Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Review: Sparkle Unleashed [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The Switch, still not even a year in, already has a pretty diverse set of games available for it. There are concentrations of heavier representation in some genres like shooters, platformers, and roguelikes but in the interests of the system being for everyone, including less hardcore gamers, some casual games are always welcome for a change of pace. Taking the core engine from Sparkle 2 and giving it a Luxor-like spin 10 Tons have released Sparkle Unleashed, providing a satisfying experience for people who enjoy marble shooters of all kinds.

For those unfamiliar the gameplay consists of making matches of 3 marbles or more of the same color that are moving along a path. While this is very similar to Sparkle 2 this time you’re able to move your shooter left and right to get in position to make a shot rather than rotate around in a single point. It is a small change but it does give the game a different feel. In order to further differentiate there are some differences in ball types with some that have chains and require 2 steps to destroy as well as rocks that go away when something is matched touching them. In addition, as you progress in Unleashed you have the ability to choose which upgrades you want to unlock, either going wide to get a variety or deep to further enhance a specific power-up. All are small changes but they’re welcome and offer variety. While you can play in docked mode with the joycon the preferred way to play is still, by far, handheld mode where you’ll simply be more precise.

All in all if you’re a casual gaming fan Sparkle Unleashed is an affordable title that is well-executed and offers quite a lot of content for the price of admission. While it is a variant on games already out there on other platforms as always 10 Tons has managed to ensure they put their own stamp on it and it and it is one of the few casual games of this kind on the Switch. If you’re looking for something to help you unwind with on the couch it is an excellent choice.

Score: 7.5

  • A variety of power-ups that you can select from as you upgrade to suit your style
  • The game throws various types of challenges at you through the levels to keep things from getting too dull
  • A whimsical soundtrack

  • Likely nothing that will appeal to people who aren’t already fans of this type of game
  • Competing with the very similar Sparkle 2 the choice boils down to which style you prefer