Remember when Nintendo were infamous for being picky/selective over their third party quality control? Yeah, me too. Life of Boris: Super Slav is a puzzle game from SneakyBox – and is a bit leftfield to say the least!
So this is basically a point and click adventure, in the loosest sense of the term. The main character, Boris, finds himself in a number of sticky situations, such as being stuck on the roof of his car with no clothes on (apart from his y-fronts) in the middle of a lake. Why of course! We’ve all been there haven’t we?
Each level – I say ‘level’ but it’s more of a screen – is one fixed image that you must click on random items within to make stuff happen. There are four+ endings on any given screen, depending on what you click on. However, what makes this game so rudimentary is that if there are four endings, let’s say, there are only about six or seven items to click on. So it’s not like you feel rewarded or proud for working it out. The game is fully touchscreen so you basically just jab at the screen in random locations until something happens – and that is basically all that happens in the entire game.
The question is; how did this game find it’s way on to what is regarded as one of the greatest and most intuitive consoles of all time? Also, the game plays on basically every Russian/Eastern European stereotype in the book (as you may be able to tell from the title) so if you’re a little uneasy with stereotypes such as this, I would recommend avoiding this game. I’m not sure of the nationality of the individuals who developed Life of Boris: Super Slav but if they’re not Eastern European themselves, you have to question whether this whole thing is appropriate.
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Story / Personality
As you’ve probably already gathered, the story is pretty thin on the ground here. There are scenes indoors, outdoors and in a few random places such as nuclear power plants. You get introduced to a few of Boris’ family members and acquaintances as the game progresses, and they all have their own little personalities.
If I were to try and find a positive in the narrative of this game, I guess it would be that it is quite funny and quirky, and Boris is a likeable character. I don’t mean the stereotypes are funny (because they’re not) but the actual dialogue is humourous. You won’t be ROFL’ing but you might smile.
Graphics / Sound Design
The graphics are basic, almost entry-level stuff, so there’s really not much to write home about here. When an ‘ending’ occurs, the items in question move across the screen like the ClipArt in an old PowerPoint presentation. The voice acting is not particularly varied in terms of the accents, and in fact, it all sounds a bit tinny and low on quality, which is in keeping with the production values elsewhere. As one of my Switchaboo colleagues pointed out; the fact this game came out on the Switch when games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales are being released elsewhere at a similar time is madness! It’s 2020!
Final Score: 20%
I was a big Simpsons fan in the 90’s (weren’t we all) and I remember playing a game called Virtual Springfield where you travelled around Springfield and entered various areas (Moe’s Tavern etc) and in those areas, you clicked on various items on a fixed screen to make things happen. This is how this game works, but without the Simpsons charm, and without an ‘overworld’ tying the areas together, and without a story, and without a challenge, and this game wasn’t released in 1997 like Virtual Springfield was. This game just feels like a massive step backwards in more ways than one.
Thank you for checking out our Weakwood Throne Switch review, thank you to SneakyBox Studios for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
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