[PAX East] Two Nintendo Switch Co-op Adventures to Keep an Eye On

Written by Abram Buehner

Introducing: New Co-op Switch Games to Put on Your Radar

Recently, Derek Wright talked about a veritable smorgasboard of tantalizing multiplayer titles headed to Nintendo Switch. While you can check out his showcase of those five games right here, those only represent a fraction of the multiplayer titles making their way to the hybrid System. At PAX East, I was also able to get a taste of the action, as I saw two, exciting couch co-op titles headed to the system myself.

Bake n’ Switch: Everything You Knead to Know

The first title I checked out was Bake ‘n Switch from Streamline games. In essence, Bake ‘n Switch is a simple co-op action title. The crux of the experience involves picking up small, sentient balls of dough and tossing them into a gigantic oven to be cooked. Disregarding the oddly sacrificial undertones of Bake ‘n Switch, it’s a charming time. The game is visually satisfying. Its aesthetic is crisp and bubbly, complete with the aforementioned, wonderfully cute dough creatures. Its gameplay is satisfying as well, but to a lesser extent. From a mechanical perspective, things never get more complicated than running up to a dough creature, picking it up, and tossing it into another of its kind, or into the furnace. The former creates a bigger dough creature, which is worth more points. The latter of, course, is the final destination, and where points are collected. Each stage is time based, with stars being awarded based on how well your team does.

Admittedly, it was a strange experience and one that I need more time with to truly understand.  I enjoyed having to juggle different types of dough and different requests from the omniscient furnace kept my team on its toes. The gameplay just felt a little flat, though. There did seem to be a lot of moments where I could simply go on autopilot to fulfill my role, though, as with a full team of four, each person doesn’t have much to do. That said, as new mechanics such as flavoring the dough before baking it were added, I had to pay more attention to what I was doing. I hope that later stages in Bake n’ Switch incorporate more of complex mechanics and make this simple gameplay more tactile and mechanically engaging. As someone who has laughed and argued gleefully through both Overcooked games with friends and family, I hope that after spending more time with Bake ‘n Switch, this’ll rise up the ranks and become one of my go-to local multiplayer titles on Switch.

Dungeon Defenders Awakened: Towers and Tactics

I was also able to go hands on with Dungeon Defenders Awakened, an action, tower-defense hybrid title. The Dungeon Defenders series has quite a pedigree on other platforms, but Awakened marks the first instance of the franchise heading to a Nintendo platform. During my demo, I played solo and attempted to tackle one of the game’s missions on easy. I say attempted, however, because I lost. Now before you jump on me, it was my first time with the series, I was playing on PC, and I was nervous, okay? After my embarrassing showing, though, I got an opportunity to speak with a member of the Chromatic Games team who explained to me the game’s deceptively simple design.

Essentially, Dungeon Defenders Awakened pits up to a team of four players against wave after wave of monsters who trundle ever closer to key points on the map which need to be defended. Doing so requires two things I lacked when playing: an understanding of the mechanics and any semblance of strategy. My chat with the developer afterward illustrated to me just how flexible of an experience Dungeon Defenders Awakened is. The game is chock-full of customizability, from different player classes to traps that can be assembled during the build phase and hot-swapped between on the fly. Figuring out a hero and playstyle to learn the nuances of is imperative to success in Dungeon Defenders Awakened. So is teamwork, and considering the game has both online multiplayer and split-screen multiplayer, getting together some friends to bash monsters with should be no problem.

After talking with the developers and getting a better sense for how to play the game effectively, I better appreciated Dungeon Defenders Awakened. It’s a game with polished mechanics, a clean aesthetic, and plenty of customization.  I have no doubt I’ll be picking this one up and playing with my friends, if only to get my revenge after losing so terribly at PAX.

The Magic of Co-op

While the Switch is home to a vertible trove of local mutliplayer games already, an excellent co-op title is harder to find than one centered around competitive play. The kinetic energy of competetive couch multiplayer is simply electric. However, there is an entirely different magic to be found in coopertative multiplayer games. Grabbing a few friends and teaming up to overcome challenges elicits a sense of comraderie and fun that is unmatched. As such, seeing titles such as Bake n’ Switch and Dungeon Defenders Awakened posit bold and exciting cooperative experiences is great. You can expect plenty more coverage on both titles when they launch later in 2020.

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