Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: Yodanji [ Nintendo Switch eShop ]

To this point the Switch has had great representation of the roguelike game style. Whether in the form of shooters, strategy games, or dungeon crawlers of a variety of varieties there are some great titles to choose from for fans of just about any persuasion. Enter Yodanji, a game that has had some success on mobile platforms specifically and that aims to provide a challenging and engaging roguelike experience in bursts.

In the game you’ll take control of a your choice of yokai spirits, each with their own pretty unique set of powers. You’ll be dropped into a sort of dungeon that is randomly generated and work to survive as long as you can in the hopes of making progress and hopefully unlocking additional spirits that you’ll then be able to play with. As you make your way through you’ll have opportunities to improve your stats and take on new abilities and from spirit to spirit this does open up some variety. The core concept is fine, the issues are just with the execution. Graphically I’m hardly a snob but there’s no getting around the presentation being clunky, even by “ported from mobile” standards. All of this is made worse by the overly cumbersome and most unintuitive control scheme. The fact that there’s a legend constantly available sort of helps demonstrate that this problem is understood, I wish they’d just tried to make it less awful.

While it has merits, with a wide array of unlockable spirits and varied powers, a combination of strong competition and a user experience that struggles with cumbersome controls and quirks drags Yodanji down pretty substantially. Among the mobile ports on the system this may be one of the most obvious. It obviously isn’t held back by technical limitations of the platform but it simply didn’t spend very much time in review for how it is implemented. If you really must play it I would say it would be better to get it on a mobile device, I can’t discern any meaningful advantage of having it on the Switch.

Score: 3

  • A wide variety of unlockable spirits
  • The abilities of spirits are varied and can be creative

  • Clunky even by mobile port standards
  • The controls are horribly implemented
  • No good reason to be playing this on Switch, if you like it play it on native mobile