[Nintendo Switch] Residual Review
Residual from Orangepixel and Apogee Entertainment is a 2D survival platformer that is a lot of fun on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Residual review!
Residual from Orangepixel and Apogee Entertainment is a 2D survival platformer that is a lot of fun on Nintendo Switch. You’ll be exploring a bunch of planets on a forgotten galaxy after you crash-land on one of them. The good news is that you’re alive. As for the bad news? You’ll be taking on a harsh, procedurally generated game where you have to scavenge food and resources to survive. You’re not alone on the planet since you’ll soon meet the hostile plant life that inhabits the planet, as well as a mysterious ooze that is certainly bad news.
Your journey will begin after you select your character and see the short cutscene that sets things up as you see your spaceship crash after being hit by a rather bumpy asteroid field. For me? That meant crashing onto planet Bob. The good news is that I was not alone on this, since I was joined by the very useful Personal Disaster Bot – the PDB – who will immediately activate the post-crashlanding protocol while being a bit on the snarky side, reminding me at times of the beloved Claptrap, if it was smaller and floated instead of running around on a single wheel. In another nod to Claptrap, the PDB will also not shut up, offering quick comments on your overall situation, on the new stuff you find, on what you need to do next, that you should teleport back to the spaceship before you collapse, and so on.
Right after my first interaction with the PDB, I got to learn all of the basics for Residual right away, moving my character with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, interacting with objects with the A button, and jumping with the X button. Since I didn’t have much on me, I had to search the remains of my ship to collect the valuable resources needed to repair the nearby contraptions that would help me stay alive.
Once I managed to fix the computer, it instantly linked with my visor, allowing me to press the R button to check my vitals – full health, almost full energy, and a fully functional solar suit -, review the radar to locate any fruit, metal, deuterium, coal, water, tech, and graphite near the crash site so that I could decide where to venture first, as well as information on Bob. This included things such as its temperature, number of hours in a day, how the wind blows, as well as the percentage of metal, deuterium, and water on it.
The first goal after collecting enough resources -and after scanning some of the local flora and fauna with the handy scanner I built – was to create a power source for the nearby contraption that would allow me to explore deeper underground in search of new resources and the very scarce food supplies need to keep my energy up and my lifeforce intact. Once I created the power source – and used a stick as a lever to activate the switch that was near the mechanical contraption – a new world opened up for me, ready to be explored… or for me to at least die trying!
There’s a lot to do in Residual. You’ll be collecting valuable information on the creatures you encounter and scan so that you can learn what you’re really going up against. You can also browse all planets in the known universe, reviewing how many of the planets you’ve visited, as well as on how many you’ve managed to survive… and on how many you’ve perished. You can also check out all of the many artifacts you’ve collected during your time with Residual, as well as learn more from the memory cards with the echoes of the ancients or from the hologram information you’ve gathered.
Residual is a fun but challenging 2D survival game that you’re either going to love or hate. The procedurally generated nature of this adventure means that each planet you visit could have very short day and night cycles, keeping you from having access to enough sunlight to recharge your suit, or that you don’t find enough food during the initial gameplay loop to allow you to progress further and further into the planet. That is the way things go for procedurally generated games, but if you give this one a chance, you’ll find a clever journey with a solid pixel art style and a soundtrack that does a good job of punctuating the whole “you’re going to die if you don’t find resources, fast” scenario you find yourself in. And if you feel that your adventure is a bit on the easy side, well, then worry not because you can always turn on permadeath to spice things up! Residual is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.
This Residual review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Apogee Entertainment.