Anarcute review for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PC, Xbox One
Publisher: Plug In Digital
Developer: Anarteam
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Anarcute won?t win any awards for originality. It?s basically a reskinned version of Pikmin, only instead of repairing a spaceship or helping aliens explore a planet, you?re controlling a group of animal-people overthrow an evil corporatocracy.

The lure of the game, however, is in that reskinning. As the game?s name implies, there?s a big focus on cuteness. Thus, those aforementioned animal-people are, as you?d guess, absurdly cute. Octopi, fish, rabbits, alligators…they?re all represented, with lots more animals besides, and all of them are about as cute as you could possibly imagine, with their big eyes and exaggerated features.

On top of that, the world they inhabit is a riot (pardon the pun) of colour. You have five cities to liberate, and all of them pop off the screen in vivid detail. What?s more, they seem distinct from each other — Tokyo is different from Paris, and both are different from Miami. It gives each world its own personality, and it makes it easy to get sucked in by the overall charm.

It?s just too bad that the originality doesn?t extend to the gameplay. If you?ve played one level in Anarcute, you?ve played them all: you control the mob, you beat up the police, you liberate the animals trapped in cages. While there?s some challenge to be had in figuring out the best route to take through each level, and there are some extra powers to be gained once the mob reaches certain sizes (my favourite being the ability to knock over buildings), the game mostly shows you everything it has to offer very early on.

And that?s fine, if you?re okay with repetitive gameplay served up with some adorable aesthetics. There are far worse ways to pass the time than by grinning at the sight of a mob of alligators and fish shoving over a building. But don?t go into Anarcute expecting something revolutionary on the gameplay side, because you?re not going to find that here.

Plug In Digital provided us with an Anarcute Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-