Switch version tested
Review code provided
Squidlit for Nintendo Switch aims to pull on those ol’ heartstrings if you were
lucky enough old enough to own an OG Gameboy with its retro platforming charm and green and black visual.
Designed by a Squid-like intelligence it is, in fact, the second game we have reviewed that has solely been designed by non-humans. Following in the wake of Bee Simulator, Squidlit has got a lot to live up to.
This story follows Michael, a squid, over the course of a handful of platforming levels with a scrolling shooter spliced halfway through. He’s pissed that the bad guy, Skwit Skwot, is causing issues and wants to kick his butt into shape with at least one of his tentacles. Reach the end goal for a final face-off, ok I lied about the main character being called Michael.
The success of Squidlit is in how it feels and handles, it’s good to report that it plays exactly like your favourite platformers from the early 90s. The d-pad controls movement and you have a jump mapped to one of the face buttons. Tap the jump button for a second time while in flight and you’ll dump out a blob of ink on anything directly below and forms the method of attack. Traverse from A to B and defeat the enemies en route, collecting muffins to replenish any lost health. There are a few keys to collect, simple puzzles and boss fights to overcome but nothing too taxing. Although this is a story-driven experience a lot of the dialogue is inconsequential and while Squidlit does nothing wrong per se the biggest issue is with the amount of game on offer.
As alluded to earlier, Squidlit boasts a somewhat unique visual. Not only has the development team faithfully recreated the four tone palette of the dot-matrix screen but defined it by the capabilities of the OG Gameboy. What does that mean I hear you cry, well I’ll tell you. No more than ten 8-bit sprites in a line, less than 40 total onscreen and a resolution that would be at home on a Casio calculator. Initially on booting the square play area is surrounded by a retro-styled border, this can be toggled on or off using the trigger. Additionally, you can mess around with the contrast but in all honesty, that’s pretty much everything extra the game has to offer.
The whole game can be completed from start to finish in well under an hour, around the same time it took to write this review but does that make it a bad game (or review). Squidlit achieves what it sets out to do but sadly is too short and offers no real incentive to replay. The game is super cheap and if the retro thing piques your interest buy it to support the dev or just use some of those gold coins you have waiting around.
TBG Score: 5/10
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 14/01/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Action, Platformer
Publisher: Squidlit Ink
Download link: eShop