Full Disclosure: I paid for this game in full like a pleb. But then again I don’t know the developers or anything about them, so this is to be expected. For now.

Full Disclosure 2: I am not playing this game due to overcompensating for not being able to buy a Nintendo Switch in Korea. My lack of Zelda is crushing my soul, but it has no bearing on this article. Honest Goron.

 

Switch or Die Trying - Black Murkiness
Switch or Die Trying – Black Murkiness and Trees

 

Switch Or Die Trying is an adventure through the horror of alphabetic high school social awkwardness. You play what turns out to be the letter I, tumbling through jumps and bumps to please a series of increasingly disinterested lowercase alphabetic rivals. The games gimmick revolves around the player switching between lowercase and uppercase forms (i to I to i) to wall jump and reach higher parts of the level. Switching between forms, which can be done at any time, provides a free jump. In a narrow pipe this isn’t necessary, as you can just wall jump back and forth, but when up against just one wall, switching lets you do a frantic back and forth Ninja Gaiden-esque clamber to the top.

I couldn’t get my controller to work (PS2, I know, I know, but I’m broke), and my keyboarding prowess is not what I fondly remember it to be from the 90s, which was to my detriment as switching became more integral to passing a level. As you switch, platforms appear and disappear, meaning you have to be conscious of the number of jumps and switches you’re making so you don’t whiff through a pile of nothingness where a platform used to be. As I advanced, this interaction between jump (space) and switch (left shift) becomes more complicated, leaving my hands a jumbled arthritic mess after 20 minutes of play. They recommend a controller. When I get a newer one I’ll try this again.

 

Switch or Die Trying - Level Selection
Switch or Die Trying – Level Selection Platforming

Other than my controller issues, I really liked this game. The graphics and music are really well polished. The animations, especially that of the uppercase I, are, excuse me for the expression, adorbs. The level select screens, which use world physics, are pretty cool too. The controls feel really tight when I remember what button I have to press, but on a keyboard it’s really easy to flub a jump or a switch and fall into a pit of murky blackness.

I really don’t understand what the other letters’ deal is though. Like, you jump through these levels and they still just get all pissy at you. Maybe I just don’t remember high school that well because I went like a bazillion years ago, but if I go through some American Gladiator-esque gauntlet, successfully avoiding all sorts of pits and traps, I expect people to be grateful. I mean you don’t have to shower me with praise, but a simple “Good on ya mate!” would be enough.

Letters are frickin’ dicks yo. Don’t let that get you down, though. Try this one.

 

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