Saturday, January 12

Review: Mad Age & This Guy [Nintendo Switch eShop]


What do you get when you combine some puzzle elements, a dash of Bomberman, and some steampunk theming? You get Mad Age & This Guy, an oddly-named game with a pretty cool look that unfortunately for the most part has solid but a bit ordinary play. For puzzle fans thirsting for a little more action than normal it should be a great match but since it’s a bit too tense to be casual and a bit too subdued to get the blood pumping it’s in an odd middle ground for the most part.


The name of the game here is a mix of moving crates, managing enemies, worrying over whether you have enough bombs, and if you’re a completionist getting everything picked up and knocked out before moving onto the next level. While at the beginning this may not be too hard as you progress the demands of each level will increase meaning if you want to cover all 3 objectives you’ll need to stick your neck out a bit. Usually the biggest challenge is managing to kill all of the robots as depending on their model their behaviors differ a bit. Credit to the developer, robot movements can be anticipated to a broad degree but they do tend to be a bit unpredictable, making destroying them all tricky at times. This is definitely where bomb management can be an issue if you’re not careful, so if you can you’ll always want to move boxes or oil drums around to try to manage where they’re going or get them penned up to make them an easy target.


I think the most unusual thing about the game is how it can’t seem to consistently make up its mind what it wants to do or be and that tends to hold it back. There’ll be concepts like moving boxes onto a few buttons to trigger a door that get introduced and then disappear for a while. There are elements in the environment like pipes but you’re unable to make creative use of them. Certainly using the bombs effectively is a key to success but I don’t know that there really gets to be too much creativity or versatility in their use. It really is a mildly action-oriented puzzler that seems to be caught in a tug of war between two very different styles of play and it just never quite gels.


While there’s something refreshingly unique about Mad Age & This Guy, not playing quite like anything else on the Switch, I’d say that determining who it would be a great match for is a bit of a puzzle unfortunately. The pacing and action are a bit too mild to be exciting and the puzzle aspects are a bit too inconsistently implemented and loose to make you really feel clever. Instead it’s a kind of hybrid that manages to set itself apart but that doesn’t inspire enthusiasm.

Score: 7

Pros:
  • Has a great steampunk look
  • Offers a unique blend of puzzles and Bomberman-esque action
  • A fair amount of content that will take quite a number of hours to complete

Cons:
  • Too subdued for action fans and perhaps too aggravating for casual puzzle fans
  • A bit haphazard with its consistency and applied concepts
  • Not terribly ambitious in terms of creativity or variety