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Headland review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Northplay
Developer: Northplay
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Headland is a bit of a departure for developer Northplay. Prior to this game, they’d specialized in casual games like Fly Together! and Conduct Together! I should clarify, of course, that I don’t mean “casual” in a derogatory way – Fly Together! was excellent, and Conduct Together! has been sitting in my backlog forever – but rather, in the sense that they’re both basically mobile games that capture the simple addictiveness that typifies the best of the genre.

Headland is a little more complicated. It’s a hack & slash RPG where you’re trying to save the world and literally bring back a little colour after some bad guys stole it all.

And it’s…fine. It works exactly as it should, but it’s completely lacking in inspiration. You enter an area, you slash away at the monsters, you move on to the next area. There’s nothing here that hasn’t been done before, and done much better.

I realize that’s not exactly the most detailed critique, but that’s emblematic of the bigger issue here: there’s nothing in Headland that sticks with you long enough to give you strong feelings towards it. The bad guys are generic. The environments are forgettable. The combat is mostly just button-mashing – though if I’m making specific criticisms, I was mildly annoyed when I’d get swarmed by enemies and I couldn’t get through my hacking and/or slashing animation quickly enough to take them all on, and I’d die pretty quickly.

But that was only the mildest annoyance imaginable, since, again, there’s nothing here that’s likely to get you very worked up. Headland is functional, and not much else. It’s not going to be the worst thing you’ve ever played by any stretch of the imagination, but given how many other good games are out there, I don’t see why you’d want to waste your time here.

Northplay provided us with a Headland Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+

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