Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch (OLED Specifically)
Also Available On: PlayStation, Xbox, and PC
Price: $19.99 – Digital Only
Developer: Regular Studio
Release Date: December 7th, 2022
Please Note: A review code was provided by Thunderful but does not influence opinions in this review.
While there are major AAA titles that were released last week or throughout the rest of this month, I had the joy of playing a few indie games. Togges from Thunderful and Regular Studio was one of them and it was a game that kind of came out of left field for me. The game is an Adventure Platformer, but it has the makings of nothing like any other platformer game I have played before. The game has a lot of moments where it shines brilliantly and uniqueness, but then a few times where things are not as strong. So, would I recommend this game to someone? Well, look at my review for my answer to this question.
The story of Togges is a pretty simple one where you are playing as a vacuum that has the power to control the creatures called Togges. Within this story, you are a new hire for a company and you have to help the King solve a grave issue that plagues the universe. The issue is known as The Void and if left unchecked, it may just destroy the universe. In order to stop this kind of thing from happening, you must unite the leaders of each of the worlds. The problem I had here is that there really wasn’t a huge need for that as they didn’t really do a lot besides offer some nice dialogue and show up at the end of the game. Speaking of which, the dialogue throughout this game was witty and clever with moments of greatness. For a game that has so much creativity and fun with its gameplay, the story falls a bit flat, in my personal opinion, compared to the unique gameplay and great looking art style.
The gameplay is a fairly simple one to understand. In order to complete the world you have to find the leader of that world and get them to agree to help you on your quest to fight the void. Usually in order to do this, you will either have to do a certain amount of fruit collecting and/or do a specific task the leader wants you to do. These aren’t the hardest to do, but this is just the beginning of the levels. Togges want you to explore and discover all that it has to offer, and I will say that there is a lot of content packed into this game. I finished the main story in about five hours with 26% completion so there is a bunch more that I can do in order to fully collect everything. See my total progress at the end of my review.
Usually, you only need a few fruits from each world to do the main story. Throughout the entire game, there are a total of 290 fruits, and I only collected 80 of them. Besides fruit, there are also letters that spell Togges that are scattered in each world and if you collect them all, you get a special item that is pretty cool. Aside from the main 3D sandbox worlds, there are special doors you can go in which lead to smaller areas to collect the Togges letters and two fruit. There are almost 30 of these throughout the game which offer a different kind of challenge where you have to navigate through some pretty tricky puzzles. As I said, there’s a ton of content in the game and I only have scratched the surface of what the developers have created. There are also power-ups that will help you find things like bombs, radar, and more; however, you have to find these in each world. The problem with these is you have to find them all over again each time you re-enter said world, which I felt to be a bit of a downside.
In order to progress through the game, you can’t just randomly place Togges anywhere, rather you need to chain them together, using the same color in the said chain. There are six different types that you must use to navigate different areas within each map. They all have different powers, but you always start with one in each world and have to unlock the rest. Each of them has its own cost and there is a maximum cost that is always visible to you which you need to keep in mind. In order to keep going after you reach the limit, you have to return them by sucking them up or erasing them from a prior collected fruit. Each of them also has a stack limit for how many you can stack on top of each other. All of these specialties will be helpful in different situations, but you have to figure out when to use which type. I think that the game is a somewhat slower-paced title and more of a chill game compared to a challenging one, yet there are moments where it will stump you with how to solve the challenge.
Putting the story and gameplay aside; let’s talk about everything else. First, let me start with the visuals and art. The game as a whole looks very bright and vibrant with all of the different colors that are within the multiple worlds. Most of them used a different color pallet and were all designed with a different color being prominent in each world. Below are six of the different worlds I played on the Nintendo Switch OLED, specifically 95% in portable mode and only about 5% in docked mode. Although the visuals look better in docked compared to portable, the OLED screen made the colors pop, and a game I felt flowed better in portable mode with its chill vibe. So, the art and colors are very nice, and the vibrancy of the OLED screen is great, but the overall visuals and performance are not as great.
Now for the music and audio design of the game. Like I have said a couple of times, the game is one that has a chill vibe that has a nice musical score to go along with it. Most of the time, the music was of a calming and peaceful tune. The opening of the game on the main menu was a very upbeat and up-tempo song which I sometimes would just let play as it was pretty catchy. I enjoyed the music in the game, but when you played too much of one level, it got a little too repetitive for me to continue listening to it. I had to put on my own music or something else to listen to while exploring the different worlds. The music was definitely good overall despite being repetitive at times. The audio design was well done and worked great. I did have an audio bug once where Togges would come out but I wouldn’t hear any kind of noise from anything after placing them in the chain, so I had to restart the game for the sound to come back.
The performance was mostly solid but had a few stuttering moments where the game chugged to a slow halt. It didn’t happen often but when there was a lot going on it wouldn’t perform up to the expectations I had. The rest of the time it was a smooth performance and worked great. In terms of the visuals, there were fuzzy textures, somewhat bad pop-in if you move around the level too fast, and visual glitches such as the top of your vacuum being open even when it shouldn’t have been. Visually, it is definitely not a great looking game but for me, gameplay is always king. The visuals and performance weren’t the issues that took away from the overall experience so I could overlook them most of the time, but they aren’t the prettiest thing I’ve seen.
Speaking of bugs, there were a few bugs and issues I had throughout the game. One of my biggest issues was when I was pressing in on L3 to speed up, I was holding R2 which places the Togges, it wouldn’t always keep up with me. Sometimes I was holding both and the Togges wouldn’t place so I couldn’t do certain things. My second issue was how there would sometimes be graphical glitches or glitches where I couldn’t place Togges at all or suck them back up. I would have to exit the game and restart the game with all the progress of the level basically gone, minus the fruit and letters already collected. I had a third issue that happened at the end of the game where the final boss of the game, which is really the only boss, would not show up. I was waiting for 10 minutes and then finally decided to restart the game for it to hopefully appear. Lastly, I had a hard crash when I was playing on the first level. I hope there will be a patch to fix some of these bugs and issues as it did pull me out of the experience each time I had to restart the game.
Togges is definitely a good game that is very fun, but the Switch version has a lot of bugs. If you want to have a chill-out kind of adventure puzzle game, this will be right up your alley. If you want to support this indie team, you definitely should, and if the game looks like something you might enjoy then I suggest looking into a different platform. The Switch version has quite a few problems making it harder to recommend at the twenty-dollar price tag. I will probably be okay with the 26% completion for this game as of right now, but maybe one day I will find the urge to go back and play more. Togges is a game that’s about exploration and fun but is sometimes frustrating within the way it was designed and with some of the bugs that were present. Overall for an indie that had a small team and for the studio’s first game, I thought it was well done.
Review Score: 6.5/10