Friday, February 22

Review: Almost There - The Platformer [Nintendo Switch eShop]

One thing that the Switch has had quite a lot of since the launch is minimalist platformers. These have varied in their quality, presentation, and degree of difficulty but being honest they’ve also been somewhat difficult to differentiate overall. The latest to join the list, Almost There, does offer up 150 increasingly-challenging, and eventually pretty bonkers stages to master. That said, much of it also ends up feeling pretty familiar on the road to the end.

Working to its advantage the portability factor of the game is pretty strong. A combination of relatively simple shapes, generally high-contrast color palettes, and bite-sized levels makes it great for pick up and put down play. As you progress new elements and challenges will be introduced on a pretty consistent basis, generally starting out with simpler implementations and then slowly cranking up the challenge.

To the game’s credit, some of the control elements like being able to essentially do well-timed wall jumps in the air without needing a wall and a slow and steady rate you can slide down walls combine with other elements to change things up from normal expectations. Unfortunately the obstacles and general traps you face aren’t quite as original so expect a lot of spikes, saws, lasers, and other elements that feel awfully familiar at times.

I like elements of what Almost There does and probably among the games like it on Switch it’s the most impressive, but at the same time we’re only talking a matter of degree overall. Lacking the quirk, charm, and craziness of something like Meat Boy too many levels feel sparse and kind of dull even if they may throw you a challenge. That said, if you’re a huge platforming fan and are looking for something easy to take on the go it’s a fair candidate.

Score: 7

  • Well-suited to portable play
  • Some elements of the control are unique and require some technique

  • A bit too plain and lacking in excitement in many levels
  • Doesn’t do quite enough to completely break away from many similar titles already in the eShop