Animal Super Squad is a fun, frantic physics based rollercoaster ride of mistimed jumps and special abilities. From developer DoubleMoose and Armin Ibrisagic, of Goat Simulator fame, so we can expect crazy animal antics from the finished product if that’s anything to go by. This time around we were lucky enough to thoroughly test out the Nintendo Switch version of the game but it is also available on Steam, PlayStation 4, mobile formats and hopefully heading to Xbox at some point soon.
You initially take control of a chicken who is equipped with a bizarre toilet on wheels, powered by rockets and magic. The game features an assortment of different animals and vehicles which can be unlocked as progression is made through the adventure mode. Each of the vehicles has its own unique ability, ranging from a speed boost to flight, with the purpose of helping you to get to the end of each course. The game plays very similar to the likes of Urban Trial Freestyle, I lost many an hour to this game on PSVita, crossed with Little Big Planet. Although the main campaign is relatively short the dev team have played it smart by placing a big focus on creative play. All of the great user-generated content should help keep Animal Super Squad alive for a number of years if the game proves popular. Even if you are not a creator it will draw you back in from time to time to just check out what fantastic new content has been created by the community. All of the assets of the game are available from the off to use in the level editor mode and for free, it essentially allows for regular content updates with minimal effort.
The aim of each level is to safely deliver the chicken to the end goal, sounds simple enough but as you progress through adventure mode the challenge escalates quickly. A whole host of pitfalls are out to get you from spiked objects, fires and booby traps to simply falling off a platform. I regularly died over the course of some levels which almost cost me my Switch as it came close to being launched at a wall, the sheer joy I felt in achieving that perfectly timed run was just about enough to keep it safe though. Thankfully there are enough checkpoints along the way so that you never really get stuck for a long time on any one section. Levels also contain a number of hidden items to collect so for 100% completionists among us it greatly adds to the replay value, you can even unlock bonus levels via this method. The bonus levels tend to be much shorter in length than the usual but they put you in even more absurd scenarios, often resulting in comical chaos.
Graphics are solid and do the job just fine, it’s never going to be the best looking due to the number of creative options at our disposal but it does have a certain charm to it. The game looks great in both handheld and docked mode which is always important when considering a Switch version over any other. Controls are simple, the left JoyCon spins you round in the direction you require, well for the most part, while the triggers and front-facing buttons offer acceleration, reverse, exit vehicle and special power. All are super responsive and with timing being the key element for success it is massively important that they are spot on.
The overall presentation is good with enough options present, the lack of rumble support is not missed as sometimes I find it becomes a distraction if a little too excitable. The inclusion of video capture, however, is pleasing and I really had fun posting my greatest runs, jumps and fails online for the world to judge.
Although Super Animal Squad is unlikely to reach the same heights of Goat Simulator it is a worthy way to pass the time and is an ideal pick up and play game while on the loo, much like the main character. Its fun and frustrating at the same time with a wicked difficulty curve that will leave you wanting to choke the chicken…
Beard Score: 6/10
Genre: Action, Adventure
Format: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Steam, Mobile