Thursday, October 25

Review: Puzzle Wall [Nintendo Switch eShop]


It’s always interesting to see games arrive on Switch that are simply something different. Different doesn’t always end up great, but there’s something to be said for games that appeal to audiences outside the typical hardcore set. Puzzle Wall is such a title, with gameplay roughly matching odd game shows I’ve seen where a massive wall with a small person-shaped silhouette carved into it forces people to quickly get into the right position or get knocked down. While perhaps it may seem a bit more like a mini game you’d see in a larger collection the developers have at least tried to get some mileage out of it.


Played either solo or against an opponent you’ll use the JoyCon to position your arms to match the shape in a series of walls that are moving towards your on-screen animal avatar. They’ll position their legs as well but without joycon around your ankles the arms are where you focus. In order to spice things up there are some variations that will task you with remembering a series of positions that will come at you pretty quickly as well as having to do everything standing backwards, forcing your brain to do a bit more work as you try not to get hit by the wall.


If you have a group of 4 people the last mode can at least be a bit of fun for a while. Here everyone will get a JoyCon and try to work together, each controlling one limb, to collectively succeed instead. It’s not rocket science but it provides just enough of a challenge and necessitates teamwork so it is at least novel, and a decent value add for fun. As a warning, here calibration can a bit more of a challenge since all 4 people have to be sure they’re set up correctly but it generally works well if you get set properly.


If you have smaller kids in the house who aren’t quite ready for something more substantial the motion controls and easy-to-understand gameplay may make this an excellent starter title. Paired up with some siblings, parents, and perhaps some grandparents this could provide some very accessible family fun. Short of those circumstances I doubt most people would find enough here to warrant a purchase, but I do applaud the fact that this game is extremely accessible and appears to accomplish all it set out to reasonably well.


Score: 6

Pros:
  • The motion controls are very accessible to people of pretty well any age or skill level
  • For families with kids at the right age this could likely be a great gateway game
  • The 4-player mode is silly fun and requires cooperation and communication

Cons:
  • There’s no doubt this is a super-niche experience
  • Overall it feels like an extended exploration of what would otherwise be a mini game