ArcRunner - Switch Review

"I'm loving ArcRunner"

ArcRunner - Switch Review
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Welcome to ArcRunner: Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to reset the kore with the quantum backup chip after a strange explosion sets off a chain reaction, causing all sentient AI robots to defect and start attacking the 10 million inhabitants. Three ArcRunners’ bodies are selected by Chip, the only AI that wasn't affected by the blast. He will assist you in inhabiting a new body on multiple runs to reach the kore and put a stop to the mayhem. Kill or be killed but don't fret; each run allows you to grow stronger and one more step  closer to shutting down the kore!

The Good

I love a good roguelike and Arcrunner is no exception. Here we have a  third-person shooter set in a futuristic station called the ARK, where its sentient AI has gone rogue after a strange explosion, causing every machine to go on a murderous rampage. However, you're brought back from the brink to exact revenge and reach the kore through four main zones: the gritty cyberpunk metropolis of the unfortunate to the majestic heights of eden.   

There are three characters to play as in ArcRunner: a soldier, a ninja, and one unlockable character: the hacker. Each body looks distinctive and comes equipped with a special move and an unlockable ultimate ability.  For example  the Ninja has a special ability that allows him to go into stealth mode, giving him a little breathing room from enemy fire and allowing him to get closer to his enemies, for a quick stealth kill. While there are only three characters available, you will definitely find a character that you're drawn to, making him  your own as your journey progresses. 

ArcRunner has some serious equipment to take into battle with you; these come in the form of three unique melee weapons for each class, such as the hammer for the soldier or the katana for the ninja; these are great for some close quarters combat. And you’ll definitely need these against guardians that patrol the ARK, there are lots of different types of enemies to encounter in ArcRunner so having the best weapons for the job is paramount. This includes boss battles, huge sniper turrets and flying units among others, so stay sharp!

Thankfully, there’s a good range of guns on offer in ArcRunner; these range  from your standard pistols and shotguns to more lavish weapons such as the rail gun and electric gun or bow... At the beginning of the game, weapons can be found in chests or dropped by enemies, each with their own rarity level and perk attachments. Using a specific weapon for a prolonged period of time will permanently unlock it in your armoury, so you can use it on your next run, which I really liked. 

Each gun sometimes has extra attachments, giving their shots elemental properties, ricocheting shots or even increased damage. So it's useful to shop around and select the rarer weapons with the better attachments and complete their weapon challenges to unlock these guns for future runs. This was a great feature that I really liked, giving weapons unique traits and variety, giving me a purpose to try everything I discovered.

There are also secondary items to use, including shock grenades, gun turrets or even decoys, so always search around for new tools for your arsenal. 

You can also purchase perks after each run with nanites, which are the game's currency; these can be earned by completing stages and can be found in challenge areas: chests. These are quick area battles with a certain condition required to unlock the centre chest, giving you access to rarer weapons, nanites, or even life saving health packs.  

Nanities allow you to purchase a multitude of permanent upgrades for your chosen characters. Perks can include increasing your hit-points, energy regeneration, allowing you to carry a secondary weapon and even unlocking your ultimate ability. You even put more points into said perks once you’ve purchased them to increase their effectiveness or you sell them to re-distribute points to new areas of your perk trees. After completing a stage, you will also be rewarded with nanities and you’ll be able to select a single extra perk that changes your character's appearance for that run, including possible abilities, so select wisely. Although these are not permanent. 

One of my favourite features in the game is the online mode. Not only does it work seamlessly but having a partner in tow makes for some exciting online multiplayer shootouts against the vicious AI. I played with my friend from twitter: Grinning Wolf Games and the online worked surprisingly well with no connection issues or slow-down.


  • Three classes
  • Online is great
  • Gun challenges
  • Upgradeable perks

The Bad

In the heat of combat, it can feel a little sluggish to swap between your main and secondary weapons (once unlocked), especially under heavy fire. This is more prevalent when you swap to your melee weapon, as there’s a slight delay when swapping, which can cause you to take damage so always take cover. 

I experienced a crash while playing online. It only happened once but when you're playing a roguelike game, the idea of completing the whole game in one life is severely hindered when the game crashes and all your progress is lost in the blink of an eye. If you exit in the proper manner, the game saves your progress but crashing doesn't, which could cause some frustration.


  • Swapping weapons is sluggish
  • Crashing online

Final Score: 8/10

Regardless of its issues, I'm loving ArcRunner on the Nintendo Switch; it's a very addictive roguelike, gameplay loop. I especially love the online mode, the selection of weapons, and the perks. Though I wish there were a few more characters to play as, that's just a personal gripe. ArcRunner is a fast paced shooter and if you love roguelikes, this is a no-brainer!

Thank you for checking out our ArcRunner Switch review, thank you to PQube for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: