Thursday, May 3

Review: Super Saurio Fly [Nintendo Switch eShop]


I’ll admit it, whenever I see a game that includes dinosaurs in some way I tend to immediately be interested. That certainly isn’t to say that games with a prehistoric theme over the years have necessarily earned the love, but I’m an optimist and look forward to the time when a game will live up to those expectations. Thankfully, it turns out I don’t have to wait any longer because Super Saurio Fly, though not perfect, has a whole lot going for it and is worth even non-dino fans giving a look.


In the game you’ll be playing as a pterodactyl father, Saurio, who has had his eggs stolen from his nest. Despite his comparatively small stature and fragile build he has set out to get them back from the quite imposing dinosaurs who are in his way. The action as you move through a variety of environments generally consists of elements of platforming, swimming, flapping your way around, and taking on some serious boss battles. Your abilities are limited to a short-range headbutt and then enhanced elemental breath that you can replenish by collecting the right peppers but that you’ll need to be careful to consider conserving in places as well. Collecting amber is a good idea as you go, and generally pretty easy to do, and for every 100 you collect you’ll get another life… and you’ll find you’ll generally need them.


For the most part the level designs are straightforward and traditional but some variety gets thrown in at times like levels that are more vertically-oriented where you’ll need to fly upwards in stages and underwater levels where you’ll need to carefully dodge nasty traps and aquatic enemies. In general you’ll continue to encounter new adversaries throughout your adventure, including several variants that will shoot or throw projectiles at you. These can be tricky at times since you need to invest some effort in keeping yourself aloft, each flap of your wings will only move you up so much and if you fail to keep a pace you’ll begin to lose altitude quickly. The emphasis is definitely on the boss battles though as given the relative scale of most you’ll face you’ve really got an uphill battle on your hands. All of them have some sort of weakness or vulnerability to exploit, just discovering what it is can sometimes take some work.


As much as I dig many aspects of the design that isn’t to say there aren’t some flaws. In particular I found that underwater movement is too sluggish and aggravating around some of the quick moving traps. Though I’d eventually get through with only a heart or two left I actually found getting enough momentum to get through some of the moving spiked walls tougher than the boss battles… making it feel a bit out of balance. While I don’t think it’s a control flaw, just the intended design, your character movement is a bit on the slow and awkward side, but that’s not to say it is inaccurate. Just your flappy flying can be a bit of a pain when precision is in order but I do chalk that up to the deliberate challenge being set, just you’ve been warned.


Overall Super Saurio Fly is a solid old school action platforming experience with colorful and engaging characters, huge bosses, and a consistent but generally fair level of challenge. With its quirks and design it’s also pretty well different from anything else on the platform so that’s a plus worth considering if everything is beginning to blend together. I’ll continue to hope for the game-changing dinosaur game to come to the Switch but for now this fills that need pretty nicely.

Score: 8

Pros:
  • Terrific art with colorful environments and a wide variety of enemies
  • Challenging without usually getting to be cruel
  • The boss fights are usually good fun

Cons:
  • The swimming sections can be aggravating due to your sluggish movement mixing with fast-moving traps
  • Your flight is tricky, especially when having to pull of some tight maneuvers