Review – Understand (Switch)
Over the past few weeks, I have received two review codes for two titles sharing a few similarities: Switch ports of mobile puzzle games. One of them is called Please Touch the Artwork, the other one is called Understand. Upon playing both of them, I realized how similar they were in structure, but completely different from each other in terms of enjoyment, presentation, and the questioning of whether or not they deserved to be ported elsewhere but the mobile space. This review will cover Understand.
Venturing through the Switch eShop can be an ordeal at times. There are tons of games being released at an alarming pace, most of them being mere ports of really cheap and underwhelming mobile games. For as much as I want to avoid these games, I wanted to tackle one of them, just to comprehend why would anyone decide to grab it for a system full of actually decent games from all scopes, from ultra-casual to AAA. That game was Understand.
Upon reading its description on every storefront it was released for, I wasn’t sure if Understand was some troll work or an actual game released by a studio with an ego the size of the Burj Khalifa. This is a game where you’re constantly presented with rudimentary lines and shapes, then you’re told to figure out a rule for the puzzle, and draw a line satisfying that rule. Do that, and move to the next puzzle. The game also lists “terrible artwork” as a feature. As if it was some kind of badge of honor.
Understand tries to act like a challenging brain teaser, but I was coasting through its puzzles without using more than half a dozen brain cells. The game itself isn’t inherently bad, but it’s monstrously uneventful. There’s little to no sound to accompany it, and its visuals are borderline rudimentary, making me struggle to pay attention to it. I barely play mobile games at all, and even so I can still list cheaper, simpler games for my Samsung Galaxy that grab my attention and are more fun/replayable than this one, such as the classic 2048. Hell, Solitaire can be more replayable (and challenging) than this game. I was trying to figure out who this game was for.
Understand is one of the blandest games I have ever played on the Switch. Bear in mind, this doesn’t mean the game as a whole is bad, but I can’t imagine why would anyone grab this particular puzzler on a console. Unlike Please Touch the Artwork, this is the bad kind of Switch port of a mobile game. This is the kind of game you just ask yourself “why would I want to play this anywhere other than a phone?” It features little to no graphics, sound, or anything else that would require the bare minimum of attention needed to play a mobile game for a couple of minutes at a time. With a portable system with a library as vast as the Nintendo Switch’s, Understand does very little to convince you to give it a shot.
Final Verdict: 4.0
Understand is available now on mobile devices, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.
A copy of Understand was provided by the publisher.