Thursday, May 2

Review: Crashbots [Nintendo Switch eShop]

It’s hard not to have mixed feelings with transplants from the mobile space sometimes. While there are great games that play well on a tablet or phone that also then translate wonderfully to the Switch and justify their presence there are others who don’t. Whether it’s a function of them playing poorly with a physical controller (some not at all) or that there’s just not enough meat on their bones to feel like they belong on a dedicated game system it just doesn’t always work out.

In the case of Crashbots there’s a definite mobile feel to the title, though it’s mostly for the endless runner-esque nature of it. You’ll control your bot as it tries to jump, duck, dodge, and shoot its way through gauntlets of lethal obstacles of all sorts. Each course is a bit different, and as you progress the aesthetics and some characteristics of the obstacles you’ll deal with, but all the same the feeling of repetition doesn’t take too long to set in when it comes to the action.

While the presentation isn’t too bad and the gameplay is decent enough, it’s hard to drum up a lot of excitement for the game. I think the majority of the issue contributing to that is the pretty loose and weak controls. Perhaps playing with a phone or using a touchscreen the degree of wonkiness to the control comes with the territory but when you’re using physical controls you have an expectation of crisp precision that simple isn’t there. Given the quick action this really sinks the experience down a bit, though it is certainly playable.

In the end this is one of those situations where I’d say that if you’re really interested in the game and you have a smartphone I don’t see there being any substantial upside to getting it on the Switch instead. It’s a genre that has very mobile roots and since the physical controls are nothing to write home about I can’t imagine playing without them would be that substantial a penalty. Crashbots isn’t terrible but it does manage to be just thoroughly mediocre.

Score: 5.5

  • It’s a style of play that’s popular on mobile but not so much seen on the Switch
  • In terms of presentation it looks reasonably good

  • The physical controls should clearly be better than what you can do with a touchscreen and that isn’t the case
  • While visually there are some different things to see it doesn’t take long before the stages begin to feel very similar
  • If your heart is set on checking it out I don’t see where it being on Switch would give it any tangible edge over being on your mobile device