If you’re scrolling through the Nintendo Switch store and notice the grotesque artwork on the game Struggling, don’t let the brutal style deter you. This comedic physics-based game is available on both Nintendo Switch and Steam for the low price of $14.99, and if you have the patience for it, it’ll be well worth the money.
You play as Troy, a strange, monstrous mutant who has escaped his captivity in an odd science lab. However, that’s not all Troy is. Oddly enough, Troy is the combination of two equally bizarre creatures, Hector and Achilles. After escaping, players will come across a wide variety of absurd characters, varynig from human scientists violently vomiting acid in the background, to a giant mutant rat chasing you down as you do your best to escape.
To control Troy, players in solo mode will use half of the controller to control one arm, while the opposite half controls the respective arm. This changes in co-op mode, however, as each player takes a single joycon held vertically and controls one arm each. This is where the patience would come in handy.
With a willing husband by my side, we decided to take on the task. At first, the attempts are filled with laughs and playful banter as we continue to let poor Troy fall into an abyss. But not after long, the frustration kicks in. While the controls make perfect sense for the type of game this is, it’s also incredibly difficult to actually control Troy. Countless times we had to respawn an arm due to it getting stuck too coiled up, or in a small gap between obstacles.
If the two players have enough patience to put up with these tedious games, co-op could be a blast. My husband and I, on the other hand, are not those people. I swiftly kicked him off so I could retry my hand at solo mode, which is the simplest way to play for someone who is attempting to make serious progress.
Struggling is a well thought-out game with a clean, bold artstyle, as long as you can stomach the scenes. The controls are undoubtedly difficult, but players will shortly get the hand of it. Funny narration filled in the gaps, with quirky phrases describing Troy in a total self-loathing sort of way, that anyone with a darker sense of humor will enjoy. My personal favorite part, however? Every time Troy flails his arms and crashes into something, Hector or Achilles let out a moan, that just has me cracking up every time.
The graphics are definitely gross, with some scenes showing a large, disgusting mouth swallowing Troy from the ground, or surrounding barriers that look like intestines. I personally didn’t mind them, but some players may be sensitive to it.
The sheer amount of times we had to respawn arms was infuriating. For anyone who has played Octodad in the past, it has a very similar vibe – flail your arms wildly, desperate to grab onto everything. It’s a fun concept, but one that I happen to have little patience for. My completionist heart can’t handle it.
Struggling is a hilarious, grotesque take on the classic “difficult-to-control” protagonist that many are sure to enjoy. Just please, refrain from throwing a controller.
Available for $14.99 on the Nintendo Switch and Steam, Struggling is sure to provide some laughs for the next family game night, though it really will have you, well…struggling.