Vulgar Knight
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Towaga Among Shadows Switch Review

Originally a mobile title, here’s a Towaga Among Shadows Switch review to prove that the Nintendo Switch is the port of call for, well, ports.

Praise the sun, for it’s the only thing to keep back Metnal and his goons. That’s right: I called them goons, and I ain’t afraid – light will prevail, and with Chimù at the helm, there’s nothing to worry about.

You can regulate your breathing again, since reading the news piece, as here is…

Towaga Among Shadows Switch Review

After reading the press on this title, I was keen to cast my eyes on Towaga Among Shadows for a longer duration than the trailer, and having now played the game, am equally impressed with the gameplay as much as I was with the presentation.

As touched upon before, the graphical approach is on par with animation classics such as Samurai Jack. If you’re from that era, the initial appearance might have you shedding a tear or joy or awe that anyone could make such a gorgeous looking game.

But as my wife says, looks aren’t everything. Wait a minute…

The controls in the game are as tight as a tiger, and it could be said that Towaga Among Shadows, from Sunnyside Games and Noodlecake Studios, has all the traits of an arcade classic. Simplicity is the order of the day as that is often the appeal of these games. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this is a mobile port – to some degree, it is, but it belongs on the Switch like gin is to juice.

So without further ado…

Towaga Among Shadows Switch review
Stand your ground! Source: PR

An Origin Story

As Chimù, you are the last line of defence for the Az’Kalar – the guardians of light and their plight against Metnal the Voidmonger and his Legion of Darkness.

The entire backstory and premise make Towaga Among Shadows feel like a companion piece to a popular TV series. In fact, pulling my best constipated Columbo face, I did some extensive research (Google searched a couple of pages) to see if this was a show I missed. Nope; pure unadulterated IP. That means intellectual property, I saw it on Law & Order.

Metnal is up to no good and looking to overthrow Chimù’s island home with these villains from the shadows. 

Primarily their attacks will come from the ground where Chimù is fixed to the ground and has to hold them off. Then getting to the penultimate phase of each area, the battle takes to the skies, giving a bit more free rein and you can fly about in the air, zapping baddies.

Through each stage are some dialogue entries – not many, but enough to lead the narrative in a particular direction, rescuing fellow guardians how shack in your cave, giving further insight to the history of the Az’Kalar.

Fight For Your Light To Party

So the battles will take place on the ground, featuring some stunning backdrops that include ice themes to mountainous terrain, with the final battles take place at the top of a pyramid.

While you can’t move from your position, there’s a 360º area to form your offensive, that is, wiggling the right stick. This offers pinpoint accuracy, and a continuous light beam will leave your palms, wiping out the lesser minions.

In addition to your beam, you also have the option to do magic. There are six spells in all, and only one can be equipped at a time, though with a few slight exceptions, they provide the same effect; breathing space to take out a smaller wave of shadows – using the ZL button.

Towaga Among the Shadows - Boundaries
Setting boundaries. Source: PR

For the sky sections, you use the same beam, but no magic (unless doing the survival sections). Instead, the left stick is used to move around, but it’s purely for evasion, not sightseeing as nothing exciting going on in the background.

Throughout each phase, there’s the opportunity to collect shards that can be used to upgrade abilities – such as your trusty beam, magic potency and health, among others.

Towaga Among Shadows is a bit stingy with shards, so the best way to power up is through the additional modes available, but if you’re having difficulty, there’s an assist mode that makes the story part of the game a breeze.

Gimme, Gimme

It doesn’t take too long to complete the main story, so what incentive is there to keep playing? The extra modes.

Survival mode is a lot of fun, but far from easy as the waves start off as they will continue: relentless.

There are two variants: one section for fighting atop one of the pyramids on the ground, the second in the air. The latter is perhaps the easier of the two when it comes to survival time as there’s the freedom to run – well, fly away, but there’s no let-up on the flurry of enemies.

For the die-hards, The Void Realm is a nightmare mode. There’s only 20 phases, but your power is significantly reduced, so this is perhaps best left until you’re getting some respectable scores in the survival sections.

Other than the upgrades, there are a few costumes to unlock through story progression and completing feats; i.e. hi-scores.

Plus it makes you look pretty.

Light and Soul of the Party

Towaga Among Shadows is stunning. It’s not too often I’m wiping my sleeves with gaming drool just from the presentation, but that’s the reality.

Still, get past the surface and what is there to the game? Well, it’s very repetitive, but that’s its nature. It’s supposed to be pick up and play, no-nonsense action. 

Towaga Among Shadows - Fly By
Fly by. Source: PR

The real goal here is perhaps like any decent shooter: leaderboards.

When I first started playing it, I was pleased to be climbing the ranks quite quickly, but at the game got more popular, so came the better scores, and it wasn’t long before I dropped into the pool of mediocrity.

That said, it didn’t remotely deter my experience as there’s something addictive and competitive about Towaga Among Shadows that guarantees another attempt to better your score.

While the story isn’t the driving force, the additional dialogue pieces, and the wealth of characters that you can go back and examine in the codex add to the package. This is a game that I foresee will be a go-to whenever I want something quick and measurable when it comes to getting better scores.

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