While the Nintendo Switch doesn’t boast the biggest library of games at the moment, there are some notable titles coming later this year (some of them even support co-op!). If you’re looking for a quality co-op title now, though, SMG Studio’s Death Squared makes its way onto the Switch today.
Not much has been changed within the workings of the game itself between the console/PC versions released earlier this year and the new Switch version; much of what Locke had to say in his Co-Op Review still applies. As a puzzle game, the emphasis on co-op is apparent from the start as you and your buddy (or buddies) must communicate and work together to move your cubes onto their respective switches. Sometimes that cooperation entails synchronizing your movements to prevent spikes, lasers, or some other hazards from killing each other, and sometimes it’s standing on your buddy’s “head” in order to get to a platform otherwise out of reach. It’s engaging, it’s chaotic, and if you ignore the ever-increasing kill counter in the upper right counter, it’s a fun-time to be had by all.
So, while the co-op experience of the game is a known quantity at this point, what I wanted to focus on here was how that translates to the Nintendo Switch. Specifically, is this a game with which you could crash your hip friend’s rooftop party? In short: yes, though there is one caveat.
The portability of the Switch and its two included controllers (via the left and right Joy-Cons) make it great for taking it over to a friend’s house for some couch co-op, but the postcard-sized screen makes some of the puzzles a little difficult to parse, particularly those that involve any form of depth perception. This is less of a problem early on when most of the levels/puzzles are pretty straightforward, but it does make later levels tougher when you’ll feel like you have to get up really close to the screen (e.g., to try and figure out if that one platform passes through the two on either side, or if it’s all just one platform). If you and your buddies don’t mind getting a little close and personal with one another, then this isn’t an issue, which is good because it’s the only one for this particular version of the game.
Outside of that, Death Squared is still a great game and is well worth picking up on the Switch if you haven’t played it yet. The easy pick-up-and-play controls and fun/chaotic gameplay that gets everyone involved make it a worthwhile purchase for the $14.99 asking price. It’s worth picking up even if you already have played it on another platform as the portability of the Switch and the accessibility of the gameplay/controls means you can enjoy it with just about anyone now. While you will have to shell out an additional $80 for another pair of Joy-Cons in order to get the full four player experience, it’s kind of a steal considering you’d have to pay at least double that amount in order to get an additional three controllers for another console. They’ll also come in handy for Snipperclips and other four-player games, like Overcooked, that are slated to come out sometime this year.
For now, Death Squared is an exemplar for the kind of co-op experience the Switch will, hopefully, continue to support and facilitate.