Game review: Giga Wrecker Alt. promises a smashing time

There’s a strong Metroidvania element to Giga Wrecker, where you constantly gain new blueprints to make additional objects out of your collected debris, from harpoons to trampolines, and unlock new abilities and upgrades via a skill tree. It’s a fun set-up and although all you’re doing most of the time is trying to get to a switch the various puzzles in your way are interestingly convoluted, as you try to work out a way to both create a path and smash robots – all of which have their own peculiar abilities and vulnerabilities.

Unfortunately, the terrible visuals often make it difficult to even tell where your character is, especially in handheld mode, and the problem is exacerbated by the skittish and imprecise controls that make the platforming a chore. Quite often you’ll create a way through using collapsed rubble or manufactured objects and then can’t quite make the jump – but it’s often unclear whether the jump is impossible or the controls failed you at the last.

This all culminates in some hugely frustrating boss battles, frustrating not just because it’s difficult to see where you are and properly control your character but because many of the ideas are very clever in the way in which they use the game’s various mechanics against you.

Giga Wrecker is a game full of good ideas but the execution is absolutely awful. Given the success of Pokémon, Game Freak should have access to almost infinite funds when it comes to this sort of side project but instead this looks and plays like some failed Kickstarter where the author tried to finish everything up with zero funding. A bigger budget doesn’t necessarily make a better game, but the lack of support has wrecked the chances of this being anything other than a minor curio.

Giga Wrecker Alt.

In Short: Creators of Pokémon or not, some interesting ideas can’t override the terrible execution in this staggeringly ugly 2D platformer.

Pros: The central gameplay concepts are good and the more puzzle-based set pieces can be a lot of fun. Extensive range of power-ups and new abilities.

Cons: Bafflingly poor visuals that actively make the game harder and more frustrating. Imprecise and inflexible controls. Puzzles eventually become repetitive.

Score: 5/10

Formats: Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, and PlayStation 4
Price: £22.49
Publisher: Rising Star Games
Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 2nd May 2019
Age Rating: 7

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