Released in 2017 for PC and now brought to Xbox One through the ID@Xbox program Switch or Die Trying is a puzzle/platformer developed by Indian studio Threye Interactive that put your determination under test from the moment you start it. I’m not kidding: this game is truly hardcore and insanely difficult! Playing as the friendly ‘i’, you will adventure through five different worlds and 75 levels in a journey of redemption, while our little buddy tries to recover all his friends. Do not stand still: follow us in this review and prepare to die… A LOT!
- Switch or Die Trying is a platformer with a simple but challenging gameplay. You guide your character, the little ‘I’ though the level, avoiding enemies and obstacles to reach the exit. To do so, you use your ink shots and the ability to switch from a skinny ‘I’ to a chubbier ‘I’, what gives you an impulse in the air and can be used as a double jump. The level also behaves differently according to what version of ‘I’ you are using, like with platforms becoming visible only when skinny is on the screen. Not the most unique thing in the platform genre but it brings really engaging and fun gameplay.
- By reaching the end of the level, you receive one star. By doing so under the time limit you receive another one and by collecting the ink drop (located in a hard to reach place in the level) you receive the final one. Fortunately, you don’t need to pick all stars in one go. You can repeat levels as you wish to get all stars (if you’re a completionist like me). In other words, replay value is pretty high.
- Levels escalate in difficult in a good pace. As you advance through stages, you’re introduced to new enemies and mechanics that exponentially increase the challenge. I strongly recommend you play levels in the right order to understand how each mechanic works before trying tougher stages, although you are free to play the stages in a world in the order that works best for you.
- The level progression uses some creativity: You don’t need to fully complete a world to advance to the next one. You only need to complete 10 of the 15 levels of each world to get access to the next one. And luckily you don’t need to ace these 10 levels: you only need to get 1 star in each to advance.
- The worlds in the game are actually a book of a different knowledge areas (History, Science and others) with an atmosphere very different from one another. In this atmosphere, I’d highlight the pleasant music that accompanies you in your adventure (and a bonus for the sweet voices that scream each time you die).
- Graphics in Switch or Die Trying are basic: While we see beautiful backgrounds on stages the characters have very low details and animations. I respect the cute art style adopted by the developer, but more alive visuals wouldn’t have harmed.
- If you don’t like tough gameplay, please don’t buy it. My countless deaths happened because of my lack of skills to beat the stages, not because the game was unfair so I can’t complain about it.
Switch or Die Trying [Score: 7.0/10] The name of the game isn’t stolen. Switch or Die Trying proudly enters the list of Throw controller in TV platformer, a punchline created by my friend and editor-in-chief Dae Jim. It’s a challenging game to test your nerves, reflexes and perseverance like classics like the good old Super Meat Boy. I cannot recommend it for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for a puzzle/platformer with interesting gameplay elements, you have a good option with Switch or Die Trying.