Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Version Reviewed: eShop download
No. of Players: up to 4 Players
Release Date: April 12, 2018 (JP) / February 14, 2020 (EU & NA)
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold is based on a popular anime and toy line and a 3DS game primarily popular in Japan. It first started out as a Manga that ran between 2016 and 2018. It was developed into an anime series by Level-5 and has aired on Tokyo TV, Cartoon Network and Crunchy Roll.
The first entry in the series was Snack World: Trejarers (スナックワールド トレジャラーズ Sunakku Wārudo Torejarāzu and launched on the 3DS in Japan back in August 2017. It later released on the Nintendo Switch in April 2018 in Japan and saw an enhanced port in November 2019. It wasn’t until February 2020 did it see release in the West on Nintendo Switch as Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold.
You start out on your adventure like any competent RPG creating your character and waking up in a town that needs your help. The game consists of main storyline quests and side quests that are used to build up your endurance, skills, and other ‘standard fare’ for games in this genre. The world is overrun by monsters, known as snacks, which you will encounter throughout the game with opportunities to have them join your team for a short period of time. The story is easily forgettable as oftentimes you are sent on quests to recover an item for Princess Meolnia or other townsfolk, only to be sidetracked easily with sidequests and building up your team in the process.
Your central hub world Tutti-Fruitti acts as the starting point for your journey as well as the basis for many of your teammate encounters as you build out your growing entourage during the campaign. The world has a lot of food names and puns that you will need to remember as you will oftentimes be sent out on specific quests in those areas to build up your team, by defeating enough of one enemy which you can then add to your team.
The main fighting in the game is ‘Go here. Do this dungeon crawling,’ hack and slash gameplay. It’s not ideal, in my opinion, but the short-burst style level makes it easy to pick up and play a bit and put down, without getting too repetitive. I did find myself playing through the game over the portion of a few weeks though as the overall gameplay loop wasn’t engrossing or endearing as I had hoped like most RPGs tend to lean into.
In fact, the gameplay of Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold, makes a bit of a mockery of RPGs in general, with puns or jokes seemingly taking jabs at the genre or certain troupes in ways that made me smile and laugh out loud, even if they were making fun of great RPGs.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
As you play the game you will come across many quests and side quests which you can choose which to take on. While you go through the dungeons you will need to equip weapons which are best for the mission that lies ahead, or let the computer auto-assign you the best weapons for the job. While fighting you may need to switch out the different weapons you will use as your tools will slowly deplete in their Jara Points or JP. This method of requiring you to try different weapon combinations while also being mindful of what items you are using was a unique twist on that gameplay element.
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold features dozens of quests and side quests to keep you busy, as well as special items to find, weapons to upgrade, and enemies to turn to your side. There are also randomized dungeons so even if you die in a quest you won’t see the same dungeon the next time you return. Enemies are also plentiful and varied, not just in attack styles, but also in look. There are a ton of creative designs that add to the flair the game has.
On top of the enemies that can join your team, and the JP you need to keep using your favorite weapons there’s a large assortment of gear that you can apply to your character boosting their armor, strength, and more, which also can change depending on the color of the gear, but I found that system to be difficult to get in, and easy to disregard as the cost of items and gear is high and the game doesn’t really give you a ton of money as you complete quests.
Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold is a bit like a sugary drink when it comes to audio. There are beats and bops within the world that will have you toe-tapping along. There’s plenty of enemy and NPC audio as well and even your character can have a certain voice added to them when they fight. The characters jabber in an animal crossing-like speak, with a few exclamatory lines of dialogue from time to time.
As you defeat enemies many of them have a death sound byte, which can be hilarious, though hearing that enemy die over and over can get boring quickly. The game world has tunes that play along your quest, but nothing is too memorable. One song that stands out is the catchy opening title song.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
What makes Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl – Gold stand out is the game’s visuals. The characters and enemies all look great and feel like a 3D rendered Saturday morning cartoon. Many characters are detailed and textures look good as well. The isometric view of the world is helped by the moveable camera, as I found in some areas there were often trees or rocks obscuring my view. The hub world is also nice and detailed, though I did find it a chore to run around in. Thankfully for the gamer, there are jump spots you can teleport to from the menu on your phone.
I didn’t notice too many dips in framerate except maybe a few boss battles that had a lot of flashes and enemies on screen at one time. I played primarily docked to the tv, and the performance held up for the most part even during the largest battles.
If you’re looking for a fun RPG game with a lot of systems that can easily overwhelm, but that is something you like, Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold may just be what you’re looking for. There’s a variety of enemies and having them join your team in Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl does make for a unique twist in the RPG genre.
I do think though, that many fans of the genre will find the systems to be layered in weird ways that don’t often make sense or are more frustrating than fun. There’s not a lot that is here that I found longlasting unless of course, you are a fan of the series and a fan of oddball, quirky RPGs.
The sugar coating of Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl– Gold‘s puns, visuals, and game play wears thin, at least for me, quite quickly. While the game is fun, it’s not fantastic and does have a reason to return to its world once the game is done.
THE VERDICT: 6/10
*A download key was provided by the Publisher for the purposes of this review
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