Since its debut in 2011, the Mighty Switch Force! series has become a staple of WayForward’s indie library – offering hours of tense puzzle-platforming madness on the 3DS, Wii U, and PC. Well, fans can now enjoy the illustrious career of Officer Patricia Wagon in one place with Mighty Switch Force! Collection – which bundles four titles into one flashy package. In this review, we examine if the compilation truly delivers a bang for your buck on Nintendo Switch!
At their core, the Mighty Switch Force! games present a simple yet addictive formula. In every level, players have to track down five (criminal) girls before reaching an exit. Vaulting across the city isn’t that straightforward, however – as some platforms and blocks are usually inaccessible in the background.
This is where the novel gimmick of the series comes into play. By clicking on the ‘A’ button, players can ‘pull’ background blocks into the foreground, and vice versa. This mechanic may also be used to crush enemies walking in front of background blocks, although care must be taken so that Officer Patricia herself doesn’t fall into the same trap!
These basic gameplay elements are knit together by the games’ true villain – Par Times. Completing levels under their Par Time is mostly optional, but attempting to do so introduces a truly devilish challenge. While the game is accessible to players of all skill levels, trying to beat every level under Par Time requires the handiwork of a true master – and many, many retries.
Overall, the addictive core gameplay of Mighty Switch Force! Collection might be reason enough to grab it digitally. The entire series provides a nice pick-up-and-play experience that’s right at home on Nintendo Switch – while true completionists will have a field day repeating levels until perfection.
Saving the world as Police, Firefighter, and Cadet
As mentioned earlier, the collection consists of 4 standalone games, each with their own merits. The original Mighty Switch Force! acts as the series’ entry point for beginners – featuring 21 levels of criminal-catching fun. It’s definitely a nice throwback, as it retains the gorgeous pixel artwork from its original 3DS version.
However, the original game is easily overshadowed by Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition. The Hyper Drive Edition is essentially a HD overhaul with crisp visuals – but it also mixes things up by giving every level a ‘Hyper Mode’ with harder puzzles. For all intents and purposes, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition is the definitive way to play the original game.
Meanwhile, Mighty Switch Force! 2 re-casts Officer Patricia as a firefighter saving civilians instead. Instead of bullets, she now wields a water hose to tackle fiery obstacles. This innovative is accompanied by new obstacles – such as mud blocks or enemies on fire. The levels are also noticeably more devious than the original game, with some stages that will really twist your cerebral cortex. This sequel is easily the highlight of the entire package.
Finally, we have Mighty Switch Force! Academy – the final game in the collection. Academy follows Patricia back to her training days, where she gets trapped in a VR simulation. This one is definitely an oddball – as it mixes up the regular gameplay with super zoomed-out levels. This essentially allows 2-4 players to go co-op, but it’s nearly impossible to play handheld given how small everything on-screen becomes.
Is Mighty Switch Force! Collection greater than the sum of its parts? That depends on how much of it you’ve already experienced before. If you’re a total newcomer, the low price-tag is a steal. On the other hand, those who’ve already beaten Mighty Switch Force! or Mighty Switch Force! 2 might not get as much mileage from retreading old ground.
While all four titles are fantastic in and of themselves, Mighty Switch Force! Collection isn’t technically a ‘complete’ compilation of the series. Missing from the collection is Mighty Switch Force! Hose it Down! – a purely puzzle-based spin-off for mobile and Steam. Perhaps WayForward deemed it too much of an outlier to include in the bundle, but I couldn’t help but feel that it would have been perfect icing on the cake.
There are also no extra frills that one would usually expect from a series celebration like this. Typical bonus features such as a concept art gallery are nowhere to be found in Mighty Switch Force! Collection. Again, this doesn’t detract from the bundle’s outstanding quality – but things may feel slightly bare once you’ve tried out the four base games.
There’s no denying that WayForward are still experts in crafting masterpieces – and Mighty Switch Force! Collection is a clear testament of that. The four titles within are definitely worth a shot for newcomers, while veterans will enjoy having (mostly) everything one place. Levels will range from casual to downright devilish in difficulty – offering something for players of all skill levels.
While it can feel a little lean on extra content, the $19.99 USD price tag is ultimately worth the hours of puzzling mayhem you’ll find within. Don’t hesitate to Switch it up!
- All four games are amazing puzzle-platforming experiences.
- You’ll find marvelous pixel art and HD graphics throughout the package.
- Defeating par times is where the game truly opens up.
- Newcomers will really enjoy all the value on offer here.
- The game lacks any bonus features – which is disappointing for a series celebration.
- The Hose it Down! spin-off is strangely absent, making this collection technically incomplete.
Verdict: This soup may as well be a full-course meal! You’ll be full before you realize it!
Soup Temperature: 8/10
A review code was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.