[Review] STANDBY – Nintendo Switch

Written by Lewis Petch
  • Developer: Noclip
  • Publisher: HypeTrain Digital
  • Release Date: 01/08/2019
  • Price: £4.49 / $4.99
  • Review code provided by: HypeTrain Digital

Review Incoming, Please STANDBY

Platformers are such a popular genre of video game and have been for decades, this means that the market is full of them and players have plenty to choose from. Platformers can vary from 2D to 3D. From relaxing to so fast paced and brutal that it makes you want to hurl a controller at the designer’s head (please don’t do that). In a market with so many options, is there room for another?

STANDBY is a 2D precision platformer that makes use of a varied set of actions, consisting of using a combination of jumping, sliding, dashing, and shooting in order to beat the game’s 54 levels of varying difficulty.

Easy to Learn, Hard to Master

STANDBY has fairly simple gameplay at its core, it makes use of only a small moveset. These actions in themselves are easily performed for the most part, and the first couple of levels are relatively straight forward. Difficulty quickly ramps up as the levels progress and you are required to perform a variety of actions in quick succession, this is what makes this game tricky to master.

One by one the game tasks you with beating a series of challenging stages with a different range of obstacles each time. The levels are fairly short, however due to the limited move set, they do unfortunately start to feel a little samey at times. On top of that, while the movement can be very satisfying and fluid, there are times when the levels and actions you need to perform are somewhat confusing.

Throughout the levels you will be sliding over dangerous ground, wall jumping up platforms, shooting your way through destructable walls, and more. In STANDBY, the focus is on your reactions to these obstacles coming at you at a quick pace.

The game also includes a speedrun mode for speedrunners, which is almost exactly the same, with the only difference being that it keeps track of your time without the need for third party time keeping software.

Basic, Yet Fitting

Visually, the game isn’t much to look at. The levels are mostly made up of flat, contrasting colours with some gradient use in the backgrounds. For this type of game, this art style is perfectly acceptable, but is certainly nothing remarkable.

Sound design in this game is consistent and of a fairly high quality. The sounds responding to user input and actions have impact and make the game feel responsive, which is vital in a fast paced, precision platformer. Thankfully it succeeds here. The music is constant heavy EDM. While this may not be my music style of choice and it started to get irritating after a while, I do feel it matched the quick action and speed of the game very well.

Good to Go

I did not encounter any noticable bugs or issues during my playthrough. The game ran smoothly, and nothing frustrating or gamebreaking occurred. Being a game with a very basic art style, the game looks consistently good in both handheld and docked, so feel free to play your preferred way.

End of Review Incoming, Please STANDBY

Standby is a solid 2D precision platformer. Simple at it’s core, it makes good use of its mechanics to add difficulty and make the game challenging, but doable with persistence. The game is unfortunately held back just a little by a spattering of confusing levels and repetitive design. Simple artstyles like this aren’t for everyone, but there is nothing particularly wrong with the style that STANDBY puts forward, it’s just personal preference. If you are looking for a decent and inexpensive platformer, STANDBY is definitely worth a try.

Pros

  • Fun, fast paced platforming
  • Easy to get into
  • Competent art style
  • Fitting sound design

Cons

  • Some confusing levels
  • A little repetitive at times
  • Music may start getting on your nerves

Verdict
STANDBY is a competent platformer that provides some good fun, but brings nothing exceptional to the table.
3.5/5

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