Green Hell

I’m a sucker for a good survival game. Heck, I’m a sucker for a just-kind-of-okay survival game. But really, I’m a huge sucker for any survival game that I can play on the go, which is a tall order for a short cook. To date, The Long Dark on the Switch has been the biggest answer to my prayer.

Even though it doesn’t hold a candle to The Long Dark, Green Hell fills a definite void in the Switch lineup. In fact, in a lot of ways, it’s a great companion to that other, nearly perfect survival game.

It’s far from perfect, but Green Hell manages to deliver a complex, grueling, rewarding crafting survival experience that refuses to hold your hand.

Green Hell - Nintendo Switch

Considering Green Hell has been out on PC for quite some time now, it’s surprising to see it land on the Switch at all. It’s even more surprising that it manages to not look like complete barf. I mean, it would be hard to really screw this up, since it’s mostly just browns and greens, but the tropical lighting, the saturation effects during and after storms, and (for the most part) the overall textures are, dare I say, pleasant to look at.

The only major downside is the control scheme — specifically the menu and crafting controls. In the PC version, this would surely be handled using the mouse, but on Switch, the right Joy-Con’s analog stick moves the cursor around to let you highlight and interact with items. It’s sluggish at best, and hilariously off-kilter when you’re trying to highlight some of the smaller items. Although, truth be told, larger items don’t fair that much better.

Green Hell - Nintendo Switch

It’s surprising that this aspect of Green Hell weren’t better tuned. Heck, I would have settled for optional touch controls (which still wouldn’t have been perfect, but I would have to assume it would be a far better solution than this Joy-Con nonsense).

But you take the baby with the bath water. And in the grander scheme of things, having a challenging, unforgiving, systems-heavy open-ended crafting survival game on Nintendo Switch is a dream come true. Thankfully, Green Hell is a mostly competent, deeply engaging experience, which means that — coupled with The Long Dark — baby, now I’ve got a stew going.

Carl Weathers, The Long Dark, Green Hell
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