Developed By: Vertical Reach
Published By: Vertical Reach
Release Date: 7.5.18
Portuguese studio Vertical Reach brings us Yuso for the Nintendo Switch, a bright and cheery puzzle game about exterminating adorable vermin at the behest of the gods. It’s cheery and charming and makes for an overall entertaining casual gaming experience.
In Yuso, cute, smiling creatures called Yuso have invaded the solar system. As the only one with power to destroy them, you have been chosen to travel from planet to planet blowing them up on behalf of the gods the planets are named after. The writing is light and cute. Each of the gods has one personality trait that they stick to for their dialogue which leads to some amusing lines. There really isn’t any development for their characters, but the story isn’t really the point of Yuso. The writing is fun enough, though, that it does have some entertainment value.
Yuso’s puzzle gameplay is based around blowing up all the Yuso on the screen. Levels will begin with Yuso of varying colors arranged on the screen in a pattern. Yuso can only be destroyed when adjacent to at least one Yuso of the same color. Destroying one Yuso will destroy all the Yuso of the same color adjacent to it. Any Yuso of a different color adjacent to the destroyed Yuso will turn the same color as the destroyed Yuso. It sounds a little complicated at first, but once you get into the game a little it feels more natural.
In addition to regular Yuso, there are some variations to the puzzles as well. Some Yuso are asleep to start the level. They have to be woken up by an explosion before they can be destroyed. There are also objects on certain levels that activate after a certain number of moves have been made. There are bombs will explode, having the same effect as destroying a Yuso. There are sleeping caps that will put all the Yuso adjacent to it to sleep when they activate. These obstacles provide an additional level of challenge as well as a nice sense of variety to the puzzles.
Most importantly, though, the puzzles find the right formula to be challenging without being frustrating. Yuso was a lot of fun to play through. There are over 80 puzzles, and the later ones can take a while to figure out, so it’s not a game you’ll play for an hour or two and be done with.
A big part of that fun is due to the graphics, which are bright, sharp, and adorable. The Yuso themselves are cute little circles that make different faces when they change color. The cartoony designs for the gods are fun and full of personality. So, overall, Yuso is a great-looking game. The music is light and fun, too. It sort of fades into the background a little bit, but it’s pleasant enough when you are paying attention to it you won’t be disappointed.
Yuso has no motion controls, but it does make use of Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen in undocked mode. You can either use a controller to select the Yuso you want to pop, or you can tap the screen to make your selection. I found the touch controls to be more user-friendly than the Joycon, so I recommend undocked play. The game didn’t look especially better on the TV or the Switch’s screen, so the touch controls really clinched that as the preferred play mode for me.
TL;DR: Fun, colorful, casual puzzle game.