Monday, April 22

Review: Iron Snout [Nintendo Switch eShop]

When done right in games simple can be fun and, with some skill and luck on the part of the developer, it can even last for a while. The question is how do you take something that’s not meant to be terribly complex and keep it compelling over the long haul? Unfortunately, while it has its short-term charms Iron Snout isn’t the game that’s going to ask these headier questions. Though its hook works well enough, and there are some humorous elements to it in the form of some pop culture references and silliness, for most people it likely will get exhausted in a long afternoon or less.

The premise and controls are both very simple. You’re playing as a pig who’ll stay centered on the screen and you’ll be attacked on either side by a variety of wolves and some other occasional random animals. Some will come at you straight up teeth and claws but others will have a variety of weapons or special attack patterns of some sort. Your job is to simply try to punch, kick, and “sweep the leg, Johnny” for as long as you can, making use of whatever you can grab to try to help.

To its credit since you’re not able to move around your attacks are at least pretty varied and effective, you’ll simply push or sweep in any direction to pull off a variety of attacks that include uppercuts and some nice two-sided kicks among other things. If you see a weapon in the air that you’ve knocked away from an enemy be sure to grab it or even deflect it with another weapon to try to keep the wolves at bay, just expect them to continue to get faster and tougher, wearing down your bacon-themed health gauge until you fall and then will start all over again.

Though there are a few new environments and silly costumes to unlock beyond the core play mechanics, a small number of modes that are generally variations on the same theme. and some unique enemy types on each stage there’s not much to explore for long. You’ll get better at chaining and making smarter use of what you’ve got to work with but honestly it still ends up feeling a bit tedious after a short time. If you’re looking for something to kick around for a few minutes here and there it may be a decent choice, just don’t expect it to be something you’re likely to get hooked on for any length of time.

Score: 6.5

  • A few stages and costumes to unlock
  • There are at least a fair number of attacks and unique enemies that encourage some replayability as you explore what you’re capable of
  • A budget price

  • Before you’ve unlocked everything the redundant tedium of the core gameplay is likely to set in
  • With the exception of shaking up enemies and some basic rules on different stages there’s not very much variety