For the most part I do not like mobile games, especially when they make their way to console. They’re often just a quick and lazy port with little to no innovation between mobile and console. The Switch just exacerbates this problem with the option for touch screen controls.
Green Game: Timeswapper is another offender of this concerning trend I have seen among mobile ports to Switch. Slide your finger left or right across the screen to turn on fans, move obstacles, or shift pistons so your little mechanical bird can fly across the level to the goal and that’s about it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the game, it just feels out of place next to the other full experiences available on the eshop.
I can’t completely blame Green Game for feeling out of place on the console, but I will criticize it for having a lack of control options. I get that it started as a mobile game with touch screen controls on mobile phones, but porting a game to a major console should consist of more than what essentially amounts to a 1:1 reupload. Tilt controls would have made the most sense for this game and they likely would have added more precision over the use of the touch screen. Of course—as some of you may have already realized—with touch screen controls being the only control option I got stuck with playing the game exclusively in portable mode.
Although the controls in Green Game are unoriginal at best, the level progression at least made sense and did a good enough job of teaching the player with gameplay. There are a few text clues throughout, but for the most part there are enough visual clues for you to pick up on where you can learn the language of the game. I also enjoyed that the progression wasn’t halted by arbitrary collectible gates. It’s a problem that I see with many mobile games and even though this has a few bad tendencies from mobile gaming it at least lets the player decide more as to how they play the game. Whether you want to collect every single item or just speed through the levels, if you make it to the end of the stage it doesn’t matter.
The freedom of having your own playstyle feels good, but saying that you can speed through the levels isn’t completely true. Green Game is far too slow for being a quick pick up and play game on a portable console. The levels are very typically very short, but the movement speed of the mechanical bird character leads to extended periods of waiting for it to reach the goal after you have already solved the puzzle. A simple fast forward button would be such a massive improvement to help speed up the game for when you already know what to do but you don’t want to wait.
I typically don’t like to go too in-depth on what a dev puts into the game description since it’s typically more about selling game features to a customer and I’m here to tell you if the game is good, not if the description is. However, in this case it just can’t be left alone because if someone knows more than I do about what a “unique green graphical style” is then let me know, and it ties into discussing the graphics. All I can gather is that the game has a lot of green backgrounds, lighting, everything really. If it’s not black, then it’s very likely going to be some shade of green. Green Game doesn’t look good or bad—it just exists—and that’s probably one of the best things I can say about the game.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Green Game: Timeswapper was provided by ifun4all.