It’s no secret that there are a plethora of games available on the Switch. Every week, we get anywhere from five to twenty new games. And, unfortunately, it can be very difficult to sort out the good from the bad sometimes. One that should not be ignored, is WanderjahR.
As far as the genre goes, this one is a little bit tough to describe. It is definitely an RPG. You have a team of four characters that are out on the field at once. It’s not turn based, because you have no control over the characters themselves. Each one has a role (Healer, Tank, Mage) and that role can not be changed. Once you bring a character into your active party, they do their own thing, based on what their role is. It is up to you to manage what roles are on the field at once. You also have the ability to use items at will on any of your characters. And the only other thing you can really control is if you are letting your characters act completely of their own accord, or if you want them all to team up on one of the enemies.
The enemies, with the exception of the bosses, come in waves. As you kill enemies, you gain experience points that are stored up for later, and you you collect money that falls on the ground. If you don’t collect the money by hitting the button you lose it, and money is the most valuable resource in the game. For instance, the item that restores you from a KO costs 900, and while grinding for money in a particular level I was only able to net between 1400 and 1800 per run. So make sure you’re picking up that money!
Once you finish a level, you are taken into a “Setup” menu. It is here where everything important to advancing your team happens. You can spend those stored experience points to level up your characters, spend your money on useful items, set your starting four team members, and set the order of the characters you switch between during battle. It is also here that you learn of the limitations of the game. First, your characters are limited on how far they can advance. Before you beat the first boss, the game will not let you level your characters up past level six. After you beat that boss, you are allowed to move your characters up to level twelve. I found this to be very upsetting. In every RPG I have ever played, there are two ways to beat a boss: With insanely good strategy, or by grinding for levels. In world one, for instance, I spent the time to grind all of my characters to level six, but there was no reward because the boss was also level six. So, had I not spent the time to level up my characters, it would have been next to impossible to beat even the first boss.
Not only are you limited in character levels, you are limited in the number of items you can carry. Those potions that restore you from a KO, for instance, only allow you to carry four at a time. I’ve been through battles in other games where I have used seven to ten of those types of items and still barely beat the boss. While I understand the developer was emphasizing strategy over brute force, I do not agree with how they executed it. In my opinion, there should be multiple ways to beat a boss, especially given how difficult the bosses already are. They pride themselves on the difficulty of their bosses, but there has to be a balance somewhere.
And maybe that is just me. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have time to attempt a 35 minute boss fight eight to ten times before I lose it on the last pixel of a life bar. I don’t find that fun. But that is just me. I know there are people out there that love those kind of challenges. If that’s you, you are going to love this game, and I don’t want you to assume from my criticisms that I didn’t like this game. What I played of it I absolutely adored. I love the variety of enemies and the humor of the game. It is bright, colorful, and it’s so much fun to see a well thought out strategy come to fruition. But, it is a hardcore strategy game that will require a lot of planning, strategizing, and a bit of luck, which I simply did not have. I mentioned on Infendo Radio Episode 429 that I was pleasantly surprised by this game. The first night I sat down to play it, I logged five straight hours into it. That in itself is a statement to how good the game is, and how much fun it is to play. But for me, it was just a little too much.
Final Score: 4/5