Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl review - this charming RPG might not leave you feeling satisfied
Ever played an RPG that makes you hungry? You have now...
From 'Minestrone Mines' to 'Gumbo Grotto' and the 'Shrine of Shishkebob', Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl doesn't mess about when it comes to squeezing every last tasty morsel out of its smorgasbord of foody play on words. And the game itself is a veritable feast.
In a nutshell, Snack World is a wacky but charming RPG dreamscape, built entirely on different types of things we love to stick in our gobs.
What's the game about?
For those unfamiliar with the Level-5 game, the storyline drops you in after your village is invaded and you become a heroic adventurer, seeking revenge against the villainous Sultan Vinegar.
The concept? You crawl through randomly generated dungeons in your search for treasure and get to join forces with up to three other players in local or online multiplayer.
Players can customise their avatar's hair, eyes, mouth, body - pretty much everything - before heading out on their adventure, due to suffering from amnesia at the gates of Tutti Frutti.
You can equip your character with weapons, shields, healing tonics and status-buffing colognes with randomised effects that can be shrunk down for ease of carrying. You are then able to switch them on the go, depending on which enemies you face.
You can summon quirky creatures (snacks) and kooky characters to help you in battle with the idea being you can collect and trade snacks and jaras with your real-life friends, Pokemon style.
The premise is pretty simple, the more you achieve while out on quests, the more chests you'll earn. And side quests make for a nice change of pace, even if they do add a certain element of grind.
Boss fights often descend into maddeningly unavoidable deaths, repetition and grind
With the Switch's Gold edition you get all the downloadable content released for the original Japanese version included, free of charge.
Will you be hooked?
Those who play SWTDC cannot help but be charmed. It's like an RPG with an Overcooked theme, and the graphics and art direction are cool.
I'm not sure it will keep me playing long term, however - once you heard one or two food puns, the novelty quickly starts to wear off.
The crowning achievement is the freedom to experiment, which means you can have lots of fun trying out different loadouts. This makes for exciting combat and addictive battle action throughout.
But, beyond that SWTDC, does not have too much else going for it. The storyline and jokes suffer from feeling a touch forced and, like I said, the cheesy humour of the Gorgonzola ruins only stays funny for so long.
Grind without reward
Boss fights proved a particular frustration for me. What should be exciting, climactic action often descends into maddeningly unavoidable deaths and yet more repetition and grind.
Of course a certain level of grinding is necessary and to be expected in any RPG of this nature. But the big letdown here is that it rarely feels truly rewarding.
I have seen reports of game-breaking bugs, but am yet to experience anything of note myself, beyond the boss fight annoyances.
Overall, this fruity platter of randomness delivers a charming and fun experience, but isn't built to last or deliver a memorable or meaningful gaming journey.