, he'll need to go on a journey of self-discovery that will humble him and turn the hero into a better friend. In true side-scrolling platformer style, this means dodging clever obstacles and bottomless pits.

As a letter of the alphabet, you're able to switch between a small lowercase character and a slightly larger (and boxier) uppercase "I." This will open up a double jump, allowing you to switch mid-air to reach even greater heights. A lot of the game revolves around this mechanic, having you switching all over the place to make hard-to-reach jumps and avoid falling to your death. This expands into wall jumping and tossing out round dots to activate switches and open doors. It's a fun, albeit simple, premise with an original setup that I can get behind.

The 75 stages are spread across five separate worlds, each with their own backgrounds and challenging obstacles. We start out doing little more than jumping over spike pits, but before long we're creating timed platforms, pushing rocks, avoiding lasers and staying as far away from exploding missiles as possible. This is not only a list of increasingly tough obstacles to overcome, but also good advice for the real world. If you can survive the many dangers found in the bite-sized stages, you'll collect your alphabet friend and move on to the next level.

Switch - Or Die Trying (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

As likable as the concept is, there's a reason why I started this review by stressing the importance of gameplay. This is a game that has all the pieces in place to be a fun platformer, but it's ultimately hurt by the imprecise controls. While it never veers into being bad, I found myself wishing the jumping and movement was a bit more accurate. I would often find myself running off platforms or missing jumps because of how the game handled, which is the last thing you want in this type of game.

My issues with the gameplay extend beyond a few missed jumps, as Switch - Or Die Trying has a funny bug where you'll literally get stuck on the edge of platforms. You won't quite make the jump, but instead find yourself on the very edge without a lot of options. This happened constantly throughout the game, and often at the very worst times. It only helped to reinforce the feeling that the platforming wasn't as tight as you would expect, and that's a notion I had a hard time shaking.

Aside from some gameplay issues, I was a little disappointed that the developers didn't make better use out of the characters you can switch between. There's almost no advantage to being the lowercase "I" compared to the uppercase version. I did find that the bigger character had an easier time pushing blocks around, but that barely came up in the 75 stages. It would have been nice to see a more pronounced difference between the two, perhaps even giving each one something special that set them apart. I found myself not paying attention to my size, which seems like a big missed opportunity.

Switch - Or Die Trying (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I also wasn't a big fan of the uneven difficulty, which was all over the place right up until the very end. There are stages in the second area that are not only longer, but substantially tougher than what you face late in the game. In fact, there were a few stages that were a little too long, forcing you to complete a few too many harrowing obstacles to get to save your friend. This wasn't an issue in most of the stages, which made the few lengthy levels stand out even more. Thankfully, you won't need to complete every stage in order to advance the story, but fans will certainly want to see all 75 levels and save the entire alphabet.

For what it's worth, some of these issues are offset by an adorable hero and the interesting world that surrounds him. While I wish the gameplay was a little tighter, I had a fun time avoiding the obstacles and making my way through most of the stages. There were a few that made me want to throw my controller across the room, but that's par for the course with this style of platformer. Switch - Or Die Trying is a fun little game with a cool mascot that is ultimately undermined by some control issues. It's good, but not great.
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