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Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! (PC) artwork

Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! (PC) review

"This is not the full scale firefight you wanted to see on PC."

Developed by Wayforward Technologies, which made press and success for its come-from-obscurity smash hit Shantae, now a recognizable franchise on Nintendo platforms and the PC gaming scene. What we have here is a charming art style and pumpin’ soundtrack scaled down in a very strange way. To say it was disappointment is almost all there is.

Fortunately, we’re never going to fall out of love with cute girls. Henk Nieborg’s saucy-innocent art style complements the otherwise archetypal mechanics of the Mighty Switch Force franchise. In 2015, Wayforward published what could be a mobile puzzle game. Is it worth your time, what little it asks?

As Patricia Wagon, the firefighting protagonist, you douse flames – and occasionally rescue-es on a grid of squares. Within each is a pipe of several types; straight, right or left angled; mud blocks must be washed away, fire must be doused and trapped civilians must be set free. Water won’t get past them, but they’ll happily flee of you can open a path to the bottom right of the grid – cleverly framed as a building.

Each block can be moved within adjacent, unoccupied spaces, except for those that won’t, and then others have slightly more irritating qualities. No spoilers, I’ll let you enjoy the surprise, because once you’re in, this is an entertaining puzzler. There are five levels of five puzzles each for grand total of twenty five. Not too shabby, but this won’t keep an experienced puzzle solver occupied for long, and once that’s over, no amount of musical talent and female appeal is going to keep you around.

Hose It Down! could be exactly what you’re looking for: A short, cheap puzzle game with great artwork and energetic music. If you can read this, there’s an excellent chance it’ll run admirably on your rig. For the asking price of less than $4 (CDN), you can do worse. The rub is that if have more than a passing interest in puzzle games, you can do better.

Any fan of Wayforward is going to love the presentation, and my disappointment with this game is because of my expectation. A few months ago I bought a handful of Jake’s game soundtracks on Bandcamp, and have nearly memorized the lot. It’s great stuff to listen to while working. I became acquainted with the music and its story, hence my expectation.

When I launched Hose It Down!, there was no introduction; no cutscenes, just some puzzles, music and well animated sprites. In fact, I’ve nearly completed the entire game and I can report that the last puzzle is unreasonably difficult. Through most of the game you’re cruising along with moderate bumps in complexity, new mechanics and the occasional challenge. Then comes along the volcano and you’re asked to jump in. I wasn’t so thrilled that it was over quite before it began.

Have I mentioned this game has stupid good music? Yes, they are short loops of Mighty Switch Force 2 tracks, but you can knock on over to Bandcamp and name your own price for the whole album. The graphics are sharp and expressive. Hose It Down! is short, and is easy to pick up and play.

Everything good news is also bad news here, which really emphasizes the lack of a PC port of Mighty Switch Force 2. Those twenty five levels are going to be over in roughly an hour; that isn’t a good rate for your time, and even less for your investment. The reality is that this game exists in a shark bite industry of Free to Play games that are clamouring for your attention with art just as charming, and most of them are free, before microtransactions.

A seasoned gamer might make a light snack of this game, but it could be a solid purchase for your kids. Just be advised that if they’re any good at puzzles they will be returning to the table for more sooner than you might like. Wait for a sale on Steam or your preferred digital store. If you’re buying this for yourself, you might want to look into Mighty Switch Force Hyper Drive Edition on PC.


hastypixels's avatar
Community review by hastypixels (December 28, 2016)

At some point you stop justifying what you play and begin to realize what you're learning by playing.

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