13th Jul2018

‘Grave Danger’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

grave-danger-switch

The last time that I played a puzzle-platformer that required on-the-fly character switching to make use of their separate powers was Lost Vikings and that was many moons ago. I’ve heard of other games in a similar vein recently, such as Trine but I haven’t got around to playing them. As a relative newcomer to the genre, I was quite surprised to find just how much depth, replay value and fun that Grave Danger offers. It’s also a huge comment in the game’s favour that the game is enjoyable in both single and multi-player modes as opposed to feeling lacking, as other games seem can when it comes to this issue.

Originally released on Steam back in 2016 and being one of the games that appears to be a great title sadly lost in the crowds, this Nintendo Switch port will hopefully find its rightful audience as it definitely deserves reappraisal. Taking control of three characters, Dante the outlaw, Elliott the floating wizard and a scythe-wielding reaper called Malice, the player moves through various levels using their unique skills to overcome obstacles. Dante can clamber up walls, Elliott can double-jump to higher levels and Malice can glide for a few seconds, covering a lot of air-space. The levels require a lot of switching around and get the ole grey matter pumping but the cheeky cartoonish tone of the game stops it from feeling stale or overly technical. I was also a big fan of the jaunty music that rolls along in the background. Grave Danger has a sense of humour and each level starts with some banter between the characters and occasionally features some interaction with the antagonist of the game which keeps things feeling light and fresh whilst also moving the background narrative forwards, making the levels feel inter-connected and flowing.

I tried the game in a two-player mode and it really encourages chatter between the players and reminded me of the kind of laughs I got whilst playing Super Chariot (although that game really suffered in single player and only came to life in co-op mode, which is a shame). Quite often you’d be wandering around, working out the layout of a section (you have to get all three characters under the level’s exit sign to finish each section) and you’ll end up bickering, wondering and guffawing over how to proceed as you find out together how to work through the stages, as all the best puzzle games should be. There are enemies and traps that can kill your characters but you can guide your ghostly apparition back to the checkpoint into to become mortal again and continue your quest.

I had a lot of fun with Grave Danger, it strikes the right tone and balance whilst also being challenging enough to keep you thinking. Combining this with the strong character personalities on offer and a toe-tapping soundtrack and you end up with a game that may be full of Grave Danger, but it’s also a heck of a lot of fun!

Right, I’m off to stand on a switch and then walk away from it right when my friend needs me there the most, I’m sure they won’t glare at me for too long.

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