WayForward may have the most appropriate name ever conceived for a studio, given the rate at which it bangs out clever, innovative, entertaining, and mentally stimulating games.
Continuing its Mighty series (which started with the excellent Mighty Milky Way on DSiWare), the studio now has a 3DS eShop offering in the form of Mighty Switch Force.
Part platformer, part puzzler, and all style, WayForward's latest boasts clever logic puzzles fused with enjoyable action.
Unfortunately, there isn't as much meat this time around, and Mighty Switch Force feels more like a prototype for a larger project than a full-blown game. Sure, it's only a download title, but - as last month's Pullblox demonstrates - that's not necessarily a limitation.
High and mighty
You play as Officer Patricia Wagon, a female police officer who is also part robot. You've been tasked with finding dozens of escaped convicts and bringing them back to justice.
This involves darting around platforming levels, shooting down robotic enemies, flipping switches, and launching yourself around using special launch box thingies.
But there's a trick to all this - hit the A button and Patricia can switch between dimensions, making solid blocks passable and see-through blocks solid. Used with a combination of jumping and shooting, this simple-sounding mechanic proves brilliant fun.
You can force some blocks to stay in one dimension by standing on them, while you can take out certain enemies by switching dimensions and squishing them against the screen - and your protagonist can also accidentally splat herself in this way.
The level of innovation is sublime, and as you make your way through the 16 available levels more and more ideas are introduced. Of course, it's all presented beautifully, as you'd expect from the developer.
A bit forced
But while there's lots to appreciate, it's all over far too quickly.
You can see Might Switch Force off in around an hour, and so it ends up feeling like the first chapter in what should really be a longer experience. Just as you're really getting into it and wondering what else can be done with the mechanic - boom, show's over.
Par times for each level attempt to add replay value, but in practice all they really achieve is to make you rush through the game on your first playthrough, rather than pausing to savour it.
It's especially annoying that there's no way to restart a level other than pausing, exiting, and choosing the level again from the main menu.
There are other issues, too. The stereoscopic 3D effects should be great, but they end up feeling rather underwhelming. The game is essentially two flat layers - the foreground and the background - and it doesn't look particularly impressive.
The fact that the various backgrounds, images, and surroundings are reused over and over again is quite disappointing - especially when the game is so short. A bit of variety in visuals may have made up for the brevity somewhat.Mighty Switch Force is a good start, but it needs some kind of sequel badly. Hopefully WayForward will continue its mission to fill Nintendo's digital stores with goodness.