Reviewed by Josh Brant
Developed By: Kyy Games
Published By: Kyy Games
Release Date: October 4, 2018
There has been, no doubt, an influx of mobile titles being ported over to the Nintendo Switch, and it’s easy to see why. With an ever-growing fanbase, the console is perfect for these types of titles, as long as you play in handheld. While shovel ware always has and will appear on the eShop, it’s worth pointing out the developers who take the time to port over mobile games the right way. Developer Kyy Games know’s what it takes to bring over 10Tons Ltd.’s mobile title Trouserheart over to Switch and the results are mixed, but mostly positive and for the better.
Trouserheart is a charming title about a king who has his pants stolen by a gremlin while he is sleeping on the thrown. Since this must be his only pair of pants, the king sets out on a journey donning his heart-patterned boxer shorts to get them back. The end result is a three-dimensional brawler with a lot of heart, wit, and charm. The simplicity mixed with the addictive nature of the title show how the developer is at the top of its game, a fact cemented by how much fun you’ll have slashing your way through many different levels and areas.
Controlling the king is as simple as moving him and attacking. You use the left analog stick to move the disgruntled king around, and you only use one button that let’s you swing your sword. Four buttons all perform the same action, and while this may be a turn-off to some, I found the simplicity to be a breath of fresh air from my time currently in Diablo III. The cash you earn from killing enemies, opening chests, and discovering secrets can be spent on increasing your stats.
At certain points while upgrading your characters attack, defense and health, you’ll earn a visual change to your equipment, though your lower half will always be covered by the adorable heart-patterned boxers. Unfortunately, this is the only equipment change you’ll come across and it’s made worse by the unintuitive menus. Hopefully the developer patches in the ability to use touch mechanics, as committing it entirely was a puzzling decision, given this was initially a mobile title.
You will be fighting enemy hordes through levels that are made up of chains of single rooms. The contents of each room are random, which lends Trouserheart with a rogue-like element, though given that pick-ups are entirely limited to cash and heart refills, there really isn’t any depth. Most of the rooms are small relative to the enemies and the king, and while that is occasionally used to create a tense positioning challenge, it really just means you can face in the general direction of the enemy horde and just smash the attack button until they’re all dead. Stages passes by quickly, which is great for pick up and play sessions, but not so good for the long-term appeal of the title.
Trouserheart started out extremely easy on its casual difficulty with me being able to finish the entire game in about two hours and dying was never an issue. It did become harder near the end, but the simplistic gameplay never really puts your skills to the test. Switching over to the higher difficulty though, with perma-death activated, I found myself playing in a concentrated state that required patience and not just always rushing in. The enemy variety is lacking with maybe six or seven different enemy types, but they each have many different color swaps that allow for faster and new attack patterns. Mages that only shot fireballs forward might now shoot larger fireballs in all directions at once, making for more of a chaotic experience.
Visually, there is a decent bit of personality to them, although it’s blatantly obvious this was a mobile title before, and the animations are somewhat forgettable, with the king’s walk looking every bit as stiff as he moves. The few enemies available have stand out in their design, and kind of dangerous, yet cute aesthetic. There are a few different visual themes for the levels, from a castle setting to a forest and desert, giving a little variety to the proceedings. The soundtrack is adequate, but ultimately annoying with repeated looping, and the rest of the sound design more or less follows that pattern. I did like the bright colors with everything standing out well. Aside from the odd animations, there wasn’t much to complain about, just how dull some of the gameplay and presentation was.
Overall, Trouserheart is a charming little indie action title that while not memorable in any way, is a nice diversion from some of the more hardcore experiences. I appreciated the simplicity and it was fun to pick up and play when nothing else would grab me at the time. If you aren’t turned-off by obvious mobile ports on the Switch, Trouserheart is an enjoyable time that won’t stress you out.