It seemed like an exciting premise. Ultimate Games‘ Otherworldly for the Nintendo Switch looked to be a hybrid between a horror survival game and a dungeon crawler, all in a first-person perspective. Who doesn’t love a good dungeon crawler? Walking around, inspecting every corner, grabbing all the loot chests, etc. Well seems like somebody had something else in mind when they developed Otherworldly. Let’s just say the results seem pretty “lacking”, and it’s not entirely Ultimate Games’ fault. This is our quick-hit review of Otherworldly for the Nintendo Switch!
Back To The Beginning
Based on research I did it appears that Otherworldly was originally created and developed by MrCiastku, an independent developer. “He” is also known for the horror game Shadows 2: Perfidia which was also released on the Nintendo Switch. I get the impression that the game started out as a PC prototype and ended up becoming a Nintendo Switch conversion with help from Ultimate Games. Perhaps the only motivation was to capitalize on people perhaps spending $6.99 USD for what feels like a lackluster, short, and sometimes frustrating experience.
Why So Serious?
The backdrop setting of the game is horror based, complete with attempts to give you “jump scares” with noisy vents, shrill sounds, and flashing images of skeletons. As you open the dungeon door to start a game the task appears “simple”. You’re equipped with five matches to provide lighting. Your goals for success seem easy. One, collect at least $5,000 in worth. Secondly, look for matches and candles to provide more light. Third, look for apples to replenish health. And finally, survive and find an exit.
The Gameplay In This One Is Scary
Otherworldly simply becomes a race. As you’ll soon find out there are some uglies down there who are after you. Sound plays a big part as that’s your warning to maybe run, which is really all you can do besides pick-up objects. There is no “attack” button. If an ugly catches up to you it most likely ends up with you being a two-hit wonder. Then it’s back to the start, try again, rinse-and-repeat. That’s the whole game. Initially, it became a test of perseverance to succeed but after fifteen minutes of trying to get through a series of randomly generated dungeons, it got old.
I like the challenge of a “speed run” as much as the next guy but Otherworldly on the Nintendo Switch, especially undocked, adds some frustration factors. It’s intended to be dark but playing in the undocked mode it seemed quite dark, so much so I saw a lot of my own reflection which added distraction. Couple that with a frustrating, single-pixel cursor to pick-up things and it leads to a short dungeon run. Turning down camera sensitivity didn’t help either.
The biggest complaint was when attempting to pick up small footprint items like matchbooks, candles, etc. It seemed too finicky trying to get a pixel onto some items. Maybe it’s my old age but I’ve seen other gamers struggle with the same issue in gameplay videos. Too many times an ugly caught up to me because I couldn’t position the pixel cursor over an item quick enough to trigger the “select A button to take” message.
Unfortunately, in its current state, I’d have to say pass on this one unless it becomes dirt-cheap on sale or more depth is added. For me personally, it was too short and too frustrating to be considered fun.
Note: A Nintendo Switch eShop code was provided for the purpose of this review.