I just finished playing Squidlit on Switch. Here’s what I thought of it, my opinions about the game and how it left me feeling once I was done.
The LookFirst thing’s first, credit where it’s due. Squidlit Ink set themselves the challenge of creating a modern game based entirely on the limitations of the original Game Boy. That includes colour palette, sound and (I believe) memory. They absoutely nailed it. It sits in a 4:3 window and with the optional background turned off you could totally believe you were playing it on the 30 year old handheld.
The FeelThe controls are tight and it feels just like a classic 2D platformer to play. You only have two controls – jump and an ink blob that you can fire straight down to attack enemies from above. They work well for every enemy and obstacle that you’ll encounter along the way. One of the boss fights plays out as a side-scrolling shooter, which I also thought was a really cool idea.
The Thing Is…
My main take away from Squidlit is that it’s unfortunately too short and too easy. I was expecting at least a couple of hours worth of gameplay, but it totalled maybe 45 minutes start to finish and I only died a couple of times. I don’t think this is because of the GameBoy mantra that the developers were working to, since tons of other equally-detailed games back in the 90s were way longer than this. So I have to assume it’s just because that’s how long it took to tell the story they wanted.
I respect that, but at the same time they could have expanded on some of the ideas a lot more. The side-scrolling shooter section – for example – is seen one time and then never again. I’m sure they could have gotten away with adding a couple more stages before the mechanic started to get tired.
It’s also possible that I missed some secrets. I don’t know if there are any – I also feel like I explored as much of the levels as I could – but it’s possible that there’s some hidden stuff in there that I just missed.
Final ThoughtsSquidlit is a good little platformer, probably more suited to younger kids due to the simplicity and length of the game. I definitely don’t think it’s bad, but I just wish they’d expanded on some of the ideas a bit more.
Check out some of my other Final Thoughts here!