This half-baked Jet Set Radio clone is even worse on the Switch.
French indie studio Fusty Game has been pushing a Nintendo release of Hover: Revolt of Gamers since development began in 2013. The studio slated the futuristic parkour-racing game for a late 2014 release on the Wii U, pushed it to 2015 and is now finally releasing it on Switch. Once I saw the trailer for this game, I was really excited for the fast-paced gameplay and bright art style.
Upon getting my hands on Hover, however, I was immediately underwhelmed with the menus. In handheld mode, the buttons are tiny and nearly impossible to see. Additionally, you need to move a cursor over the buttons to press them. This interface was obviously designed for a desktop PC and does not leave the impression that this game was built with the Switch, or even the Wii U, in mind. Not a great first impression.
The camera feels like something right out of the Nintendo 64 era. I’ll jump onto a wall and the camera will go straight to the back of my character’s head. The addition of gyro controls are a nice feature, but in general, the camera is simply distracting. There are also frame drops everywhere. It’s incredibly disappointing to see how this runs on the Switch as this kind of experience needs to be smooth. I had no feeling of speed or momentum when playing, which is what attracted me to the game in the first place.
The tutorial took me about twenty minutes to get through, and while it gave me a good grasp of the controls, there wasn’t anything in it that got me too excited about the gameplay. I expected action and constantly flying through the city, but most of the missions in the tutorial were “put this item somewhere else” or “move to this location” missions, which just didn’t sit right with me. This type of mission structure continues after the tutorial ends and the real game begins. While there are some mildly fun races, many of the missions seemed uninspired.
After the tutorial, I was thrown into a large, overwhelming hub world. There is no structure with regards to which missions you should complete at what time or where they are located. It’s also never clear what you have to do next so I just ended up roaming around finding anything to do. A map is present but is essentially useless as it doesn’t give you any information about where to go next. Online functionality is touted as one of the game’s biggest features. You can run along your friends in this big, open world but I couldn’t imagine what fun things I would actually do with them.
There is a story of sorts that is referenced in the tutorial and missions, but it’s nothing cohesive or interesting. A group of rebels are revolting against the city’s new laws that prohibit any type of fun activities. They do this by spreading graffiti and flying around the city. There’s really no progression through a storyline besides the tutorial, just random missions everywhere that only sort of introduce you to characters.
I don’t recommend Hover: Revolt of Gamers on the Switch at all. Even after five years of development, it feels incredibly undercooked. The user interface is not intuitive, and the gameplay and camera together make it feel like a bad VR game. Maybe it’s more fun on a powerful desktop PC, but it just doesn’t feel at home here.