Double Switch originally came out in 1993 on the Sega CD, and it was one of many FMV games of the time. Night Trap, Sewer Shark, Fahrenheit 911, Ground Zero Texas, the list is endless. And, as far as I’m concerned, it was one of the better ones, which isn’t saying much to begin with anyway.
You are an unnamed person who winds up gaining control of the security system of a very weird apartment building. You’re tasked by the manager, Eddie (played by Corey Haim) to find the code to the basement door, so that you can free him. You have to swap through various cameras, all of which point at different rooms, all of which are trapped, and capture the intruders trying to break in. While this happens, you need to watch scenes for dialogue as the story unfolds, save the tenants, and make sure you don’t accidentally trap someone you shouldn’t.
The traps are all goofy and fairly unique, but they do get old fast. There’s only so many times you can make someone fall on a teeter totter or get punched by a goofy arm before they get repetitive, but that’s likely an issue of the game for its time: all live action, so a hefty budget, plus memory and space constraints of consoles.
For the most part, the game stays true to its original copy. Video is grainy, and audio is very low def, but you can’t fault the game for that, as that’s how it was in 1993. It’s been touched up for the 25th anniversary release, and like Night Trap before it, you can choose to play as it was originally released, or a variety of filters (Mega (Sega CD), Saturn, PC, Modern). You can play with mouse (no keyboard required) or controller, and while the original game was obviously controller only, it plays much, much better with a mouse, as it’s easier to navigate.
The audio is low quality, and the dialogue is campy, but again, it’s representative of its era for video games. Also due to its era, it predates fairly recent things like checkpoints, which adds to the difficulty: get 90% through an act and fail, and you’re restarting that act from the beginning. The pacing really does pick up in certain parts, requiring pretty much movements on your part.
Overall, Double Switch is pretty much what you remember from the original (if you remember it), with some minor modern additions. I cannot give the graphics nor audio quality a pro or con, mainly because those two features can’t be compared against games of today, and they haven’t been changed from what they were (which is a good thing).
I have heard people say there are lots of bugs, pacing issues and syncing issues, but in almost four hours and two complete playthroughs, I have not encountered anything of the sort. I’ve finished the game with the modern layout with 1.0 notifications, and the Mega layout with 2.0 notifications. I’ve only experienced one crash. This is not to say there are no bugs, just that I have not encountered anyway.
If you like FMV games, you’ll probably enjoy Double Switch. If you don’t, you won’t. If you’re unsure, it might be worth a play, as the price isn’t overly expensive for what’s on offer. For those who remember the time, it’s also interesting to see how some people acted back then who are no longer with us, such as Corey Haim and Taylor Negron. Also, Deborah Harry, the singer from Blondie, plays Elizabeth, and I just recently learned this with this release. I suppose in 1993, I didn’t put two and two together when I originally played. The more you know.
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Double Switch: 25th Anniversary Edition was purchased on Steam. This review has not been paid for in any way.
Double Switch: 25th Anniversary Edition17.49
- True to its 1993 roots
- Decent story
- Neat and fun traps
- Little bit of strategy
- Potentially lots of replay value
- No replay value if you're not into achievements or 100%'ing
- Product of its era, could be hard to play nowaday