Friday, April 19

Review: Super Weekend Mode [Nintendo Switch eShop]

In the indie realm sometimes being cute and quirky can work out for you, but it typically really helps to have solid play mechanics along for the ride. Super Weekend Mode has the look and energy down, with the various palette-swapped female heroes, bunnies and hearts, even the skulls are kind of cute in their own right. The question becomes whether or not its somewhat unusual gameplay will be something you’ll want to continue to come back to, and in general I’d say the prospects aren’t very good.

In terms of gameplay the controls are easy to understand but the execution can be oddly tricky. You’ll only use the left and right shoulder buttons (well, if you choose to go with auto-fire, which I can’t think of any reason you wouldn’t) to move your left and right paddles back and forth on their respective sides of the screen. There’s a boss above you centrally, which you can shoot, but the main emphasis since they’re slow to kill is keeping yourself alive. To do this you’ll want to collect hearts that will fall on both sides, and depending on their color they’ll fall in various patterns. In addition dust bunnies can fall, the goal with these is to bump into them (more about that below), and then there are skulls you’ll want to avoid entirely. While the difficulty will continue to ramp up (and quickly) that’s really all there is to know about the game.

As a huge fan of many classic arcade games I understand how relatively simple gameplay with the right hook can absolutely keep you playing, even if it is always the same game. The thing is, try as I might I just didn’t find the game to be fun. Overall it plays like a left/right brain exercise mixed with frustration and that’s just not appealing. In particular trying to “bump” the dust bunnies is poorly explained and a struggle to execute correctly. In most ways I don’t understand why you’re shooting either since only the “boss” in the center can get hit (not the bunnies or skulls, which are apparently invulnerable but not bosses) and overall your survival is about grabbing hearts without dropping them, avoiding skulls, and bumping bunnies.

Both conceptually and as someone trying to play and enjoy the game I don’t “get” Super Weekend Mode. It honestly feels like an idea that was pulled out of the oven before it was done baking, and no matter what genre you’d assign to it there are simply far better titles in every one that tower over it in terms of cohesiveness and fun. If you’re charmed by the graphics and style perhaps you could stick with it for a little while but overall, sadly, the game is a muddled mess.

Score: 5

  • Very cute
  • Budget pricing

  • Struggles with being more fun than frustrating
  • “Bumping” the bunnies is poorly explained and feels weirdly inconsistent
  • Why even having the shooting element?