Super Sami Roll review for Nintendo Switch

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At first glance, Super Sami Roll looks like a typical indie 3D platformer with a dino mascot and point A-to-point B levels. As such, I was delighted to find that Super Sami Roll is a surprisingly satisfying and content-packed title with the mechanical depth and level design to rival the best of the best in the 3D platforming indie scene. Thanks to an expansive move set and challenging, intricate levels with several possible paths, the game rewards both skillful platforming and creative thinking. With loads of levels, hidden collectibles, charming retro-style graphics, and an overflow of unlockables, Super Sami Roll hearkens back to the glory days of the 3D platformer genre. Super Sami Roll is one of the best indie titles to launch on Nintendo Switch in recent months and a must-play for fans of 3D platforming.

Above all else, gameplay is king in Super Sami Roll. The game excels thanks to smooth, expansive platforming controls, creative levels, and the endlessly rewarding feeling of discovering new shortcuts and tricks. Super Sami Roll follows the adventures of Sami, a cheerful dinosaur who can grapple-jump up walls with his tongue, roll across the ground at high speed, and boisterously bounce high into the air. On his journey to rescue his friend Vera the Flying Squirrel from the evil monkey Albert VII, Sami encounters several dozen levels spanning lush forests, scorching deserts, sandy coasts, and much more. Levels are overflowing with different colors thanks to bouncy balloons, vibrant paths and tracks, and eye-catching houses and pyramids that pepper the game’s many levels, making Super Sami Roll a cheerful adventure that shows off each color of the rainbow.

Don’t let the game’s cheery demeanor fool you, though. Super Sami Roll ramps up the difficulty quickly. Players need to take full advantage of Sami’s expansive move set almost right away. After just a few early levels, players are steeped in long, tricky courses with twists, turns, and perilous traps. You will always respawn quickly after failing a level, but do not be surprised if you burn a couple of dozen retries on some of the game’s more punishing excursions.

Partially because of its difficulty, Super Sami Roll shines brightest for platforming fans who enjoy honing speedruns and discovering crafty shortcuts. Conquering the game’s many levels is not easy, but Sami’s move set provides more than enough tools to get by. Often, the obvious path forward is not the only way through a level. With a bit of practice, Sami’s move set goes from expansive to borderline omnipotent. Gain enough momentum with a long roll, and you might be able to leap across massive portions of a stage and skip a particularly hairy obstacle. Get a decent handle on the tongue-grapple, and you can chain together as many as you want to climb up most of the game’s walls, which comes in handy throughout the game’s many vertical levels.

As you gain experience with the game, it becomes evident that Super Sami Roll’s levels are intelligently built with these shortcuts in mind. (The developer hid visual Easter eggs on some surfaces that were only accessible with careful shortcut maneuvers.) The levels are built that way that the biggest time-savers often require some extremely difficult or creative maneuvering, and often, an enticing shortcut requires you to skip out on coins (which add seconds to each level’s timer) or checkpoints. Otherwise, levels are built so that shortcuts are rewarding to pull off without ever becoming too cheesy, cheap, or game-breaking; you cannot beat the game by simply chaining tongue-grapples to climb every wall that you see. The level design and move set combine to fuel Super Sami Roll’s greatest strength, making every level a challenging, engaging platforming playground.

Super Sami Roll review Nintendo Switch Sonzai Games X Plus

Even once you’ve charted your path through the main game, there is still plenty to do in Super Sami Roll. Hidden exits, secret levels, time-saving shortcuts you might have missed, and an unlockable hidden character (with their own unique move set!) are all available to players. You can additionally spend coins you collect throughout the game on fresh cosmetics, including new skins for Sami and stylish outfits. With lots to unlock and conquer, players who get hooked on Super Sami Roll can keep themselves busy for hours and hours of platforming bliss.

Included among the game’s many unlockables is a marble-rolling multiplayer mode that challenges players to race through several lengthy levels not otherwise seen in the main game. The multiplayer mode features a more limited move set and straightforward obstacle courses for arenas, so you don’t have the same depth of platforming and DIY shortcuts available. Still, the multiplayer mode is pretty fun, especially if you have some buddies that also love platformers — and if not, the levels are still worth a couple of runs against the packed-in bots.

Super Sami Roll gets a lot right, but it does have a couple of shortcomings. For starters, each world ends with a particularly boring boss fight that does not come close to matching the quality of the levels. Additionally, players who are not into replays or speedrunning will not get as much out of the game, though it should still come in at five or six tightly packed, well-paced hours even if you never replay a level or hunt down a single unlockable .

Super Sami Roll review Nintendo Switch Sonzai Games X Plus

If you like 3D platformers and are up for a challenge, Super Sami Roll is a must. It’s a joy to play over and over again as you hunt for collectibles, shortcuts, and a personal best speedrun time. It’s one of the most refreshingly addictive and exciting 3D platforms to release in the last few years. Behind strong level design, smooth and expansive controls, and loads of unlockable content, Super Sami Roll is a gift that keeps on giving.

Release Date: November 4, 2021

No. of Players: 1-4 players

Category: 3D platformers

Publisher: XPlus

Developer: Sonzai Games

A review code for Super Sami Roll was provided by the publisher.

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