A strange pulse of light is seen at the top of the Eiffel Tower within a dream-like world that resembles Paris, and in an instant, the tower splinters, leaving behind a fragmented world of floating islands. We then focus our attention on a nameless hero who is hanging upside down by a single foot, only to then be awoken by a falling paint can, bopping him on the head and bringing our nameless hero to life. As he stumbles to his feet, the road ahead will take him on a path of self-discovery in a world that defies gravity. Welcome to the world of Youropa.
After the almost dream-like introduction (which caught my attention straight away), we’re introduced to our character, an entity with no name or face - a complete blank canvas. Thankfully, after a few short steps into the first stage, we’re introduced to the first of many interesting mechanics that Youropa will explore in the form of a golden paint can. This acts like a checkpoint system that allows you to paint directly onto your character’s face and body, creating your very own individual with a splash of your own creativity - you can make anything your imagination can come up with. I called my hero Star Duck (you check him out with this ID code; 006-NP9-YBB).
Speaking of, after you’ve finished creating your character, you can share him with the wider community using the code you're given. This sharing option is used in the level editor which allows you to create your own stages with dozens of items that you can unlock from the main mode. And just like the character creator, you can share them with the community.
As I continued my adventure with my newly created hero, I found that this was one of many unique moments that would bring a smile to my face as I journeyed forward. Some of the highlights were: tagging spots with spray cans (a la Jet Set Radio), finding collectibles and unlocking level editor parts, using a pogo stick to unlock gates, walking upside down for the first time and also, avoiding the rain in one of many rainy stages. The reason I mention this is that the graphics are quite beautiful and I found rain to be a standout effect (despite it being extremely deadly).
Your health bar is represented by your character; as he takes damage from water or enemy attacks, your paint starts to fall off, revealing your white husk underneath and once all your paint is depleted, it’s game over. However, there doesn't seem to be a huge penalty for dying; you just start at the last check-point, but it's a very cool effect.
One of my favourite things about Youropa is that each stage is its own unique puzzle, thanks to your suction cup feet that allow you to walk on walls, up slopes and even upside down allowing you to see stages from completely new angles and discovering new paths.
At any time you zoom out and look around the stage, you may even uncover a secret or a solution to a problem you’ve encountered. Stages are also linked, so completing one puzzle in a stage can open up others elsewhere; everything is connected by tethers and wires. Once you’ve unlocked a new door, these wires light up blue allowing you to follow them to the next new area. I found it incredibly useful and it stopped me from getting lost.
As you progress, you’ll learn new abilities, such as being able to jump, pick up items or interact with switches. This adds more complexity to your moveset and allows you to return to previous areas to complete puzzles that you left behind. You can reach the many collectibles in the game which come in the form of pink cassette tapes. These unlock additional item parts for the robust level editor.
- Character customisation and level editor
- Walking upside down and defying gravity
- Unique stage puzzles
- Collectible cassette tapes
Sometimes when you're trying to find that one slope or wall to walk on, it can be difficult to see and be overlooked at first glance. This may cause a bit of frustration for some players.
Walking upside-down can also be a little disorientating, occasionally giving me little motion sickness (this will vary from person-to-person.
Lastly, some players may be a little annoyed that all of the cooler stage editor parts are locked from the get-go, and it can take awhile to find and collect them all.
- Occasional frustration
- Possibly disorientating
- Stage editor parts need to be unlocked
Final Score: 9/10
Regardless of its issues, I've been having a blast with Youropa on the Nintendo Switch; it's such a unique puzzler. The core concept is very well executed and this all from a small group of friends that have been developing the game for over a period of 15 years. You can really see that a lot of care, attention to detail and passion has been poured into the game from some very talented developers. Youropa is truly one of my favourite puzzlers on the Nintendo Switch. Its gravity defying gameplay will have you hooked and its user created content will have you coming back for more. Don't miss it!
Thank you for checking out our Youropa Switch review, thank you to frecle for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: