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Review: Red Game Without a Great Name (Switch)

A little while ago, I took a look at Green Game: Timeswapper for the Nintendo Switch. I thought it was a decent, inexpensive game that has a neat style to it. It wasn’t too long after its release that it was announced Red Game Without a Great Name would also arrive to the platform. This is actually the predecessor to Green Game, but you probably wouldn’t know by the Switch releases alone. Red Game was released in late 2015, and Green Game came around months later.


The little story there appears to be is roughly the same as it was last time. A scientist flings a mechanical bird into the air to make it go through a bunch of mazes and collect stuff. That’s about it.


Red Game also carries the same visual style as Green Game, except now the backgrounds are…well, mostly red. It cheats a bit by having some other color come into the scenery every now and then, but you will otherwise be looking at a black and red game. The style itself has cool silhouettes and fluid animation; yet, I feel like something is off. I sometimes struggle trying to distinguish the sharp wires and safer walls, and the graphics seem to be darker than I would have liked; I had to turn the lights off in the room to look at the game better. Is it just me? I don’t think it is; I didn’t have these issues when covering Green Game, after all.


Red Game‘s music is jazzy, and I applaud it for it. I can’t say I remember the melodies when coming out of the experience, but they fit the nightly visuals in a fine fashion. It also seems to go with the moderately kinetic pace the game keeps itself in. There isn’t much in the way of sound effects, but I’m sure you’d hear the sound of the bird dying a whole lot.


This game is controlled entirely via the touchscreen, for better or worse. Red Game is composed of sixty bite-sized auto-scrolling levels where you have to make sure the bird makes it across unharmed by any obstacles. You use the touchscreen to have the bird teleport to any area you direct it to. The game works in theory, but the execution leaves some things to be desired. I forgave Green Game‘s sensitiveness on account of that you could hold down your finger on the screen to be a little more precise.

Here, you constantly have to hop your finger around; it’s tedious in itself, and the level design sometimes fails to sync up properly with your actions. You might already teleport to a dangerous area before a safer one shows up as the screen scrolls, or you could careen right into hazards right before you’re about to make a move. And if you try thinking twice, you’ll die in the midst of doing die. That is pretty much the problem with Red Game: It doesn’t give the player enough control over his or her actions. Don’t even get me started on the collectibles; those by themselves serve as a collection of do-or-die situations I couldn’t be bothered with.


That isn’t to say it’s necessarily a bad game. It can still be fun to fight through the levels and reach the end of it all, and the price is as easy to swallow as last time. It’s just a shame its potential to be a very enjoyable arcade-style title is downplayed by rather shoddy design choices.

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