EQQO review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nakana.io
Developer: Parallel Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It?s clear that a lot of love went into EQQO. It?s the story of a blind boy carrying an egg on an epic journey, and every single moment of the game is pretty touching. EQQO is narrated by the boy?s mother, and the voice acting is absolutely perfect — you can hear the affection in her voice as she talks about his challenges and obstacles, and it makes it incredibly easy to root for him as he carries the egg through valleys and temples and all kinds of other breathtaking environments. From that perspective alone, EQQO is a huge success.

Unfortunately, I can?t help but feel letdown by how it plays. EQQO can be finished in well under five hours, but the controls were so lousy that it felt like a lot longer. All I wanted to do was appreciate what I was seeing on screen, only the awful camera kept dragging me out of the immersion. I get that the developers wanted to use the Switch?s gyroscope, but making it so that your view would move any time you moved the system seems like a terrible idea.

To their credit, they also allow you to use thumbsticks and touch controls, both of which work well in isolation. Unfortunately, they tend to be working at the same time, along with the gyroscope. The results are, quite literally, dizzying. No matter how long you play EQQO, you?ll constantly feel like you?re fighting with the game and its awkward controls.

The bright side of that, I guess, is that you don?t notice how boring the puzzles are. I mean, I give EQQO a lot of credit for keeping things basic and allowing the on-screen action to function without ever having to explain itself too much. Unfortunately, it works that well because there?s really not much of a challenge here.

In normal circumstances, that might not be the worst thing in the world: it could allow you to focus on the game?s essentials, and in EQQO?s case, that theoretically means focusing players on its utterly delightful story. Unfortunately, however, the reality is that the most notable thing about EQQO isn?t the story or its characters, it?s the absolutely awful controls. No matter how adorable the game is, or how much love went into it, those controls are really its defining feature, and in this case, they drag everything else down with them.

Nakana.io provided us with an EQQO Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-