VVVVVV Switch Review

Which Way is Up?

VVVVVV has a long history of releases and ports since its original release in 2010.  Originally being built in Flash, it has later been ported to multiple consoles, with the latest being the Nintendo Switch.  While the game only has a single button to use, gameplay will test the player’s skill with its precise timing and difficult platforming. This is our VVVVVV Switch review.

VVVVVV starts with Captain Viridian and his crew crash landing into a dimension which has broken their ship’s teleportation system and sending the crew to different parts of the map.  It is then up to the captain, controlled by the player, to find the rest of his crew and escort them back to the ship.  This leads to the player running through the map, finding each “dungeon” that the crew is trapped in and navigating through it to save it.  Rather than jumping, the player is only able to flip their gravity, meaning they can fall upwards or downwards.  This can only be done while touching the ground, however, meaning you cannot continually flip while in the air.  This means you will need to get running starts to make the movements you need in the air to cross gaps, as you are unable to gain extra air after flipping.


The game has 6 different areas to explore, along with 20 shiny trinkets to find along the way.  These are all scattered throughout the overworld, which is shown on a giant map reminiscent of the Super Metroid map.  The first area that the player is put into to explore teaches the basics, but further areas add new mechanics to deal with to make each unique.  Each level gets progressively harder, along with having multiple paths through different areas and encouraging exploration of them all to find any trinkets that may be along the way.

Though VVVVVV can be very difficult at times, very rarely does it feel unfair.  There are checkpoints abundantly placed throughout the entire map, making sure that the many deaths you will have don’t put you back too far.  Though spacing them farther apart is one way that difficulty is increased in areas of the game, even these are only spaced a few rooms apart and take only a minute or two per attempt.  However, this does lead to some obstacles which can be so frustrating that you may just start running through and seeing if you make it through by sure luck.  Everyone’s favorite type of mission, an escort mission, only adds to the frustration at one point when you need to keep both yourself and your crew member alive.


The Nintendo Switch edition of VVVVVV also has a handful of extra features.  There are alternate maps to pick from, allowing multiple playthroughs with the same objective.  Time Trials and No Death Mode are also included, letting you race through different levels or force yourself to finish the game without dying at all.  There is also an option to unlock areas early, so that you can play these right off the bat rather than having to unlock them through gameplay.

VVVVVV is a retro-styled platformer packed with difficulty, but the challenge makes you want to continue playing and get the sense of accomplishment for overcoming so many challenges.  The game is deceptively simple, which will help draw you in and the closely spaced checkpoints will keep you addicted to keep trying to get to the next one.  While the game can be learned and beaten quickly on the original map, the multiple extra maps and difficulties help make the game worth revisiting.

Note: Our Nintendo Switch copy of VVVVVV was provided by PR 

COMPARE TO: Shovel Knight, Super Meat Boy



  • Difficult, yet generally forgiving
  • Enjoyable graphics and chiptunes
  • Simple Controls


  •  Some obstacles can be more frustrating than fun

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