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[Nintendo Switch] C.A.R.L. Review

[Nintendo Switch] C.A.R.L. Review
  • On October 27, 2022

C.A.R.L. from Andrew Kenady and Morningstar Game Studio is an old-school infused 2D platformer inspired by classic PC games in the genre. Check our C.A.R.L. review!


C.A.R.L. from Andrew Kenady and Morningstar Game Studio is an old-school infused 2D platformer inspired by classic PC games in the genre. If you’re curious about what C.A.R.L. means, the titular character is a Computer Automated Resource Locator. You’re sent by Herman into the K.I.L.L. Corp. factory to try and put a stop to the evil plans of Kent, the creator of a bunch of inventions that he usually quickly discards as obsolete… and the one in charge of K.I.L.L. Corp. Herman and Kent used to be business partners, but then something changed for the worse.

You won’t be able to play the next level in the game until you’ve collected the three tech units in the previous one since they’re needed for unlocking each subsequent tube that leads you to a new level. For each stage, you’ll be able to collect tech units and medals, as well as aim at completing the level as fast as possible. Pay attention to your surroundings, and you might even find bonus tech units! You can also find music discs, blueprints, and modules – more on these in a bit.

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As you explore each level, you will need to locate the tech units in the area and collect them before you can exit that stage. As long as you manage to activate a checkpoint, C.A.R.L. will be able to respawn there if he falls into a bottomless pit or runs out of energy after receiving too much damage. Do know that any of the collectibles that you managed to obtain between activating a checkpoint and dying will be lost, so you’ll have to grab them again if you want to properly add them to your collection.


The game is a fun one, and you’ll get to learn all of the basics during the intro tutorial. You’ll control C.A.R.L. with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as he jumps with the B button and shoots lasers with the A button. The longer you press and hold down the B button, the higher your jump. Once you get the double jump ability, you’ll be able to perform a second job. You might even get a chance to unlock a triple jump! And once you gain access to more weapons, you’ll be able to switch between them by pressing the L and R buttons as needed.

You’ll soon meet H.A.L., who will show you around the D.U.M.P. – Depot of Unusable Machinery and Parts – which will act as the game’s hub area. There’s also M.A.D.A.M. – Machine-Learning Android of Divination, Amusement, and Magic. If you’re ever feeling lost, you can give her a visit and have her show you the future… for a price! You’ll have to spend some of your scraps for this to work. You can also visit the Robobar for a drink. There’s water available at no cost, as well as a variety of colorful beverages that will end up changing C.A.R.L.’s color!

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D.U.K.E. is also at the bar, and you can interact with it to listen to the songs you’ve managed to unlock so far. There are 21 songs for you to collect, so if you want to 100% the game, you’ll certainly be busy! You can also talk to A.R.P.A., who is the Arcade Repair and Programming Android. He mentions he’s working on a new game, so you might want to check back with him after you find some of the hidden games you can collect! Do you have what it takes to find all four hidden games?


S.A.R.G.E. is also someone else you should visit since he’s part of an elite task force working on dethroning Kent for good! Once you find some medals, go back to S.A.R.G.E. so that you can, for example, get a boost to your shot power or rate of fire. Just remember that you’ll also need scraps on top of those medals! Once you have enough medals and scraps, visit S.A.R.G.E. to place an order for W.E.N.D.I. to fulfill. Being able to deal more damage or fire at a faster pace will make a huge difference, especially during boss fights!

There’s also DOC – which is actually named the Free-roaming Automated Repair Technician, but you can probably guess why he doesn’t go by that. Visiting DOC is important since not only can he give you a routine tune-up, but he can also install any new modules you find! These are needed to improve C.A.R.L. since they will reward him with new skills and abilities that can be put to good use. Once you find the required blueprints and modules, hurry up to DOC to see what he can do. I suggest boosting your overall health as soon as possible.

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Oh, and don’t forget about Doug, a human who goes by the name D.O.U.G. – Digital Organism of Unimportant Genesis – who is disguised as a robot. He will store any cards you find so that your collection is safe. Each of the 24 cards that you can collect will have some general information about the subject, as well as, say, its likes and dislikes, so that you can get to know them a bit better. The first card you’ll gain access to will be for C.A.R.L. himself, so you’ll learn that he likes jumping, shooting, and boot-scooting but dislikes lava, bottomless pits, and the always classic sharp spikes.


There’s also an in-game achievement system for you to consider if you want to 100% the game. The first one you’ll unlock will be for completing the tutorial. After that one, you’ll get achievements for defeating each of the bosses in the game, defeating 100 enemies, saving the hidden characters in C.A.R.L., listening to all of the jokes that C.R.A.I.G. has to tell, collecting three bonus tech units, finding all medals, and collecting all music discs. There are other objectives to complete, but I won’t spoil them here!

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C.A.R.L. is a fun old-school infused 2D platformer inspired by the PC platformers of ages past. You’ll explore each floor in the K.I.L.L. Corp. factory to put a stop to Kent’s evil plans before it’s too late. Helping the robots in the D.U.M.P. will also be part of the equation as you improve C.A.R.L. and gain access to new abilities and weapons. C.A.R.L. is out on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 asking price.

This C.A.R.L. review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Morningstar Game Studio.

Review Overview

Fun old-school infused 2D platformer