Game: Regina & Mac World
Genre: Action, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer|Publisher: Diplodocus Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $3.99 | UK £ TBC | EU € TBC
Release Date: May 28th, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Diplodocus Games
Several games are released on what seems like a weekly basis on the eShop. There’s a lot of competition out there for developers, which means releasing a quality product is essential in order to stand out from the crowd. Sadly, some games release regularly on Nintendo Switch lack quality and are really not ready to be sold. Regina & Mac World is one of those games. Let’s get the red marker pen and markdown why this game is just not very good.
A Dinosaur, a Parrot and Bat Walk Into a Game
Regina & Mac World is a 2D platformer. You play as a dinosaur with a parrot on its shoulder, with the simple goal of getting to the end of 100 levels. But it’s very unlikely you will even get part of the way through this game before becoming frustrated.
The story is presented in terrible text boxes, failing to really make you interested in the characters. Mac is a dinosaur, Regina is a parrot and there’s a bat called Macbat who needs some help. I guess this could all be forgiven if the game was playable. Alas, it is not.
Dinosaurs and Bats
The game is a 2D platformer where you play as the dinosaur. The game throws several moves at you all at once. You can jump, sprint, slide, jump off walls all the normal things you tend to find in this genre. But, you’re not broken into any of these mechanics gently. The game gives you hint text boxes from a static koala, then just expects you to get on with it rather than designing a competent level to get you used to things first.
Additionally, the controls just don’t work. Often feeling jerky and just uncomfortable to use. A level early on required you to jump off spikes, yes spikes to reach higher platforms. You then need to jump off walls onto spikes to then dash to higher platforms. All this sounds like a standard affair for difficult platformers but I constantly felt like I was fighting the controls. The game is very unforgiving with death coming far too quickly forcing you right back to the beginning of the level to attempt the tedious slog all over again. Many times I just wanted to shut the game off and never play again.
As well as the dinosaur you also play one level at the world where you play as a bat. In these sections the bat is in constant motion flying to the right. You need to hold a jump button down to make the bat fly upwards whilst avoiding hitting the platforms and hazards. You can also speed the bats speed up if you want to make the experience even harder. One hit and it’s back to the start again so you need to get your rhythm right. It feels very similar to popular old mobile game Flappy Bird. While it was a good idea to mix things up from the dinosaur segments it didn’t reduce my stress levels when playing the game.
The first world of this game is your typical grass green environment that we have seen so many times before. The game feels like it borrows many mechanics from much more competent and playable platformers. You can hit blocks to find gems and power-ups just like Super Mario Brothers.
You can find a pogo stick power-up that allows you to bounce on spikes that feels a lot like Ducktales on the NES (or the pretty good remake from Wayforward that was released to ps3, Xbox 360 and WiiU). You can also find a shield which allows you to take a additional hit. Regina & Mac World never makes an effort to create an identity of its own.
The graphics are just awful. Your main sprite lacks proper animations as well as proper arms. I guess they were trying to go for the Rayman look only here it makes the character just look unfinished. The red blob on your shoulders is supposed to be a parrot but seems a bit odd as it just statically sits there doing nothing.
The level design is boring, just the usual generic platforms we have come to know many times over and surprise another game with buzzsaws in it (and if you’re used to my work you know how much I love those). Ok, its not just buzzsaws. Sometimes there are blobs of paint that float about. There is a happy tune playing in the background as you fight with the controls but it did not settle any of the stress and frustration I felt playing this game.
Not Ready for Release
I really struggled to actually find anything I liked about this game. The entire game feels like a developer’s first draft. I understand how hard game development is, I have had some experience in that field briefly myself. But games like this really should not be released for sale on Switch in the state they’re in. It’s hard to believe someone looked at this game and thought this was suitable to be released.
Every aspect of this game, from its controls to art design feels like it needs to be closely looked at before it is ready for for gamers. I understand all developers need to start somewhere but when there are so many other better platformers out there (some sold even cheaper) it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s released in the best quality possible.
Conclusion – Not my World
Regina & Mac World is not a good game. Awful art design, terrible controls and generic design make this 2D platformer near impossible to recommend to anyone. This game was unpleasant to play in every aspect. Unless extensive patches are done later down the road I would avoid this at all costs.
Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It