Do you have a craving for snacks and are insatiable like the caterpillar? Then “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” for the Nintendo Switch could be just the thing for your big appetite. Snack World is a rogue-like dungeon crawler, was ported from the 3DS to the Nintendo Switch and has its own sense of humor. In our review, you can find out exactly what makes the game popular in Japan special and whether the porting is successful.
Big in Japan
In 2017, “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” was released on the Nintendo 3DS in Japan and was very popular. Therefore, the developer Level 5 not only created a video game, but also an entire multimedia product. In addition to the game, this includes an anime series, an MMORPG for smartphones, two manga series and a matching NFC toy series. It is still written in the stars whether the western region will also benefit from the entire Snack World universe. So far, it has only been confirmed that the NFC toy range is not supported and that there is a fortune teller instead. In Japan you can buy so-called “Jara boxes”, scan the NFC toys (weapons and snackies) they contain and then use them in the game. Since this is not possible in the West, the fortune teller gives you new useful items every day for free. However, this is bad news for collectors and some fans.
A different kind of rpg
Before we can experience and enjoy the history of Snack World, we have to shape our character. We choose the gender, choose a body shape and determine the appearance of our face. All that’s missing is the name of our brave hero. Our character is female and has purple hair – we just call her viola. After a successful cartoon-style intro, we are found near Croquetta’s gates and brought to the king’s buffet. His daughter, Princess Melonia, tells something about an old legend and a found hero. According to King Buffett, such a legend is common in a normal role-playing game (not here) and should only be taken to the infirmary. We quickly realize that “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” is different and also has a special sense of humor.
After our recovery, we have another audience with the king and his daughter. We are initiated into the Kingdom’s predicament and the impending threat. Croquetta is threatened by the dark sultan balsamic vinegar, who wants to reawaken a dragon so that it can devour the entire kingdom. Of course, we provide our services and meet another brave heroine for the first time. This consists of the leader Chup, a witch Mayona, the muscle pack Béarnaise and a goblin. We immediately notice – Chup has an eye on the princess and therefore he tries to fulfill her every wish. Since we are thirsty for fame and recognition, we also fulfill her every ridiculous wish. Sorry Chup, but this is all about business.
Danger of addiction despite simple mechanics
In “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” ordinary fantasy meets some elements of our real world. The residents have a smartphone with apps and licenses on it, for example, to use shops. The offers and the required licenses are getting bigger the further we progress in the story. There are also some vending machines in town so that we can stock up on buffs for the next missions if necessary. The mini market, a weapons and equipment shop and the seer’s tent complete the offer.
The starting point of every mission is the capital of the Kingdom of Croquetta. If you start the mission, you will be teleported directly to the respective location. There is no open world, as was the case in Fantasy Life, for example. We fight a number of enemies, such as a pudding monster with a cup on our heads, in a real-time combat system. In each mission we can use a maximum of six different Jaras, as the weapons are called in Snack World. So that we don’t have to constantly select the right Jara for the respective opponent in the menu, we can automatically switch to the best possible weapon with the right shoulder button. Simple and practical at the same time. Defeated monsters drop different items or even treasure chests. The destructible boxes and barrels in the various levels contain other useful items.
The landscapes in Snack World are varied and range from fluffy flower meadows and snow-covered mountains to dry deserts. If we have successfully completed a mission, we will receive additional treasure chests depending on the performance achieved. These boxes contain other items that are useful for you and possibly even the main prize of the respective mission (e.g. a Jara with a new property). What can we use all that stuff for? With the materials, we improve our existing weapons and armor so that we can defeat all the growing bosses. You will also urgently need these improvements, as the level of difficulty, despite the simple look of the game, is very crisp. A little additional information – weapons and armor can look identical, but have completely different properties. A Jara addiction is almost preprogrammed here!
The bosses could hardly be more different and fighting them always requires a slightly different approach. Sometimes we fight Snow White personally and sometimes we have to face a wild phoenix. The average duration of a level is approximately 20 minutes. For this reason, “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” is ideal for short and crisp game sessions. If you want to go on tour with a friend, you can do it either locally or online. Unfortunately, you can only do the side missions in the team. Why the main missions were excluded is not entirely clear to me. A lot of potential was definitely put in the sand here.
What has changed in porting?
“Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” is a port of the 3DS version, but improvements have been made and some nice features have been added. The most obvious improvement is the graphics adapted to the switch (sharper textures would have been nice anyway). Another update is the support of the 5.1 surround sound, which outputs the existing good music even more sonorous. The developers tweaked the effects, the character animations and the camera itself a little. This can be moved to a certain angle on the switch so that we can see more of the surroundings.
As already mentioned above, the opponents act much more aggressively in the switch version and the level of difficulty has been adjusted. After each quest, the so-called “Trejar Time Mode” is activated. In this mode, we receive various rewards depending on our performance. In addition to the normal reward, there are Miracle rewards. If we are lucky, we will get rarer and more powerful items here.
Unfortunately, the NFC toy of the Jara boxes is only supported in Japan. Collectors and interested fans can import these toys at a high price, but cannot use them themselves in the game. “Snack World: Treasure Hunt Gold” includes both published DLC packages from the Nintendo 3DS version. On the whole, Level 5 has put together a good game and porting it to the switch has also been successful.
Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold: Fast Food with interesting facets
The developer studio Level 5 from Japan has a certain knack for role-playing games. Role-playing greats such as Yo-Kai Watch, Nino Kuni or Fantasy Life are just a few of the hits from the game factory. “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” is a solid port of the 3DS version, but unfortunately not a perfect role-playing game like the sizes just mentioned. That doesn’t mean that Snack World is a bad game and not fun at all. It’s just different and has a few minor weaknesses. My highlight when testing Snack World was the extraordinary story and the special sense of humor. The graphics adapted to the switch are successful and the support of the 5.1 surround sound makes the otherwise so good music even more sonorous. Somewhat detailed textures would have been desirable, as they sometimes look very washed out. The Trejar time mode, the Miracle rewards and the two DLCs complete the package. The sceneries of the dungeons are varied and randomly generated. The problem – the levels follow a certain pattern, are repetitive after some time and become monotonous in the long run. Nevertheless, “Snack World: The Treasure Hunt Gold” for the Nintendo Switch is a nice change and definitely worth a look.
5.1 surround sound support
Effects and character animations improved
Camera angle can be moved freely
Dungeons are suitable for short game sessions
Trejarer Time Mode & Miracle rewards
many snackies and different jaras
Local / online
NFC toys can only be used in the Japanese version
Dungeons too repetitive in the long run
no open game world
no major missions in multiplayer