Developed By: ACQUIRE
Published By: ACQUIRE
Category: Arcade, Action
Release Date: 06.20.19
There’s just something about a fun, colorful arcade game that makes me disregard my preferences for deep stories and complex game mechanics. Scrap Rush!! for the Nintendo Switch is a perfect example of this. I like RPGs and strategy games that prioritize thought, planning, and narrative. Scrap Rush!! has none of those things. Well, OK, it has some planning elements, but the pace of the game is fast enough that you’re really sort of making stuff up on the fly as opposed to coming up with a long-term strategy and executing it. It’s not an especially complicated game, but dang it, it’s still pretty fun.
Battling For Scraps
On the faraway (probably?) world of Planet Scrap, adorable robots sift through the planet’s mountains of scrap metal to find anything of use. When a new model of scrapping robot is introduced, the old models get jealous of their production and turn to (roll of thunder) the DARK SCRAP for an edge. Can the new models save their friends from the dark scrap? And if they’re willing to sell their robot souls to an evil piece of scrap metal just to knock you down a peg, were you really friends to begin with? One of these questions is answered (hint: it’s the first one, and yes you can if you beat the challenge mode). It’s a simple, straightforward story that gives as good a frame as any for the game’s action. It’s not really an emphasis, so there’s really not much to say about it.
Pushing and Crushing
The object of the gameplay here is to literally crush your enemies by pushing blocks of scrap into them, and squeezing them to death between that piece of scrap and either a wall or another piece of scrap. It’s… actually pretty gruesome if you think about it too much, but the robots are adorable and if they die they just respawn in a new body, so I guess this is just what happens when death is meaningless. Anyway, you’ve got three levels of pushing; a minor push, which moves a scrap pile one square over, a medium push which covers three squares, and a charged push which will send your scrap block all the way across the map, or until it runs into a wall. The action takes place in a series of grid-based, maze-like arenas, and the strategy comes from trying to catch your enemies in a position where they can’t dodge your bricks.
When you break one of your enemies or a scrap brick, you can collect the scrap that spills out. If you build yourself up to 700 pieces of scrap, you get an upgrade which increases your strength and speed. In some game modes, breaking scrap piles will also drop individual power-ups that will temporarily boost your speed or power. You can also use some of your scrap to create bricks of your own. While scrap bricks do randomly drop from the sky, it can be useful to be able to pick where and when a brick is created. You have to be careful with this ability, however, because using too much scrap has drawbacks.
First, some modes determine victory according to who has the most scrap at the end of the match. Second, at the end of a round, all the scrap you’ve collected will be added to your cumulative total across all games. You can use this scrap to purchase new skins, new brick types, and new trap panels that can appear in the game. If you spend too much scrap making bricks in a match, then it takes longer to unlock these new goodies. The skins are just cosmetic, so I wasn’t too worried about getting those, but the new brick types were really cool! The My Brick especially was useful; it’s a type of brick that only its creator can push; it’s very useful for setting up traps or cutting off your opponent’s escape route. Unlocking things also adds some replay value to the game outside of multiplayer, which is always a bonus in my book.
Three Ways to Play
Scrap Rush!! has three different game modes to enjoy. Challenge mode is basically the story mode; you play through a series of levels to get to the boss fight at the end. The boss fight at the end is actually the coolest level in the game and I wish there had been more like it included. It required the most strategy and presented the best balance of challenge and fun. Some of the levels, like the ones where you have to drop off scrap in a certain area, were leaning more towards tedious than fun, but I still made it through OK.
Battle mode is the game’s multiplayer arena. There are three different game types, which are the same three game types from challenge mode. Survival match is just a last man standing type of deal, the scrap battle is the aforementioned game type where you need to drop scrap off in a collection area to build up your score, and point matches are won by having the most scrap when time runs out, no drop off areas required. The game’s overall art style really lends itself to a party game atmosphere, so grabbing a group of friends and crushing each other to death with garbage is a blast.
Finally, scrush mode is a classic survival mode. You’re placed in an arena and waves of enemies spawn and come at you. When you defeat one wave, the next spawns and you repeat the process until you die. Every few waves the arena changes shape; new walls and trap tiles spawn, which changes up the battlefield and makes you adjust your strategy on the fly. This was probably my favorite game mode overall, but like I said earlier, I think the boss fight at the end of challenge mode is still my favorite level. It just felt more original and challenging in an enjoyable way.
If Bomberman and Mega Man Had a Baby
You play as a robot that looks halfway between Bomberman and Zero from the Mega Man X series, which is pretty cool. I like both of those games, aesthetically. The in-game graphics are lovingly rendered in 3D, even though the game is viewed from a fixed, bird’s-eye perspective. Everything is bright, colorful, and cheery, which just creates an incredibly fun atmosphere that pairs well with the game’s mechanics. The music is similarly cheery and upbeat, which is the cherry on top of this delightful sundae.
Scrap Rush!! doesn’t use any touch or motion controls. The graphics are pretty much identical whether you’re playing it docked or undocked, so I really have no recommendation as to which way you should play it. Well, other than to say you should play it with friends; it’s a lot more fun that way. I guess I found the Pro controller more comfortable to use, too, but that’s literally always true so I’m not sure if that’s even worth saying anymore.
TL;DR: Super-fun, colorful, and cheery arcade action game