Game: 32 Secs
Genre: Action, Racing, Arcade
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Mobile)
Developer|Publisher: isTom Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: UK £22.49 | US $ 25.00 | EU € 25,00
Release Date: May 27th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to isTomGames
Mobile games coming to Nintendo Switch is not a new thing. There is a wide range of quality titles lost in the sea of mobile games that get a second chance of being spotted by moving to consoles. It also must give the developers a huge sense of achievement since so many make their start in mobile development these days. One of the mistakes I often see is developers simply port the game, call it a day and expect that to be enough.
Sure the Switch has touch capabilities but it’s still its own platform and until I can order a takeaway off my Switch I won’t consider it on the same level as a mobile. Today’s developer is one of those exceptions to the rule. 32 secs has the spirit of a mobile game but developers have made an ample job of reworking the title to suit the Switch. Plus it’s a game where you ride a cyberpunk-like a motorcycle, what’s not to be interested in?
Get on Your Bike
In 32 Secs you play as a slick futuristic motorcycle. Graphically the game looks pretty neat. There’s a pleasant neon cyberpunk feeling to the city and other vehicles on the road do feel appropriately futuristic with a decent soundtrack to accompany it. Your goal is to ride around the city completing lots of little mini-missions in order to obtain more coins and cash to upgrade your motorcycle. You repeat the process until you get distracted by something else like work or your dog who really needs you to take it for that walk.
When you begin the game you are presented with the city map and you click on various nodes to start a mission. But in order to unlock more missions, you need to click on an area of the map filled with unmarked missions. You select a destination that highlights it, a bit like a sat nav, then you get on your bike and travel to the destination.
In this free play mode, you simply have to ride your bike to the destination without crashing into other vehicles. As you make your way you can collect coins, data cubes and pick up the odd powerup to make your ride a little easier. If you do crash it’s not a big deal as you simply resume where you left off not losing any progress made. If you crash in a mission though, you, unfortunately, have to restart it from the start.
The game plays a lot like an endless runner. Your bike is constantly moving forward. By using the touch controls or buttons you can move your bike into different lanes on the road to avoid large and dangerous vehicles. You can also move your bike into enemy bikes and drones in order to gain additional coins and cubes. These crashes are pretty satisfying, just be careful not to accidentally crash into another vehicle.
As you travel through levels you gain more nitro boosts which you can activate at the tap of a button and also slow your bike down or speed it up in order to avoid some unfortunate accidents. Generally, the controls work pretty well but the manoeuvring between road lanes doesn’t feel as smooth as it should. It felt a little better using the D-pad or analogue stick but swiping with the touch controls just felt a bit sluggish.
Mission Variety and Upgrades
As for missions, these come in a decent variety. You might need to take down a certain number of enemy bikes or drones, position yourself carefully behind vehicles and hack them or travel across a golden or blue road for a short period. Often you need to complete more than one mission to finish it. When you make any progress in free riding or in the missions you gain experience.
Often the police will take note of your bad driving and you need to boost away with nitro or boost points on the road to avoid capture. These police chases can be particularly irritating when you’re trying to complete missions at the same time. As you level up you can begin more challenging missions and take on these sort of boss characters where you have to complete multiple missions before taking down an enemy vehicle.
Upgrades and new bikes are not available from the start of the game. You have to continue to explore the city looking for blue nodes where you need to complete a small mission to permanently unlock it. This is usually where your expendable cash will be spent but expect to spend a lot of time grinding to afford the bike of your dreams or being able to make your bike hack fractionally quicker. I spent a long time grinding and upgrading the default bike but it didn’t really feel significantly different. I guess you can dress your bike up in a different colour which is kinda neat.
Mobile To Console
32 Secs is another title ideal for the busy gamer who doesn’t have a lot of time to spend. You can attempt a few missions and put it away to get on with your day. With a simple control scheme and no story to take in, the game is easy to dip in and out of. The original mobile version of the game was free to play with in-app purchases. For this release, all of these elements are removed and the package is complete.
So a single fee for the game includes the entire experience, which will be welcome news to some. My main niggle is that it still suffers from that cursed mobile grinding feeling. It’s also particularly frustrating later in the game, when you have really long missions where you have to restart the long slog again after a single crash.
Conclusion – Easy Rider
32 Secs is one of the better mobile to Nintendo Switch ports but some elements feel like they could use more polish. Controls feel a little stiff and the upgrade system just doesn’t feel as effective as it should. Still, it is probably one of the best motorbike style games I have played on the Nintendo Switch that doesn’t include the usual chap with a moustache.
Final Verdict: I Like It