From Phone to Switch
Here we are again. Another day, another mobile game making its way to the Nintendo Switch. However, there are some mobile games that are so well-designed that they’re worth picking up on a console- but those are few and far between.
Enter Shadow Bug from Muro Studios. This action platformer game has been on mobile devices and Steam for several months. Now that it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch, does it deserve to be a remembered port, or should it forgotten with the console’s shovel-ware?
Tap to Slice
Shadow Bug puts you in the role of an adorable dual katana-wielding bug. You are dropped in levels where you must cut through enemies to progress. All you can do is move forward and backward, and tap on enemies to dash and cut them.
The game realizes this mechanic well. While the beginning of the game will have you dashing from one point to another, later levels will have you cutting enemies through walls, ceilings, and making impressive platforming mechanics by timing your presses well. The game gives a good difficulty curve and a decent level of challenge.
Along the way are six bosses that will each put your skills to the test. The trick comes in moving around them by cutting other monsters around the arena before you can find the weak point and go in for the kill. I was surprised to see bosses in this game, and the fact that they’re nicely implemented and fit within the game makes me more impressed.
That said, Shadow Bug only has about thirty levels. Because of how quick each one is, you could beat the game in a single afternoon (it’ll take you even less if you’re really good at the game). When the game is priced at $8.99 on the Switch eShop, that’s a bit of a steep price.
To Switch or not to Switch
The game itself is short, but decent. However, the Switch version comes with the added support of button controls. You can aim a cursor with the right Joy-Con and press ZR to cut through enemies as opposed to just tapping them with the touch screen.
Where this becomes a problem is that aiming a cursor isn’t nearly as precise as actually tapping where you want to go. You’re literally playing at a disadvantage if you don’t use the Switch’s touch controls. On top of that, the touch controls aren’t perfect either. Due to how the game works, you could accidentally tap a monster to dash toward while you’re trying to move. It happened to me more times than I cared for.
I found that the best way to play Shadow Bug on the Nintendo Switch was to have the Switch in handheld mode and detach the Joy-Cons. Making it the closest to a tablet, it became much easier to play. That said, that brings me to the big problem with Shadow Bug– is there a point to have it on Switch?
The Switch version is twice as expensive as the mobile version. The only thing you’re gaining as the ability to play on the big screen (the game does have an impressive art style) and controller support, but you lose a decent control scheme as a result. When the best way to play the console version is by using it like a mobile device, you would be better off just getting it on your smartphone and calling it a day.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Shadow Bug was provided by Muro Studios.