January 9, 2012 3:00 PM | John Polson
Mighty Switch Force is a very fun, albeit brief, 2D run and gun puzzle platformer, filled with 16 "incidents" that can be all completed in about 30 minutes if done in the goal time. The challenging puzzles and deadly jumps and enemies will probably require most to play through each incident at least a few turns, thus extending the experience to probably 2-3 hours total.
While attempting the same goal of re-capturing five crooks that are hidden in each incident, gameplay is relegated heavily by Patricia Wagon's pellet gun and her siren helmet. The latter of the two can cause key elements to switch from the background to the foreground, making platforms and cannon-like devices available. Players will manipulate themselves and their enemies to clear paths, often requiring twitch reflexes even in mid-air.
Mighty Switch Force later introduces platforms that stay in the foreground if Patricia stands on them while switching, adding another challenging puzzle/timing element. The stages' challenges build at a nice pace, and there are several checkpoints in each stage that are good while learning to make par... if only Patricia would be quieter while practicing.
I found her voice a little grating, and I was disappointed I couldn't mute the SFX and just enjoy the BGM. Another point of criticism is that for a game that emphasizes meeting a goal time, Mighty Switch Force does not let me restart a level. It's a little tedious to have to quit and re-enter the stage. However, those that just can't make par the first time around will be rewarded with a little something extra to help out after beating the game.
Upon reaching the end, I felt the game was a little short. After only one boss fight, I was hoping the game was leading me to a second act. That said, almost every stage, every track, and every pixel were enjoyable until the credits rolled.
Yes, the stretched YouTube trailer above doesn't do the Mighty Switch Force's luscious pixels justice, and it only gives a snippet of the rocking soundtrack provided by Jake "Virt" Kaufman. The 23-track hyper album is available for "name your price" via Virt's Bandcamp site.
All in all Mighty Switch Force is a solid entry on the 3DS eShop, though I imagine some will want more game for its $5.99/€6 price tag.