A platformer that packs a punch (with a side of bland)
A group of evil scientists, aptly known as the League of Evil, are allegedly making weapons of mass destruction. Your job is to eliminate these scientists by any means necessary, and you'll do just that by literally punching the head off of every one of them.
If you don't know what League of Evil is, it's a simple platformer on the Switch eShop made of sprite-based artwork, featuring a level designer to craft your own levels. Four different chapters consisting of 30-60 levels each make up the main portion of the adventure, with the difficulty ranging from easy to pretty dang hard. Each level can be beaten in 30 seconds or less. Yes, these levels are very short but for good reason - you will die many times. The object is to get to the end and punch the scientist, with an optional briefcase to collect in every level. It's all very fast and simple, and blasting through the levels can feel very good. Other chapters have different story objectives with humorous stories, but the levels are consistently similar.
Your character has the ability to double jump and wall jump, and can attack with a charge move (akin to Wario's shoulder charge). The controls feel okay for the most part, but the wall jump can take a while to get used to. Enemy attack patterns added in with the obstacles can prove to be quite the challenge, but most of the time the controls feel nice enough that it doesn't feel like you are killed unfairly, though sometimes the double jump was finicky and I died because I seemingly used the ability while walking off a platform.
The sprite artwork comes across very clean yet quite bland on both the TV and Switch screen. Your player, enemies, and obstacles look just fine but accompanied by the barebones animations, the environments feel empty and lifeless. Different themes change how the level looks, with pretty backgrounds and divergent aesthetics, but nothing really changes in a larger sense. The chiptune soundtrack always has a nice pulsing beat to help keep the momentum going as you punch evil scientists in the face. Some of the songs have a very short repeating chord progression that can be a little annoying when you are facing a particularly difficult level, but for the most part the music isn't bad and felt appropriate.
One of the features I was looking forward to the most was the level creator. After playing and adoring games like Super Mario Maker and Chicken Wiggle, I couldn't wait to sit back and create levels to upload and share with other players. Unfortunately, using the level creator proves to be quite obtuse. Even though the levels are short and simple, the tools used to construct levels aren't very accessible. With a little practice, things seemed to get easier, but it still seemed to take too long just to make a 10-second level. One nice thing is when downloading levels, you can get them in packs and play straight through them - a very welcome feature for a game with short levels.
All in all League of Evil is a very hard but ultimately just simply okay platformer. Even when its tendrils sunk into me, technical hiccups like unresponsive controls and shoddy level design, accompanied with a fairly obtuse level constructor, held this back from being a true gem on the eShop. As a fan of difficult platformers, I certainly enjoyed my time, but if that's not up your alley, you might want to steer clear of this flawed (but fun) title.