The Nintendo Switch seems to be a great platform for Indie Developers to drop their unique and often times fun games in the eShop. Hanjai Games decided to let their new and very innovate SHUMP, Dezatopia, hit the eShop. I have never been very good at SHUMPS, even on the Super Nintendo I could barely get through the first few levels of Gradius III. My parents had no idea what games to get me when I was little so they relied on the help of the person manning the counter.
The person that day was obviously a sadist offering advice to buy a SHUMP for an 11 year old. Thirty years later I’m still bad at these games, so bear with me if I complain a lot about my skills.
So the story of the game isn’t too deep or enthralling. The Earth was a normal place until Momoko discovered unusual creatures that lived below us. She decided to team up with them and merge our two civilizations and create the new world of Dezatopia. Akane and Aoba who were helping Momoko with her plans, until they discovered how diabolical they were are the protagonists. You control them on your harrowing journey in a fast ship mounted with four unique weapons, one for each direction on the compass.
The controls are interesting and you’re invited to play a tutorial to teach you all the bells and whistles of the ship. Unfortunately the font the developers chose is so difficult to read I missed some of the more important controls and tips. I learned a bit on the fly, but that still caused me to lose a few lives and continues. This is a difficult SHUMP that raises or lowers its difficulty in how well you play. I didn’t feel that it did that for me because I kept getting blown up over and over.
Basically the right thumbstick or the D-pad controls the ships movement. Up is up down is down and so on. All of the face buttons control a gun, these guns point in every direction; and you’ll need them to with the amount of enemies that swarm you.
The face button’s direction on the controller matches that of the direction the gun will shoot. You’re allowed to keep the guns firing at all times by pressing the L Button, so I kept mine firing constantly. That strategy helps when you are completely surrounded. A caveat though, all guns going at the same time severely slows your ship. For Boss Fights though, it doesn’t work too well. To defeat the bosses hold onto your Bombs and use them with the R Button.
To help you on your journey animals give you “thanks.” After destroying enemies you gather up these “thanks,” the more you gather the faster the “Shop” is available to you. The “Shop” is actually pretty neat, instead of pausing the gameplay a square surrounds your ship and you fly into the box that you would like to purchase. Game play does not get interrupted and you can slay as you shop. This makes everything a little bit easier for the avid consumer, but it does fill up the screen quite a bit, you might lose some health while doing this.
I love the old school style of this game, the graphics look like they’re pulled from my childhood with a slight sheen of HD. The pastel colors are great and the sprites of the enemies, the ammo, the explosions and the ship itself are all top notch. The music is also great, it is a nice poppy mix that is reminiscent of the easy days of MIDI music. I was jamming out to the beat as I got my butt kicked by the numerous enemies on the screen. The music never gets annoying and always is catchy, I really liked it.
The game has so much replayability as well. There are hidden areas in the vast 24 stages that unlock backstories, and new music in the Sound Test area. Always keep your eyes out for those, the more music you can listen to by HEY, the better.
If you are a fan of SHUMPS and stuck at home for the foreseeable future, like all of us, I would download this game from the eShop. You don’t have to leave your house to get it and it will take your mind off of all the madness that is in our world right now. It’s a fun, tight shoot ’em up that will entertain you for hours. Plus, you can hum the music in your head once you’re done with it.
An Indie SHUMP has fired its way onto the Nintendo Switch, but is it worth your trigger fingers?
- The look of the game is amazing
- I love the soundtrack
- Controls are pretty easy to handle once you figure them out.
- Gun variety is pretty sweet in this game.
- Tutorial is hard to read because of the font, both in docked mode and handheld.
- Due to the bad tutorial, you have to learn the controls on the fly; that makes it difficult.