At the moment the game library for the Nintendo Switch is still pretty sparse and hit and miss. Especially when you’re looking for quality games to fill up your home screen, it’s not like there’s a long list of titles to keep coming back to.
That’s why it’s important that when something decent drops on the eShop, you should take a look at it. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent hitting that button only to be disappointed by the current selection.
Death Squared is a game that previously dropped in March for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and whilst it is viable and fun on the home consoles, it’s never felt more fluid than on Nintendo Switch. It almost seems unintentionally made for the device.
At its core, the game is a cooperative puzzler much like Portal or Trine. You control 1 of 4 robots and try to navigate through a level with the help of your friends. The camera hangs topside from a bird’s eye view, letting you see all the nefarious traps before you encounter him.
Let the jury know that, this, of course, does not make it any easier to solve any of the game’s 100+ stages. Each robot has to reach it’s colour coded waypoint and stand still to be able to finish a level.
First off the game hooked me in the way every quality co-operative title does. Within the first 10 levels, I was stumped, but I wasn’t frustrated. I was laughing and debating with my girlfriend, and feeling even better when we both managed to get that eureka moment and figure out the puzzle.
Make no mistake though, this game gets hard early. You will be sat there for a while trying different avenues and dying a LOT. This is made jovial by the back and forth commentators that mix the wit and humour seen in Portal 2 and Mario Maker.
Speaking of Portal 2, Death Squared’s robotic facility aesthetic is pretty similar. It has a pleasing art style that serves the gameplay. It doesn’t have to be anything special, but it goes for it anyway, and the little robots have some character.
Expect lasers, falling to your death, spikes activated by buttons nefariously placed on the floor. They haven’t just been thrown onto a level editor either, which I think is important. The traps feel placed to test your abilities and make you learn from your mistakes.
The lasers serve as a good example. One chamber had me blocking behind a box and moving it around the arena to ensure that my co-op partner could get to a switch on their side. As traps are introduced the difficulty will spike to make sure that you don’t become complacent, and therefore bored with the number of puzzles ahead.
It’s great to pick up for half an hour with friends, or even on the go due to the portability of the switch. Play it in the park, on the commute with the guy next to you, or just in the comfort of your own home.
If you don’t have any pals in the immediate vicinity you can also play the games single player mode, which the devs describe as ‘trying to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time’. I gave it a go and whole-heartedly agree. This game is definitely made for groups.
Being frustrated with yourself is far more annoying than an endearing friend, as you can imagine!
With more content packed into the Switch release in the form of new maps for all of the modes, this is easily the definitive version of the game, and, perhaps the best console that suits the gameplay. If you’re looking for a title to play with buddies and showcase the viability of the Switch, or if you just want to make that home screen feel like a home, I can’t recommend Death Squared enough.
This copy of Death Squared for Nintendo Switch was provided by Stride PR representing SMG Games. The game drops on the eShop July 13th. Editor-In-Chief Jordan Oloman spent 6 hours having puzzle domestics with his loved ones.