Review Darkest Hunters (Switch)

Game: Darkest Hunters
Genre: Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on PC)
Developer| Publisher: ECC GAMES|Ultimate Games
Age Rating: EU  12+| USA T
Price: £4.49|€ 4,99|$5.30
Release Date: 2nd May 2019 EU|29th April 2019 USA

Review Code kindly provided by Ultimate Games

Darkest Hunters is the latest game to make the leap from PC to Nintendo Switch, a tactical logic game with RPG elements. 

Standard tale: fight against the evil power

The story in Darkest Hunter is some what minimum, it’s the standard events of evil power intensifying. A bunch of Hero’s are setting out to stop evil in its tracks and bring peace to the land. In the case of Darkest Hunters the gameplay clearly outshines the story.

In this turn based game your hero’s avatar appears on a board of coloured gems. Slide and fight as you move your avatar around the board. You do this by matching the coloured orbs, defeating enemies and collecting chests and then heading for the exit. Gems are coloured according to what they replenish for your Hero. There’s blue for mana, red for attack and green for health. Enemies also move across the board toward your hero and either shoot from afar or come closer and ram into your hero.

Don’t mistake Darkest Hunters for a match-3 game

Other than the gems giving it the look of a match-3 game that’s about where the similarities end. To make headway, it is best to make the longest matching chain in any direction. Creating a chain of five or more gems will provide a special gem with destructive power. This can take out a row of gems or more rows in different directions as you progress in the game. Gems don’t fall down to replace the ones that have been collected: new gems just appear in their place instead.

Strategy puzzle RPG game

Your hero can use Mana attacks on the enemies and collect resources in the form of chests filled with armour, weapons and gold coins. As your hero levels up by gaining experience, you can spread the points across stamina, health and mana. Spells can be purchased from a shop in the town, spells range from healing to elemental spells like fire or ice. 

Weapons and armour provide defence for your hero. You can gather these in the chests that you collect on the gem board or bought in the local armour shop in the town. You can upgrade the weapons and armour using both the gold coins. Or you can upgrade when you find numerous copies of the same weapon or armour in chests. Your hero is equipped with a hat, body armour, shoes, ring and amulet and carries two weapons. All of these can be upgraded. 

Enough levels to keep you busy

The RPG elements of gameplay come from each level having different quests to complete in the same board. These quests range from collecting a certain amount of the same colour gem to only killing enemies using a bow and arrow. This means there is lots of replay ability if you’re going for that 100%. completion. 

There are thirteen hero’s to choose from, though other than the hero’s looking different in appearance there didn’t seem to be any difference in their health or strength. A bit of a missed opportunity. 

There are five different worlds to travel, each with around 10 levels. Each level has at least 6 quest to do, all of that adds up to lots of gem busting and collecting. Boss levels appear every so often and these add an extra challenge to complete.

You will find ants, spiders, bears, wasps, wolves and many other types of enemies to fight against and a town to visit where you can buy new spells and armour. Or you can visit the tavern to read up on the local lore from notes that you find in the levels or read the information on the enemies and characters. 

Retro looks and touchscreen controls

With its classic retro look Darkest Hunters looks good, showing a mix of colour and lots of dark atmosphere where necessary. The music fits the style of game as do the sound effects.

Controlling the game is done by the touchscreen, just after the game was released it received an update that added joy-con control as well. I’ve played both ways and the touchscreen seems more responsive and accurate than the joy-con controls which just felt fiddly not as easy to control.


There is lots to accomplish in Darkest Hunters. Between collecting all the weapons and armour and slaying all the enemies, I found the game to be fun to play with a slight challenge. This challenge increases when you encounter a boss. Tactical thinking is required to complete some of the levels to get all the stars. My one complaint is that it can get slightly tedious upgrading armour as you have to collect multiple copies of the same item before it can be upgraded.

All the elements work well together and overall the game delivers a decent challenge. If you like this genre of game you can’t really go wrong with Darkest Hunters for less than £5.00 on the UK eShop.

I Like It


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