I got SERIOUSLY addicted to Serious Scramblers (see what I did there?) when it originally launched on mobile devices, with the tough but satisfyingly simple gameplay loop it offers making for the perfect game to have a quick blast with when you’ve got a few minutes spare here and there. I’ve actually completed it countless times across multiple characters too, so I’d say I’m pretty much an expert at the game at this point…
It has now made its way over to the Nintendo Switch, giving consoles gamers the chance to try their luck at falling through its hazardous pitfalls and trying to survive the wrath of the nasty worm that inhabits it. Want to know the best part? It costs less than a cup of coffee to purchase.
Serious Scramblers’ gameplay loop is incredibly simple, with players leading their character down a randomly-generated pit as the screen moves vertically, all whilst avoiding hazards and bashing baddies by landing on their head on the way. It really is that simple, though the game’s world is certainly a dangerous one. Don’t manage to fall lower before the spikes at the top of the screen hit you? You die. Get hit by an enemy as you go down? You die. Miss a platform? You die. Get hit by a rotating flame? You die. Yeah, I’m pretty sure you get it at this point… you can expect to die… a lot.
Each level of the game challenges you to travel a specified distance in order to progress, with minimal hazards getting in your way during early levels. Sure, there’ll be enemies and the occasional swirling fire to watch out for, but it’s pretty straightforward stuff. However, as you progress further through the game the hazards ramp up in both numbers and danger, meaning there’s a pretty steep difficulty curve in place to ensure that players don’t get TOO comfortable. It might sound a little daunting, but it’s actually really satisfying and always pushes you to have that ‘one more go’ without ever feeling unfair.
Oh, and there’s also a worm boss that you face off against in some levels, with the player having to jump on each piece of shielding on both of its sides in order to vanquish it. These encounters can be tough (especially in the game’s finale), but offer plenty of gratification when you finally take the wiggly beast out.
You can also earn coins as you make your way down, either by collecting them from platforms or by bouncing off the head of enemies Super Mario-style. Whilst Serious Scramblers isn’t necessarily a score-chasing game, the coins are definitely worth collecting as they can be spent to either purchase new characters to play as or to give yourself an extra life if you die – they’ll also give you a quick speed boost when collected, giving you a better chance at survival. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than NEARLY finishing a level but dying close at the end, only to find yourself just short of enough coins to get an extra life… it’s brutal.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t spend your coins on extra characters though, with each bringing with them unique pros and cons that make them play differently to each other. Captain Ginger’s speed-boost lasts longer than other characters for example, though you can also expect to face more spikes in the environment when using the feline. Meanwhile, the Mummy earns more coins, but they move at a slower speed than other characters so you’ve got to be much quicker when reacting to incoming dangers. One of my personal favourites was Kong the monkey, who moves at a much quicker speed but also falls faster, meaning you’ve got to be swift when avoiding hazards. Whoever you play as, there’s always something new to both take advantage and be wary of, making it addictive to give each character a try.
I really enjoyed my time playing Serious Scramblers on my mobile device and it’s nice to see that the experience has made the transition to the Nintendo Switch nicely. However, it is lacking something: convenience. The simple and quick gameplay of Serious Scramblers makes it perfect to play in quick bursts on my mobile device, but I felt less inclined to do so on the Nintendo Switch – mainly because I’m less likely to have it on me during those moments I have free on public transport or, admittedly, when sitting on the toilet (come on, we all do it). Of course, that doesn’t make the gameplay any less enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, but it did stop me from coming back to it as often as I did when playing on my mobile device.
Still, with its low price-point and addictive gameplay mechanics, there’s plenty on offer to make Serious Scramblers worth investing in on the Nintendo Switch. It even has an Endless Mode, giving score-chasers the chance to play through continually to see how good they REALLY are at the game. No matter how far you go though, you’ll never be as good as me at Serious Scramblers – I’m an expert, remember?
Serious Scramblers is a simple but fun experience, with the low price-point giving an extra incentive to invest in it on your Nintendo Switch. Sure, it might not be as ideal for quick plays as it is on mobile devices, but the satisfying gameplay loop and assortment of characters to unlock will still keep you coming back for more in this entertaining little escapade.
Developer: Chinykian Games
Publisher: Chinykian Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch