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Nintendo Switch Game Review

Space War Arena


Format: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Playchemy
Developer: Playchemy
Click here to buy -
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 28 February 2019

Space War Arena, for the Nintendo Switch, is a game with a simple premise but with brilliant execution. The game is a space combat simulator and was developed by Playchemy...

review imageFollowing a devastating galactic war, lone surviving sentient battle stations continue to combat one another. Through combat they can evolve their capabilities. You can build up to twenty types of ship, all of which can be evolved into more powerful versions. The object of the game is to destroy the enemy base before they destroy you.

As you progress through the game, more vehicle types are made available, but you can only bring eight into any single battle. There is a further restriction, although you can choose eight, only four of those will be available at any one time during the battles. If you go toe to toe with only heavy weapons it will take you too long to launch new vehicles.

Nukes are great but rely on them and you’ll find that your ship has been destroyed by less powerful but more plentiful smaller craft. This creates a deck-like structure to your resources. Add to this a further restriction on your resources, which are finite, forcing you into being careful what you bring into action, as different weapon types take differing times to construct, then you have real depth to the gameplay.

review imageAfter several training missions you get straight into head to head battle. The play area has your ship on the right with your enemy on the left. Your view is top down, and the battle takes place on a single screen. Each ship releases units in real time and you can place your units anywhere in your half of the screen and direct units to particular targets. Eventually all surviving ships will head to the enemy base to attack, but you must be careful not to place them too far into the game area or they may well ignore incoming enemy craft, leaving you vulnerable.

The game works well in both handheld mode, there is a nice addition to this in that you can use your finger to drag and drop units. This makes deployment both easier and quicker. In a game built on speed this can be a godsend. It does work well with a controller in the dock, but the handheld mode provides the better experience.

While the premise seems simple, there is a deep layer of both strategy and time restriction which makes playing the game compelling. There is a story of sorts but it’s really the joy of sending your units out to destroy the enemy base which will have you coming back for more.


Charles Packer

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