Children Of Morta (Switch) is an Action-RPG with Rogue-lite gameplay mechanics from developer Dead Mage Inc and published by 11-bit studios. It’s been out on PC for a month or so to rave reviews and our own Garrick Raley jumped on the rave review bandwagon and reviewed that version here. Without rehashing completely what Garrick has told us in his review we can go into how the game plays on the Nintendo Switch system itself. This is our review of Children Of Morta for the Nintendo Switch.
A Story About Family
The Children Of Morta storyline is not given much introduction. The story is about family and getting through a tough time as a family unit. Much of the story unfolds through voice-overs as you level up family members. The game itself plays out similar to how Diablo plays. You start out with a family member, you unlock chapters (randomized dungeons set in a particular motif) and try to make it through the dungeon run alive. Along the way you’re treated to random drops of gold (or “morv”), charms, graces, and in some cases mini-games. Mini-games ranged from “pong” and memory games where “winning” yielded power-ups and lots of gold.
All the right action RPG gameplay elements exist here. You’ll get skill points to enhance your six playable characters, which you unlock as the story progresses. You’ll be able to “upgrade” your family tree by assigning points to things like armor, health, etc. that affect all the characters across your family line of characters. Eventually, on characters you’ll unlock their own unique family traits that benefit the entire family.
While Children Of Morta (Switch) “says” all the right things the deal-breaker for some might be in the game’s graphic presentation. The backgrounds are gorgeously hand-drawn and vibrant. The character models are hand-drawn pixel art which gives the game that “old-school feel”. To most this might not be an issue, to some who are expecting detailed characters and monsters like in Diablo III on the Nintendo Switch might not be as excited.
The pixel art isn’t as distracting in an undocked mode where everything is smaller and tighter. Of course, the trade-off is small mobs, like spiders, are a bit more difficult to track, especially as some dart around quite quickly. In docked mode on a larger screen, of course, the pixel art is more evident. Initially, to me, this was a turn-off but I forced myself not to be bothered by it as the story unfolded and my lust to make it through these dungeons increased.
All In The Family
With six playable characters, everyone should find one that suits their play style. The bad news is they need to be unlocked as you go. John is your starting character and all sword and board. Linda is unlocked next and is a ranged archer type. I tended to struggle with her just from a directional arrow shooting standpoint. Things took off for me, ironically, when Kevin (the little boy that no one in the family thought should be armed), unlocked as a stealthy assassin type.
Dungeon-jaunts might get repetitive for most folks. In Children of Morta (Switch) I found the urge strong to keep trying to get through some of these dungeons. I was always second-guessing myself whether to look in a corner of the map yet uncovered or just make a bee-line to the next stage. The Diablo III “loot-splosions” don’t quite exist in Children Of Morta (Switch). Plenty of gold and such can be found during dungeon runs. Though health pots seemed fewer and far between which places this game in more of a challenging category.
COMPARE TO: Diablo, Torchlight
Note: A Nintendo Switch eShop code was provided for the purposes of this review.