Thursday, November 16, 2023

Demo Play Thursday - Howl on Switch

For this week's Demo Play Thursday i played the Nintendo Switch version of Howl. This game, from developers Mi'pu'mi Games, is out now.

I was curious about this game. it's visuals are unique and interesting but the trailer made the game look like it was really difficult, not just in terms of difficulty but also in gameplay. So i went into this demo hoping that it would give some answers. 

This demo doesn't appear to be bespoke, it appears to be from the start of the game. on one hand it's good because we get the back story and tutorials, but on the other hand the tutorials aren't great and there's not much added to the story during this demo.

Frequent viewers will know i don't like the use of tutorial cards. this game does add a picture to the cards and tries to show the cards one at a time rather than all at once. but i don't think it works as the cards, when they come, feel out of place and not as useful as they would've been if they were shown earlier. i can't help but feel the game missed out on using the story to do the tutorial, or at least a large part of it. for example, instead of saying in the story that we were trained, why not let us play that. more backstory could be added, more character stuff and world building would help us care more. and once the tutorial finished, the game would start where it does in the demo.

In the video i complain that the tutorial cards are also underutilized. the biggest one was when a card told us how to turn on assist mode. it never said what that mode does, on the card, and just gave instructions on where to find it instead of giving us the option to turn it on from that tutorial card.

All this helped answer the question i had about this game in that it doesn't tell you enough and expects you to work it out for yourself. so it's not very accessible to new or less experienced gamers. So, as a demo, it does work as i now know this isn't the game for me.