Review: Waking Violet (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Waking Violet (Switch)

by Jon Cousins

You snooze, you lose.

Violet is a confused young girl, shackled by her parents protection and struggling with typical desires of independence and growing up. Things take a more surreal turn and over the course of 42 levels, as the game chronicles her increasingly nightmarish story by solving visually simple but deceivingly challenging block puzzles.

Rather than creating lines, like Tetris or such like, these block puzzles are more akin to the top down Zelda games - making paths over rivers or protecting Violet from electricity in order to collect an alarm clock. This both opens a portal to the next level,  but it also awakens enemies that can kill in one hit, so preparation is paramount. There are a couple of abilities Violet has to help on her quest.

The game is quite methodical, requiring a set solution from the outset rather than trial and error, and Violet can only push blocks, not pull them. It’s really handy, then, that there is a "Braid" style rewind function in case you make a wrong move. There are also spells and potions to use, such as cloning, bringing objects closer and walking on water.

You see, Violet is cute and charming in her own prickly, adolescent way, and the surreality of the narrative combined with the rustic, albeit limited environments and creepy soundtrack create an overall presentation that’s easy to get sucked in to. There are a few drawbacks, however. It is difficult and obtuse at times.

The process of navigating a level and experiencing repeated failure, even with the rewind function, can get frustrating. Controlling Violet feels a bit slow and movement imprecise, especially when moving blocks accurately is necessary. But the further you go, the more rewarding the game becomes, and the niggles will no doubt be worth it when the story unfolds.

Final Score: 7.0

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