Neon White review for Nintendo Switch: Meet Mirror’s Edgelord

Title: neon white
Developer: angel matrix
Editor: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), PC
Release date: June 16, 2022

Neon White was announced over a year ago for Switch and PC. It was billed as a Mirror’s Edge-style platformer, while adding shots and maps (because everything has to have maps now).

It’s a game where your character, known as “Neon White”, ends up in heaven. He was supposed to go to hell but he and a few other select people – who also follow the same “Neon [color]”naming method” – are in heaven because they love having a weird tournament. In said tournament, those doomed to hell can relax a bit in paradise as long as they fight off the invading demons for their entertainment.

You immediately meet four Neon companions: Neon Yellow, a himbo who always seems to be in a very positive mood; Neon Violet, a bubbly but psychotic character who screams “watered down version of Harley Quinn without saying Harley Quinn”; and Neon Red, an overly flirtatious character who enjoys teasing everyone and, at times, touching Violet inappropriately (but, you know, it’s done with humor so it’s definitely not aggression even though it’s absolutely the case).

The biggest thing in common though, they all seem to know each other and you. Unfortunately for you, you have amnesia, and at no point does any of the other three seem to realize that every problem they encounter would be largely solved if they stayed up for a minute and caught up to you.

Oh, and there’s also “Neon Green”, the former champion. But there’s a surprising lack of history there. It’s huge and it’s a competitor. It is more or less that.

Neon-White-Violet-Gun

My problem with these characters is that each of the main team members is excited and dumb. They are in a situation where only one of them can spend a short time in heaven and the others go directly to hell. And instead of talking about it or reacting to it, they all flirt without moving. It’s as if the afterlife was a dreadful chat room.

To make matters worse, they’re all edgelords. Like, the worst edgelords. Each of these characters feels like they came straight out of the famous “dancing goths” meme.

As for the gameplay, it is quite simple. I know it was pretty much sold as a Mirror’s Edge-style first-person platformer, but it’s missing a lot of the elements that made Mirror’s Edge work so well, like wall running, jumping ledge and just about anything that doesn’t just jump off.

As far as shooting goes, there’s A LOT of auto-aim in the game, so you don’t have to worry about over-aiming while you’re running. Either that or, at some point, I became a pro at first-person shooters because I rarely miss while running.

You encounter cards while playing. They are either left in the wild or killed by enemies. These cards have different weapons, but you can also discard them for various effects. One grants you a second air jump. One shoots you forward at high speed, killing enemies in your path or destroying gates. One lets you fire a bomb that kills nearby enemies and can move you away from them. Etc.

There is no bridge building though. Each stage is a short 30 second race where you must use the correct cards in the correct way to get through the stage. There is nothing really random. That’s really nice, because without the exact map you need, you’re screwed.

One thing that was frustrating though, is that you can’t leave a stage unless you kill all the enemies on the stage first. While I understand my character’s job is to take down the bad guys, there are times when I want to run free. Here is the majority of one of the steps in action.

Note that when I get the blue “Godspeed” card, I can dash through enemies and walls. The green “Stomp” card takes me through the red ground. And the yellow “Elevate” card is a single-use double jump which is how I get up and onto this wall. Notice how I get it using Godspeed through an enemy. It is therefore not so much a question of running freely but rather of memorizing the linear course and acting accordingly. Without using Elevate immediately, I would have crashed into the wall and died.

The game isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not satisfying. I had fun at first, but felt like I went through the really bad dialogue and characters as a punishment for moving on. I saw an exclamation mark on the map screen meaning I needed to talk to someone and admit an audible whine. Also, with all the stages looking alike and all the enemies being so black you can’t make out the details of what they’re supposed to be until you’re practically there, it gets old fast.

If you’re looking for a first-person platformer that you’ll get a lot more out of, replay the first Mirror’s Edge. Unless you feel bad that Mirror’s Edge didn’t randomly reference pop culture.

Neon-White-John-Cena

Neon White (Nintendo Switch) rating: 6/10

Neon White introduces many great ideas but lays them out in front of you like items at a garage sale. The scenography is really simplistic and the gameplay gets old quickly. The characters and dialogue are obnoxious and feel out of place for a decade or more with references to pop culture icons no longer in vogue. Neon White is an interesting game but, in the end, it feels like playing a tech demo for something that’s supposed to be much bigger.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purposes of this review. All ratings are ranked out of 10, with increments of 0.5. Click here to learn more about our review policy.

About Jason Zeitler

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