In this Robbie Swifthand and the Orbs of Mysteries Switch review, I will aim to teach you breathing techniques and how to think happy thoughts so that you can return to a normal, healthy lifestyle after playing.*
If you hate yourself and like enduring relentless puzzles that will test your levels of patience and punish you for the slightest mistake with a spike through the eye or electrocuting your genitals to make them feel alive again (if you’re married), then you’ve come to the right place.
A platform/puzzle title, this game genuinely will test your abilities and occasionally, just occasionally, make you laugh at your hopeless endeavours.
Robbie Swifthand and the Orbs of Mysteries Switch Review
Robbie Swifthand and the Orbs of Mysteries sounds like an Amiga title, and for many reasons, it is an Amiga title. Yes, I have an affinity with Commodore’s finest since Lionel Richie left.
The presentation, style of play and even the controls resemble an early 90s title, but the movement is swift (heh), and unfortunately responsive. I say ‘unfortunately’ as that would have been my excuse for the inconceivable deaths I’ve witnessed, but the blame lies with me.
Though to some degree, the game is incredibly challenging, and in that case, it’s on Pixel Reign (Twitter link).
We find ourselves waking up as the titular character when an ethereal entity informs Robbie that he needs to save humanity. A bit of an anti-hero, this doesn’t precisely pique his interest, but as there are riches involved, he steps up to the challenge.
You could say he’s the world’s greatest burglar since McDonalds’ Hamburglar, only the former isn’t a show pony and could half-inch the pants off a Victoria Secrets’ model before stepping up to the catwalk.
He’s not remotely likeable as he’s a thief, and you know that he’s a proper villain as he wears a mask. If he had a pencil moustache and swag bag thrown over his shoulders, he’s indeed a stereotype.
Before long, however, you’re soon sympathising with the tea leaf as he’s cut by spinning wheels, falls to his death or poked violently by sharp pointy things, but that’s only after swearing at the TV/Switch screen.
Forbgive The Shoehorning Of The Word Orb
The orbs of the title are what you have to collect. Robbie finds these scattered across the stages, and you need to pick these up to open the next pathway.
There’s a map overview for each area, punctuated but a hard-as-nails boss at the end, and you have the opportunity to choose your preferred path.
Most of the time these aren’t linear in that you pick one path and that’s it. A lot of the time, I would find myself getting stuck on a level and backtracking to go another (hopefully) easier route, but that was never the case. Despite the option to change the difficulty setting, the game is pretty hardcore. You know the score.
Jumping back to the orbs, and you will be doing a lot of jumping, you can pick them up and carry them with you, but often you have to throw them to a higher ground to open the path.
Sometimes you can jump and throw and hope for the best, other times you’ll be visualising a trajectory, in the hope that the orb will rebound in the right direction. More often than most, you’ll drop the orb, or it’ll fall to the abyss, and you have to go back to the respawn point to pick it up again. Ack!
If you hold the button for longer, you can get a more powerful throw, or tap the button for a feeble drop. The latter works on many of the maps, but expect to cover travel one side of a stage to the other to collect an orb, then head back to the starting point to move forward without dropping the orb or getting killed.
Death in Robbie Swifthand and the Orbs of Mysteries is child’s play, and if you want a sense of achievement by killing him over and over again, you can do so with ease.
Each time Robbie dies, a hologram/spirit lies as a placeholder to remind you not to do it again, but it’s fate. Sometimes you’ll miscalculate a jump and other times will be a trap that is triggered from nowhere such as the equivalent of a garden rake, yet designed by Frank West of Dead Rising fame.
The challenges in this 2D platform game are the hazards, as there are no enemies other than the bosses. Not that you need them. You’d think that a game where the environment was the only real challenge, it could get boring, but if Jump King can do it, Robbie Swifthand and the Orbs of Mysteries can.
Just be prepared to have a hell of a lot of deaths. By the time I had beaten my first boss/guardian (bloody hard is an understatement), I had clocked up 90 deaths. Not that I was sitting with a notepad and pen, but each death results in a black screen with a death counter in red.
Indiana Jones If He Went Rogue
Robbie Swifthand is not remotely likeable. He’s selfish, and that’s clear with his response to the story as all he wants is the loot. Still, that’s the character and not the game.
When it comes to gameplay, it’s pretty tight, but the difficulty setting may put off the more casual player or those who lack the patience where they may be spending 20 minutes on one level.
But, there are choices available when it comes to the path you take, and you can drag it out by completing all stages (not a requirement) or take the direct route. Though that also isn’t the fastest route as the endless pendulums, spikes and electrocutions will keep you grounded.
Robbie is a mere thief, so he doesn’t have abilities as such. When you defeat a guardian, however, you do get a perk here and there – notably, the boots that allow you to double jump. This is an absolute godsend for a platform game and will enable you to go back to past levels and reach areas previously inaccessible.
If you dare.
* There won’t be only breathing exercises. You’re on your own.