Mighty Switch Force 2, like its predecessor, is two games in one. The first is a thoughtful puzzler that tasks you with creating a safe route through hazards and enemies using a weapon and the ability to instantly shift platforms from background to foreground. The second is a test of twitch platforming skill and memory, as you negotiate the same obstacles at speed in a race to beat a demanding par time. That much at least is unchanged; those who were disappointed only in the first game’s brevity will be happy to play through another 16 stages assembled with equal parts deviousness and intelligence. We had, however, hoped for a little more invention than WayForward demonstrates here.
Rather than developing the original’s ideas, it’s content to simply reuse them. Zipping around via a network of boost tiles no longer carries the same thrill, and though squeezing the shoulder button as a monster passes by a translucent platform remains one of the most deliciously cruel ways to dispose of an enemy, repeating the trick diminishes its impact.
The new water gun, meanwhile, is a qualified success. It’s responsible for the game’s most ingenious moments, as you rearrange blocks to guide jets of water through narrow channels, washing away muddy obstacles or nudging enemies off platform edges. Yet it lacks the precision of a laser pistol, proving disruptive to the flow of a game that demands something approaching perfection. And with stages both longer and harder than the original, we suspect fewer players will persevere with MSF2’s second game once they’ve beaten the first.
Mighty Switch Force 2 is out now on 3DS eShop.