Tuesday, November 27

Review: Soap Dodgem [Nintendo Switch eShop]


There are games that come over from the mobile space that somehow feel appropriate on the Switch, offering something in the form of the physical controls or experience of potentially playing it on your TV, and those that really don’t. In particular puzzle games that play really well with even a small touchscreen on your phone fall into the latter trap. Soap Dodgem is such a game, having some positives and smart features like a level editor and community levels to check out I also don’t see anything about it that screams “I need to play this on Switch to get the most out of it”.


For the most part it’s a simple premise: You have your bar of soap and your goal is to move in straight lines to wipe out gross dirt. The trick of things is that without running into a wall or a said piece of dirt you’re slippery and will just slide off the side. This means that some planning is in order, especially since knocking them all out doesn’t complete the level, you then need to be able to get to the exit as well. As you unlock more levels and characters there will be new tile types and enemies with varying effects and new rules to take into consideration as well to further stack on the challenge.


In order to get a perfect score you’ll want to discover the secret location of the gold coin on each level, running over their space somewhere along the way to knocking out the dirt and getting to your goal. Getting these on all of the levels does add to the challenge but since you don’t know where they are initially and that could take some random poking about, taking a less optimum path to success and usually complicating things a bit. There is an added sense of accomplishment to getting them but in addition they’ll allow you to unlock new stages with some tougher challenges as well. Throw in a rudimentary level editor and support for playing community-created levels and there’s at least some potential for getting more than your fill of the game.


In the end there’s nothing terribly wrong with Soap Dodgem but knowing how many great puzzle games there are on Switch it’s also hard to get very excited with it. Specifically if you’re drawn to this sort of puzzle game the theming and morbid fun of Slayaway Camp is far more compelling, though obviously lacking the level editor and community support if those appeal to you. The bottom line, though, is even you find all of this appealing I struggle to see where playing it on Switch would be superior to it on your phone or tablet, though to each their own.

Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • A clean design with colorful characters and elements
  • As you progress the puzzles can get challenging, especially if you try to hunt down the gold coins on each level
  • If you’re into creating your own levels you can take a shot at it and also take on levels created by the community

Cons:
  • Nothing clear that screams why playing this on Switch would be superior to playing it on your phone or tablet
  • In terms of pure entertainment value there are other similar titles on Switch that make a better case for console play