Wednesday, November 28

Review: Gelly Break [Nintendo Switch eShop]

I’m always fascinated by games that surprise me, especially when there’s such a consistent flow of content on Switch. Taking risks and standing out from the pack takes some guts and when I first saw footage of Gelly Break I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Platforming and twin-stick shooting together? And you can play it co-op just to make things a bit more challenging and potentially confusing? Sign me up!

Don’t let its somewhat cutesy appearance fool you, Gelly Break is going to challenge you. It starts out pretty simple, letting you first get the hang of the platforming and then peppering in some shooting, slowly at first but then picking things up. In each level you can collect little orange fruits that will give you a new life every 100 you get, and you’ll want to also be on the lookout for special containers that you can break that will give you one of 3 special gelly dudes hidden in each level which you’ll want to find to unlock the harder level track but that can be tough to find and sometimes even tougher to get.

The platforming mechanics aren’t terribly complex but offer up a challenge. You’ll need to focus on whether you’re green or orange as that will affect which platforms and elements you can interact with or use. This will make for some nice sections where you’ll need to get a rhythm for changing between colors to complete a series of differently-colored platforms or perhaps using a succession of springboards. This can be tricky in spots in 3D with some angles making it hard to judge depth but thankfully falling off of platforms just penalizes you a little health rather than something like a life, so you’re really encouraged to go for it most of the time. For the most part the shooting isn’t particularly tough, you’ll just need to be strategic. However, if you’re not playing single-player you’ll need to communicate a bit about which way you’re trying to move if you want to keep some masses of enemies at bay.

Of course the game wouldn’t be complete without some boss fights and Gelly Break also does a fine job in this area, giving you a variety of looks and means to defeat them to work through as you make it through the game’s core 6 levels. If you’re able to find all of the hidden goodies you’ll have the Hard variants to deal with that just crank up the intensity a bit but remain manageable. Overall this is a game that snuck up on me, showing up a bit unannounced and with little fanfare but nonetheless delivering a surprisingly satisfying experience. Whether you’re a platforming veteran who doesn’t mind some shooting or a twin-stick shooting fan who could use some platforming to spice things up it’s fun to play, and if you can find a friend it just gets a bit tougher but more rewarding.

Score: 8

  • A terrific mix of smart platforming and satisfying, though not terribly challenging, twin-stick shooting
  • The 3 hidden gellies in each level can be tricky to find and grab
  • Some great boss fights
  • Plays well and very differently when in single player and co-op modes

  • Some of the angles will force you to make tough jumps where judging your depth is a challenge
  • If you’re able to play with someone else and your skills aren’t quite in balance it may be frustrating for both of you
  • Though the content is satisfying overall, another level or two would have been nice for the asking price