Friday, January 25

Review: Flowlines Vs [Nintendo Switch eShop]


As the Switch lineup has grown we’ve continued to see the need for diversity within the genres and even sub-genres as developers try to come up with something to help them stand out. One element that has been popular to attempt with the Switch specifically has been the addition of either co-op or versus modes, hoping to give things a little more excitement if you’ve got someone to play with locally. That’s the approach Flowlines Vs has gone with and though the core gameplay is pretty decent, if not terribly original, the competitive play may work but the controls can make it a bit inconsistent.


Most likely you’ve seen this sort of game before if you’re into puzzle titles. You have a number of endpoints that are different colors and your goal is to connect them with lines. The challenge is both to be sure you use up all available space and that your lines never cross. Early on this is pretty basic, though you may need to try again if you don’t think things through. As new elements like walls and special spaces that allow lines to cross (though you can only do so in specific directions to maintain the level of difficulty) get introduced it continues to get more tricky and will keep you thinking.


Using the touchscreen this all works pretty well, and aside from perhaps the gameplay not being revolutionary there’s not much to complain about. If you’re planning to play it in docked mode or you want to play it against someone you begin to run into some trouble though. While playing with the JoyCon or Pro Controller generally works fine it can just be a bit clumsy at times trying to get it to go in the right direction. While maybe this is only an issue in a relatively small number of cases overall it’s a bit annoying, but in particular if you’re going head to head it particularly aggravating as it adds a wrinkle to who is the best sometimes.


Aside from the on and off issues with using controllers, and the fact that unfortunately that can muddy the waters of who the better puzzle solver is between you and a friend, overall it’s not a bad package for an extremely low price. There are multiple themes and everything is colorful, though in a few cases I had to look more closely to tell the difference between 2 colors in the same puzzle. Those small issues aside, if you enjoy this sort of challenge it’s a pretty easy game to impulse buy.

Score: 7.5

Pros:
  • Works very well in touchscreen mode
  • As you go the degree of difficulty ramps up slowly but surely
  • In general, colorful and has a sense of visual flair to try to elevate the experience
  • Playing against a friend adds a layer of fun

Cons:
  • While the controllers work well enough in docked mode they can feel dodgy at times when you need to be precise
  • The minor control issue can rob head to head play a little as either of you could get thrown off or slowed down slightly by it, possibly murking up who is better if it is close