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Newt One review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Developer: DevNAri
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I can’t remember the last time I played a game as thoroughly stress-free as Newt One. There are no enemies. There are no timers. There are no puzzles to solve. It’s impossible to die, since even if you fall off a ledge and plunge into the abyss, the game helpfully plops you back down on solid ground. In every respect, this is a game that just wants you to sit back and enjoy.

Truth be told, it’s all a little boring.

But it’s important to remember that Newt One isn’t meant for someone like me (even if I usually love short, easy games). Rather, it’s meant for kids — preferably young kids, who’ve never played a 3D platformer before and need to get eased into the idea of the genre on the lowest difficulty setting imaginable.

If you look at the game from that perspective, it’s not too bad. You’re just running around a colourless world, giving bright colours to everything you touch and occasionally making some challenging jumps. You collect music notes and owls as you go along — the latter to form steps to help you get to hard-to-reach platforms, the former to serve a purpose I never could quite figure out. It’s not anything you haven’t seen before if you’ve ever played any other 3D platformer at all — but as I said, Newt One is meant precisely for people who don’t even have that much experience.

The problem with that is that those people aren’t exactly getting a look at the best the genre has to offer. Newt One is a little glitchy, for one thing. Nothing game-breaking, but it did take awhile for the music to start playing (I had to quit and restart before it finally showed up), and I occasionally came across the odd platform that was glitching in and out of existence.

Even worse, because it’s so low stakes, it’s pretty hard to get invested in the game. There’s a bit of a story, but it’s so forgettable I couldn’t even try to tell you what it’s about. The levels mostly all follow the same formula, even with some cosmetic differences here and there. There are a couple of jumps that took me a few tries to get right, but again, you can’t die, so it doesn’t matter. Likewise, the controls are a little floaty, but since you don’t need to worry about death, it’s hard to get too worked up about it.

In other words, your most likely response to Newt One will be an indifferent shrug. It’s perfectly fine for what it is, I guess, and it’s clear that a lot of love went into making the game, but unless you have really low standards when it comes to 3D platformers, you’re unlikely to share in that feeling.

Whitethorn Digital provided us with a Newt One Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+