Saturday, December 8

Review: Rock Boshers DX - Director's Cut [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Since I’ve played games on systems dating back to Pong and some random things I loaded off of cassette tapes on my TRS-80 games looking to recreate a more vintage feel intrigue me. On the one hand they can be a cool window into the past, helping to revive forgotten styles of play, but it can be a sort of risky business too. Sometimes if more than just the aesthetics are retro and some of the limitations of what could be done in the past limit play in key ways it can be frustrating. At least for me that’s a bit of the case with Rock Boshers DX, which has a great early-era look and style of play but also some of its frustration tied to it’s more classic and chunky visuals.

I think the main thing I actually enjoy about Boshers is that in many ways it reminds me of the classic arcade game Cloak and Dagger, playing as a twin-stick shooter where you need to do some digging, killing of enemies, and solving of some puzzles. When it acts a bit more as an action game at times it can be some fun, but as you move on in levels the degree of challenge rises a bit and between turrets and some enemies you can’t kill and will instead need to avoid it can take on more of a puzzle feel at times. You’ll need to be nimble and clever, carefully choosing your path at times, to throw off missiles or simply being eaten. You’ll generally want to be thorough as you explore though, keeping on the lookout for hidden goodies like tea or some jammy scones since they’ll allow you to unlock a few mini arcade games that are a nice bonus.

Where I think things go a bit wrong is with how at the relatively small and blocky scale things are at it can be a bit clunky. Enemies and missiles seem to hit you a little too easily since you’re a somewhat slow block of a target and especially when trying to lead missiles to destroy barriers you’ll feel like you should be out of the way but manage to get hit. When you’re trying to make your way into some corridors or areas with corners monsters can be very hard to hit as well since your bullets are quite chunky as well. It makes sense in its own way and may even be a bit authentic but it makes the game more aggravating than it should need to be when you know what you want to do but the mechanics get in the way.

For retro fans Rock Boshers may not be a bad trip down memory way, it certainly captures the look and even the spirit of games from that era. That said, I’ve played some other retro games on Switch that have done a better job of capturing the feel and nostalgic aspects of that time without necessarily being as beholden to them. There’s some fun and challenge to be had, just be aware of the aspects that add more of a barrier to enjoyment possibly.

Score: 6

  • A very vintage look, complete with an entertaining boot up sequence in PC mode
  • Feels much like games from that era in structure and challenge
  • Unlockable arcade mini games are a nice touch

  • The chunky graphical style makes for blocky hitboxes as well which, which can be frustrating
  • It simply isn’t likely to be something for everyone