Do you remember your first smartphone with a touchscreen? Do you remember how everyone completely lost their MIND about it? For mobile games especially, it was absolutely mind-blowing to play something that allows you to manipulate your character without being bounded by some buttons like caged animals. Switchy Sides by Tastypill takes you back in time with this old staple of touch arcade game with a new chic look.
In the core, this is the same games as the first touchscreen game you played with your first iPhone 3G. You tap the screen to move whatever you are controlling, in this case, a box that is traced by rainbow, side to side to dodge the enemies, in this case, stacks of rainbow sticks that jumps out from the side of the screen. It is simple, almost redundant, given that the only mechanical change this game has compared to the 1981 Donkey Kong is that this game uses touchscreen instead of a joystick and buttons.
Thankfully, it feels and plays very differently from the classic arcade games. Playing Switchy Sides is like sitting in front of a runway during a spring and summer fashion show. Music is sensational and ambiguous enough to match the situation; colors are blasting on white background so they are even more bright and boldly presented; and the movements in front of your eyes shows only the grace and glides like a brush across the white canvas, well for the most part until someone messes it up.
Unfortunately, though, I am here to play a video game, not a catwalk. For me, this game was much like watching a fashion show: incredibly boring. The game features two game mode. A “Challenge Mode” and the other one. I am saying the other one because the other one doesn’t even get a name, it is represented as a large play button that sits on top of the challenge mode. It doesn’t matter what name they were given to be honest, because they are might as well be called a ‘long version’ and a ‘short version’ of the game. A challenge mode is a series of stages that shows what kind of obstacles are represented in the game. It is kind of a teaser that shows one or two of examples of said obstacles that you will meet in ‘the other’ version. The differences in those two game mode is so small, it wouldn’t matter which one you choose.
Speaking of lack of differences, the game features multiple unlockable ‘boxes’ that players can represent themselves with. Some with rockets attached, others with yellow or red headband. It really captures the theme of the game perfectly because they are all pretty to look at but has almost no impact in the game. It feels like new characters which is funny thing to call them when they absolutely lack characters. They might move slightly faster or handle slightly better, but the difference is so minimal. In consequence, you are not sure if you are just imagining it to convince yourself that you wasted a wooping 250 points on a box that poops colors.
In short, Switchy Sides is truly an impressive display of visual and musical talent. It is unfortunate that it lacks the core of any game, at least in my opinion: fun. Or maybe it is just me not getting it, like I don’t get fashion.