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Residual Switch Review – Is This All That’s Left?

Residual Switch Review – Is This All That’s Left?

What is the best way to explain what Residual is? If you answered a word logic equation, then you’re in luck, because that is exactly what I planned on doing. So here it is, Residual is to No Man’s Sky as Terraria is to Minecraft. Pretty simple, right? Need I say more?

Oh, I guess I do need to say more, and not just to make this review feel more substantial. So Residual is a game in which you have crashed on a random planet and need to find resources in order to repair your ship and investigate other planets, analysing new resources and lifeforms whilst simultaneously crafting and trying to survive (Hence the No Man’s Sky comparison).

The game is set up as a sort of 2D platformer with some mining elements (Hence the Terraria comparison). That’s pretty much all there is to it. You’ll follow sort of questline tasks which largely involve exploring, collecting resources, crafting things, and placing said crafted things.


You have a snarky, floating robot friend to act as both a quest-giver and the “comedic relief”, and you find things and either bring them back to your ship to craft major tools with nano-bots or craft them anywhere for things like campfires, ladders, etc.

It’s not a very intricate plot-line, nor is it very original or memorable other than No Man’s Sky which I’ve brought up a few times, and the game Crashlands also follows the same basic structure (Ship crashes on a randomly-generated planet, funny robot friend explains the situation, and you need to harvest resources and build things to survive and progress. However, Crashlands actually has a more set goal in that you’re trying to recover a package, whereas Residual does not make it clear who you are or what you’re doing, at least not up front).

Another feature that mirrors NMS (and not Crashlands) is the multiple energy bars you’ll need to worry about, which include Health, Energy, and Suit power. There are various ways to recover them, but the main one to begin with is just resting, either at your ship or at a campfire that you have crafted. Just sleep for a while and your health fills back up, and you’re good to get back to jumping around picking things up.

Graphically the game is a mixed bag. While a lot of the environments look fairly nice with some detailed pixel-work, especially in the trees which have their branches and leave flow in the wind, there is so much on screen on each little block that it can be hard to work out what anything is and what you can actually interact with. Sometimes it’s also hard to see enemies until it’s too late or you’ll just notice your health start to drop until you nap for a bit.

Sound wise, it’s nothing special yet nothing terrible, but at the same time not the least bit memorable. As soon as I turned the game off, I had forgotten any and all pieces of music. The robo-friend PDB (Who notifies you of his super-hero name of what sounds like PeteyB) is voiced sometimes, and sometimes it matches what is written on the screen (And most of the time the dialogue disappears off screen before the aural version is complete). His voice is somewhat upbeat and occasionally snarky, kinda like Claptrap from Borderlands.


One of the “noteworthy” aspects of the game is the lack of traditional combat. The creators have posited that it makes the game non-violent, but I guess they didn’t tell all the hostile creatures on the planet that want to kill you for being there (I mean that is something that nature does).

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The game doesn’t give you any indication you can’t fight back, and as all the other aspects are so similar to other genre stalwarts that have combat, it just feels like something is missing rather than a concerted effort to bypass violence. Maybe if they replaced it with more of a puzzle-like non-violent solution seeking aspect it could be interesting, but unfortunately as it is, it feels more like they just forgot a large portion of the game and what they left in (Distracting enemies with throwing items, etc) isn’t really unique enough to make it seem otherwise.


It has a tool system that is kinda confusing and not really spelled out at the start despite giving you access to use them already. The most important is your teleporter system where drop one down at your ship and drop the other somewhere else, and you can move between them quickly. You can pick up the second one and move so you can incrementally move forward to explore further.

Again, it’s a nice feature, but one that I’ve seen in other games before. Residual is not a bad game, and if you like resource collecting survival games, this one is fine. It just lacks any sort of exceptional or original aspect that would have me recommend it over anything similar.

Residual Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Apogee Entertainment
Developer: OrangePixel
Release Date: October 19th, 2021
Price: $19.99£17.99€19,99
Game Size: 311 MB


Graphics are nice

Does exactly what is expected of the genre


Somewhat bland and repetitive gameplay

At times hard to see the difference between resources, enemies, or just world details

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