Developer: Hypertrain Digital
Publisher: RedRuins Softworks
Genre(s): Adventure, Action, Simulation, Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 06/04/21
A code was provided for review purposes
To Infinity and Beyond
Breathedge is one of those games that does its best to honour past games of the genre whilst also blazing its own path. The ride through space sure is a fun one, though ultimately your mileage through the vacuum of space may vary. You are “Man”, the last known survivor of a galactic wreck. You are tasked with taking your grandfather’s ashes to his out-of-this-world funeral. Once your spaceship crashes you must begin to find supplies to survive and scour space to find a way back home.
Survive or Die
Breathedge owes a lot of its gameplay to games like Subnautica, No Man’s Sky, the Raft, and more. The survival gameplay is emphasized by the loneliness of space. I don’t think I have ever felt so alone in the silence of floating among space rock and debris. Breathedge has you managing your health, oxygen, food, and items you find. The early game requires you to make several trips back and forth to your crashed space pod. You have to gather items to craft tools and equipment which are used to help you venture further and further.
Eventually, you will acquire items that will let you breathe longer, fly faster, and stay warmer as you travel closer to your destination. Along the way, your onboard computer assistant will point out areas of interest that you can tag with coloured icons to help you discover upgrades. Doing these side quests takes time, but the value in the items you uncover is worth the extra time spent searching through them.
Where Breathedge deviates from the aforementioned survival crafting games is in its story and presentation. There are oftentimes meta jokes, items and scenarios you find that are “off-coloured” and a bit lewd for younger gamers. For instance, to craft a balloon that allows you to breathe longer you may need to find condoms strewn throughout the wreckage. There are also a few astronauts you come across that were obviously taking part in some mile-high club acts, where one man is handcuffed to a bed, dead in the wreckage.
Space to Improve
Breathedge comes in a variety of difficulties which should cater to most gamers. There’s an easy mode that has you focusing more on the story and a hardcore mode where if you die, you’re done and have to restart the game’s difficulty level. I played a bit of the normal mode and the easier mode just to work through the story. Juggling all the survival aspects can be daunting and time-consuming, which is ironic, given the game’s meta-narrative which often calls out bad game practices. This even haves you creating an item called “Crap Imposed by the Developers” early in the game.
The Portable Spaceman
I’ve played both the Xbox and Switch versions of the game and the Switch version holds up well against the more powerful console version. While the textures on the Switch do tend to pop in and draw distance is somewhat lacklustre, the game does perform well enough on the Switch to make playing Breathedge an overall joy to play. The Switch port does seem to have longer loading times, though it seems the game world is loaded in almost in its entirety which is no small feat I am sure.
NASA Approved, Kind of.
Since Breathedge hinges much of its story on jokes and a meta-narrative, the game may not be for everyone. I found that the game’s narrative direction kept me curious enough to uncover the overall story. There’s a lot of game here as well, though the game is padded somewhat in how you have to keep going back to base to keep oxygenated and crafting items at workstations. Overall though, Breathedge is a great space survival game and enjoyable enough on the Switch in docked and handheld mode.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3.5 out of 5
You can purchase Breathedge on the Nintendo eShop
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.