18th Sep2018

‘Danger Mouse: The Danger Games’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

danger-mouse-games-screen

Danger Mouse: The Danger Games is a port of a (free) mobile game to the Nintendo Switch and the fact that, after paying for the game, the mobile games’ original paywall is still in effect feels like a poke in the eye and whilst some aspects of the game are fun, the repetitiveness and cynicism of the design eats away at the limited fun factor that exists.

I’m always dubious about mobile ports as the vast majority of the games are designed to pass time with a limited control scheme and design sensibilities that don’t translate well onto consoles. The case with Danger Mouse is that it’s clearly designed primarily for minute-long online races that may be a basic time-killer on a phone but just aren’t interesting when ported anywhere else.

The ‘Danger Games’ here are a series of races that are viewed from a third-person perspective. The game runs automatically, although there is a boost button which can continually be tapped in order to move faster. The races are short and always have four participants which are made up of various characters from the Danger Mouse cartoons as well as several other additions. The characters can all be upgraded through the use of coins and cards as well as various items which can be picked up along your way such as baseball bats to smash crates (which saves you precious moments in not having to jump over them) and jet-boots which allow you to briefly boost over all the obstacles. There are a multitude of items and cards etc. but they cannot hide the sheer repetition that nags throughout. The limited, samey tracks and constant, short music loops as well as the various character sound bites being chanted over and over made me mute the sound after about ten minutes.

Visually, Danger Mouse: The Danger Games looks and plays like a budget PS2 title from circa 2001 which isn’t a problem in itself but the fact that the game is so grind-heavy after only a few minutes was the deal-breaker for me.

After the initial five or six runs, in which you constantly unlock a multitude of upgrades, characters, bonuses etc. the game slowed down and I noticed that I had about 180 stars but needed to get 500 in order to open the fourth level. This meant that I had to race the three tracks that I’d unlocked multiple times (as in, dozens) in order to proceed and it just stopped being fun. Each race takes around ninety seconds and is the same each time. Yes, there are occasional branching paths but as each obstacle requires pretty much the same motions (jump, slide or button-mash) monotony sets in pretty quickly. Of course….you could just pay your way through the tedium, if you wish.

As this game is designed for online play, offline play is limited to either four player multiplayer or practise modes. Even with the fun that multiplayer generally brings to a game and assuming all tracks are unlocked, you’d still get less than an hour of fun out before you’d run all of the various tracks and scrolled through roster the characters. This is sadly just another example of a lazy port of a mobile game, it would be something if the paywall was removed and the unlockables progressed more quickly but the fact that the game requires you to either pay or grind the same handful of levels to make any real progress is unforgiveable. The fact that the Danger Mouse licensing has been slapped on may attract some but this isn’t even a game I would play on my phone, let alone my Nintendo Switch. Avoid.

P.S Danger Mouse: The Danger Games enables cross-play with mobile (one of the first Switch-to-Mobile cross-play games), so, a Switch player can play with a mobile player and vice versa. Not only can a Switch player race against a mobile player, but character cards and tech cards you earn and buy on your mobile can be traded with your friends on Switch and vice versa. Also, your trophies from race wins on the Switch will be ranked against the mobile, and vice versa.

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